Saturday, November 9, 2019
“Six years after the start of my mandate as special rapporteur – confesses Urmila Bhoola, UN expert –, it is sad to note that there is still a long way to go from slavery to freedom, despite the legal abolition of slavery throughout the world.” "Preventing and addressing slavery is not as simple as declaring it illegal, but much more can and should be done to end it by 2030.”

Urmila Bhoola, UN expert and special rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery, their causes and consequences, confesses: “Six years after the start of my mandate as special rapporteur, it is sad to note that there is still a long way to go from slavery to freedom, despite the legal abolition of slavery throughout the world.” "Preventing and addressing slavery is not as simple as declaring it illegal, but much more can and should be done to end it by 2030."

According to the International Labor Organization, more than 40 million people are enslaved in the world today. In presenting his latest report, in Geneva, to the Human Rights Council, Bhoola said that this slavery is likely to increase due to the rapid transformation of the labor market, environmental deterioration, migration and demographic changes.

According to the expert, more than 64% of enslaved people work in the private sector, a quarter of this global servitude is made up of minors and an impressive 98% of women and girls enslaved have suffered sexual violence. People working in the informal sector, which represents 90% of the workforce in developing countries, are at greater risk of being exploited or enslaved, Bhoola added: “By 2030, approximately 85% of the more than 25 million young people who will enter the labor market worldwide will do so in developing countries. Their prospects of accessing decent jobs will determine their level of vulnerability to exploitation or slavery.”

The statistics that Bhoola presented constitute a “warning” for countries to prepare themselves to face slavery more effectively, since “10,000 people must be released every day, to end the contemporary forms of slavery by 2030,” according to recent data from the NGO Walk Free.

According to Bhoola, some States have already chosen to exclude from public contracts those suppliers whose supply chain shows signs of slavery. Others use anti-money laundering systems to encourage companies to prevent the benefits derived from slave labor from entering the financial system. However, efforts to end slavery are not enough and the likelihood that the guilty will be brought before a court and convicted remains minimal.

“Slavery is unprofitable, for Countries, from the economic point of view; it entails higher public health costs, negative environmental externalities and loss of income and productivity,” he insisted, emphasizing that a proposal of a new strategy against slavery should be “systematic, scientific, strategic, sustainable, intelligent and keeping survivors informed." States must devote more resources to end slavery, adopt and implement public policies that provide effective responses to this scourge.

See the article on High United Nations Commission for Human Right office web site. IPS reproduces it by a general agreement with the UN for the use of its contents. Acabar con esclavitud en 2030 requiere liberar 10.000 personas cada día
[Blog GPIC – Gian Paolo Pezzi]