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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Contemporary Forms of Slavery

Mrs. Gulnara Shahinian, the Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Slavery, including its causes and consequences to the Human Rights Council during the 12th Session of the Human Rights Council in October (2009). 

In her report, Mrs. Shahinian contended that slavery exists all over the world and that it continues to persist and evolve. Causes for bonded labor have not changed the times. Discrimination, cost, social status, labor and such are still causes of bonded labor and further enhance the vulnerability of the poor. Forced labor not only occurs in trafficking. This is only 20%; 80% is still not addressed. Given the gravity of violations, which frequently result in forced labor, it is important that all forms of slavery defined in the slavery conventions be given their due prominence. Bonded labor affects women, children, and men in different ways. For example, it affects men more in the construction sphere and women in large-scale agriculture. Moreover, forced labor particularly affects women and girls in forced labor for economic exploitation. It is necessary to take specific action to address bonded labor as a separate crime. Mrs. Shahinian highlighted the need to create awareness and develop laws that specifically target bonded labor, as despite the illegality of bonded labor, there is a lack of international enforcement. As a consequence, due to such things as illegal contract and astronomical interest rates, a person in bonded labor is bonded for life.

Mrs. Shahinian visited Haiti to assess the challenges. The poorest country in the Americas, plagued by political instability, crisis and natural disasters, Haiti has a long-established survival strategy by those in the rural area. They send their children, termed "restavek children", to urban areas in hope that they will send back money; this does not entail any transaction between families and the children. The result is the economic exploitation of children, as the host family expects the child to work much harder, and the flagrant disregard for their life. With the introduction of intermediaries and agents, the process has become increasingly commercialized. If left unaddressed, it will lead to an increased number of children engaged in this practice. It is important to address this issue. Assuring human rights based on the development of society is critical to the sustainability of peace. Poverty and social exclusion are at the heart of poverty, and thus it is crucial that the MDGs be realized, as they will have a significant impact on this issue. Strong political will, commitment and collective action are needed now, especially at the MDG goal date nears. 

To read more see here: 

Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Slavery
UN Voluntary Fund on Slavery


Anonymous said...

On 22 October (2009) the UN hosted a special event at its New York Headquarters for the victims and survivors of human trafficking, with Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon issuing a broad-based call to action for States to tackle the root causes and ensure swift justice against the perpetrators. In his opening address, he said, “Our fight against human trafficking is guided by three Ps: prevention, protection and prosecution”. Mr. Ban cited various abhorrent practices, including debt bondage, forced labour, torture, organ removal, sexual exploitation and slavery-like conditions. “Human trafficking injures, traumatizes and kills individuals. It devastates families and threatens global security,” he declared of a worldwide industry that generates billions of dollars in profit at the expense of millions of victims.
“Human trafficking touches on many issues, from health and human rights to development and peace and security. Our response must be equally broad, and must tackle this challenge at its roots.”

To Read more see here:


Theo129 said...

Jorge Bustamante, the Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, gave a presentation of his work yesterday to the General Assembly at the UN Headquarters in New York, stating that children were vulnerable at all stages of the migration process. He warned that child migrants remains especially vulnerable to human rights abuses as they try, with or without their parents, to cross international borders in search of better lives. “The lack of specific provisions on children in most migration laws and the failure to take into account the specific conditions and needs of migrant children in public policies” only exacerbates these problems for child migrants and leaves them exposed to further abuses, the Special Rapporteur said.

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