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Unite to Fight Against Modern Day Slavery

 

GENEVA, Switzerland, 17 October 2014 – Heads of three international organizations have issued a call to citizens from all walks of life to join the fight against modern day slavery ahead of tomorrow’s European Anti-Trafficking Day.
“Everyone has a part to play in this struggle, from shoppers in supermarkets who demand more information about the origins of the produce sold, to high-level executives, legislators and judges who can write and enforce laws to eliminate modern-day slavery from corporate supply chains and bring traffickers to justice,” the heads of the International Labour Organization (ILO), the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) said.
In 1948, the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights proclaimed: “No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.”
Unfortunately, in the decades since this landmark declaration was adopted, new forms of slavery such as human trafficking have emerged and multiplied, leading the ILO to estimate in 2012 that there are 20.9 million people in situations of trafficking and forced labour globally, with around 880,000 in the European Union. These numbers cover a broad range of practices, from those trafficked in the sex trade, forced to hand over their income to their exploiters, to construction workers or agricultural labourers toiling for little or no pay on isolated sites that they cannot leave.
“Forced labour violates the human rights and dignity of millions of women and men, girls and boys. It contributes to the perpetuation of poverty and stands in the way of the achievement of decent work for all. The ILO Protocol to Convention No. 29 on Forced Labour adopted this year reaffirms the obligation to punish perpetrators of forced labour and to end the impunity that is still pervasive in so many countries,” Guy Ryder, ILO Director-General said.
“The responsibility to increase our joint efforts to fight trafficking in persons concerns each one of us, international organizations like IOM, states, private sector companies large and small, civil society, as well as private citizens,” said IOM’s Director-General, Ambassador William Lacy Swing.
The IOM recently launched the Missing Migrants Project, documenting more than 40,000 fatalities among migrants since 2000 (see: http://mmp.iom.int/).
OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier said, “As we remember all trafficking victims on this day, the OSCE remains firmly committed to continuing to work towards the elimination of this crime in our region and beyond.”
For more information on the International Labour Organization’s work on forced labour: http://www.ilo.org/forcedlabour
International Organization for Migration: http://www.iom.int
OSCE – The Office of the Special Representative and Co-ordinator for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings: http://www.osce.org/cthb
Source: http://www.osce.org/secretariat/125669

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