Despite being widely hailed as a turning point in the global fight to end modern slavery, a new estimate of the number of people living as slaves worldwide could in fact complicate efforts to tackle the crime, several academics have warned. About 40 million people were trapped as slaves last year - mostly women and girls - in forced labour and forced marriages, according to the first collaboration by leading anti-slavery groups to count the victims of the lucrative crime worldwide. The International Labour Organization (ILO), Walk Free Foundation and International Organization for Migration (IOM) jointly agreed on the estimate, having previously used different data, definitions and methodologies to reach their own figures. But they cautioned this number was a conservative estimate. Many activists hope the estimate, published last month, will galvanise rights groups and governments as they strive to meet a global goal of eradicating modern slavery by 2030 - part of the … [Read more...] about Could new slavery numbers complicate efforts to end the global crime?
Peacekeeper troops from Ethiopia and deployed in the UN Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) patrol outside Abyei town, in Abyei state, on December 14. The Abyei Administrative Area is a disputed territory between Sudan and South Sudan with longstanding intercommunal tensions between the Ngok-Dinka ethnic majority and the pastoral Misseriya population, who migrate through the area seasonally from the north. – AFP Photo Viet Nam News JUBA – President Salva Kiir called on Wednesday for a "national dialogue" to end the three-year-long civil war in South Sudan. In a speech to parliament, Kiir, whose wrangling for power with his former deputy Riek Machar plunged the world’s newest nation into a brutal, destructive and ongoing civil war in December 2013, said the dialogue would "consolidate peace" in South Sudan. Kiir said a panel of "eminent personalities and people of consensus" would guide the national dialogue which would involve "all the people of South … [Read more...] about Kiir calls for ‘national dialogue’ to end South Sudan war
Malaysian student Benjamin Tan was injured and so exhausted at one point of the race that he was just limping around the running track - but he knew he could not give up. "I was so tired, my legs were killing me but I know I was running for a greater cause to help people who are enslaved and being trafficked around the world," said the 17-year-old. Tan was among 2,500 high school students who on Sunday completed 24 hours of relay races in a student-led campaign in Asia to end modern slavery and human trafficking. The races were held simultaneously in Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong over the weekend. A similar race was held in Seoul in September. Founded in Hong Kong in 2010 and run by students, the '24 Hour Race' initiative under the charity Running to Stop the Traffik seeks to raise awareness and funds towards combating modern slavery through the endurance race. Tan said the race helps him to get closer to understanding the conditions of modern-day slavery, as he and his teammates … [Read more...] about Asian students in 24-hour run to end modern slavery
Afghanistan's president has ordered a "thorough investigation" into institutionalised sexual abuse of children by police, after AFP revealed the Taliban are using child sex slaves to launch deadly insider attacks. There has been international condemnation of paedophilic "bacha bazi" -- literally "boy play" -- which AFP found has been exploited by the Taliban to mount a series of Trojan Horse attacks over two years that have killed hundreds of policemen in the remote southern province of Uruzgan. "The president has ordered a thorough investigation (in Uruzgan) and immediate action based on findings of the investigation," the presidential palace said of Ashraf Ghani in a statement. "Anyone, regardless of rank within the forces, found guilty will be prosecuted and punished in accordance and in full compliance of the Afghan laws and our international obligations," the English language statement said. The ancient custom of bacha bazi, one of the country's worst human rights violations, sees … [Read more...] about Kabul to investigate child sex slavery fuelling insider attacks
CPV: The International Labor Organization (ILO) has called for zero tolerance of violence against the estimated 218 million child laborers and some 100 million adolescents who are legally employed worldwide. According to the UN's "World report on violence against children" published early this week to mark Universal Children's Day, millions of child laborers and legally-employed adolescents face systemic violence at workplaces, including physical or verbal abuse, sexual harassment, rape and even murder. Commenting on the release of the UN report, ILO Director-General Juan Somavia said, "Worldwide, violence at work is generally on the increase and violence against children and adolescents who work is endemic, and in some cases just 'part of the job'. This must stop". According to the report, those at risk of violence include domestic workers, youth in the informal economy, children in debt bondage and modern forms of slavery, and those doing hazardous work. In addition to risks … [Read more...] about ILO calls for end to violence against hundreds of millions of child workers