To fight modern slavery, human rights come first


In the next month the State Department will issue the 2017 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report. This report, which ranks virtually every country in the world on their efforts to combat modern slavery, can be a critical lever for change, notes David Abramowitz, the managing director of Humanity United,

In 2014, for example, the TIP Report pointed to abuses in the seafood sector in Thailand, spurring businesses to action, he writes for The Hill.

It is imperative to “continue to rebuild the integrity of the TIP report as a key tool in fighting the scourge of human trafficking by issuing a fact-based assessment on such key countries as China, Malaysia, Qatar, Thailand, Tunisia and Ukraine,” Abramowitz argues.

Under the banner “Alliance 8.7,” , 40 organizations convened a brainstorming workshop at a conference center south of London focused on the eradication of forced labor, modern slavery, human trafficking and child labor by 2030, the Solidarity Center’s Timothy Ryan writes. The group included members of the UN’s Inter-Agency Coordination Group against Trafficking, UN special rapporteurs, representatives of workers’, employers’ and business organizations, and nongovernmental organizations long committed to this work.

Yet there was another participant who embodied all these sober deliberations of the UN staff, business representatives, workers’ and NGO activists and brought them to life, he notes:

The real heart and soul, the true voice and meaning of the meeting was a young Muslim American poet (and UN High Commissioner for Refugees representative) who shared her work with the gathering. It was her poetry and experience that animated the discourse and provided a pointed illustration of how the challenge of forced labor, child slavery and trafficking is also bound up in the fate of migrants and refugees fleeing conflict. Beyond her writing, it was Emi Mahmoud’s presence that also highlighted how urgent is this human dilemma, not only for today but the future as well.

I was there representing the Global March Against Child Labor, a worldwide network of more than 300 organizations founded by Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Kailash Satyarthi (left) and dedicated, since its founding in 1998, to the elimination of child labor in all its forms, Ryan adds. RTWT

The Solidarity Center is one of the core institutes of the National Endowment for Democracy which provide bipartisan expertise to democracy advocates around the world, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice writes in her new book – Democracy: Stories From the Long Road to Freedom.

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