#AceWorldNews says “We Need a Concerted Action to Eradicate Modern Day Forms of Slavery”

Am I not a man emblem used during the campaign...

Am I not a man emblem used during the campaign to abolish slavery. The image is from a book from 1788, so there can be no effective copyright. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

According to the  “Top United Nations officials marking the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery ” yesterday with a call for concerted action to eradicate the contemporary forms of this heinous practice.

“It is vital that we give special consideration to ending modern-day slavery and servitude which affects the poorest, most socially excluded groups – including migrants, women, discriminated ethnic groups, minorities and indigenous people’s,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon <“http://www.un.org/sg/statements/index.asp“>said in his message for the Day, observed annually on 2 December.

The International Day marks the date in 1949 of the adoption by the General Assembly of the UN Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others. The focus of the day is on eradicating contemporary forms of slavery, such as trafficking in persons, sexual exploitation, the worst forms of child labour, forced marriage and the forced recruitment of children for use in armed conflict.

Today, 21 million women, men and children are trapped in slavery all over the world, according to the UN International Labour Organization (ILO), which has teamed up with prominent artists, athletes and advocates in its campaign to “End Slavery Now.”

Mr. Ban noted that there has been important progress in the last year, including stronger legislation and greater coordination by a number of countries to combat slavery. Also, more and more businesses are working to ensure their activities do not cause or contribute to contemporary forms of slavery in the workplace and their supply chains.

“I strongly support these initiatives and urge all Member States to ratify the Supplementary Convention on the Abolition of Slavery, develop robust and effective domestic legislation and boost enforcement on the ground.  The partnership of the private sector in implementing these efforts is critical,” said the Secretary-General.

Slavery

Slavery (Photo credit: quadelirus)

He also urged continued support for the UN Voluntary Trust Fund on Contemporary Forms of Slavery, which has helped restore human rights and dignity to tens of thousands of children, women and men for over 20 years, he said.

General Assembly President John Ashe said in his message that the Day serves as a reminder to all people that, much like its historical antecedent, modern slavery is an egregious violation of a person’s basic human rights. “The majority of those who suffer are the most vulnerable and marginalized in society,” he <“http://www.un.org/en/ga/president/68/news/international_day_for_the_abolition_of_slavery2013.shtml“>stated.

“Each year, hundreds of thousands of men, women and children are kidnapped and sold into bondage across international borders. Trafficking in persons is an issue of great global concern and affects almost all countries,” Mr. Ashe noted.

“This inhumane activity continues to flourish owing to vast economic disparities between nations, increasing flows of labour and commodities across international borders and transnational organized criminal networks.”

He called on Member States to eradicate slavery in all its forms; to boost initiatives that promote social inclusion; and to end all forms of discrimination. “We must promote and protect the rights of those most vulnerable within our societies, and help to restore the dignity of victims of slavery.”

New York, Dec  2 2013 11:00AM

 

#aceworldnews, #humanrightnews, #abolitionism, #ban-ki-moon, #human-rights, #international-day-for-the-abolition-of-slavery, #international-labour-organization, #international-observance, #london, #new-york, #slavery, #united-nations

Nearly 3.5 Million Garment Workers in Bangladesh, Beset by Industrial Accidents and a Staggering Loss of Life, will get Essential Support to Improve Working Conditions

Flag of the International Labour Organization....

Flag of the International Labour Organization. Based on an image at Flags of the World. Français : Drapeau du Organisation internationale du travail Italiano: Bandiera dell’Organizzazione Internazionale del Lavoro (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

#AceWorldNews says nearly 3.5 million garment workers in Bangladesh, recently beset by industrial accidents and a staggering loss of life, will get essential support to improve working conditions, strengthen labour inspection and upgrade building and fire safety at their workplaces, thanks to a new programme in partnership with the United Nations.

“The rapid growth in Bangladesh’s garment industry has provided vital jobs to women and men and is helping to pull them and their families out of poverty. However, there is an urgent need for decisive and collaborative action to make decent work a reality,” stated Guy Ryder, the Director-General of the UN International Labour Organization (ILO).

“This programme will improve conditions of work, especially safety, and help generate sustainable economic growth and investment,” he added in a news release.

The new multi-year programme, carried out in partnership with the Governments of the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Canada, will boost the efforts already underway by Bangladesh and its partners in the ready-made garment (RMG) sector.

The RMG sector is vital to the economy of Bangladesh, which exported goods worth $19.3 billion for the 11 months that ended in May 2013 – nearly 12 per cent more than a year earlier.

Among other things, the programme will focus on supporting the Bangladeshi National Action Plan for Fire and Building Safety, developed in the wake of the Rana Plaza collapse this April. The Plan calls for an assessment of all active export-oriented, RMG factories in Bangladesh to be completed by 31 December 2013.

Graduates at TVET Reform Project RMG Course Gr...

Graduates at TVET Reform Project RMG Course Graduation (Photo credit: ILO in Asia and the Pacific)

The Plan is supported by other parallel initiatives focused on the RMG sector in Bangladesh, namely the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh – signed by over 80 leading clothing brands and retailers – and the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety, a binding five-year initiative undertaken by North American apparel companies and retailers to improve safety in more than 500 factories.

The Netherlands, as the current co-chair of the donor coordination group in Bangladesh, strongly supports the adherence to international labour standards on workplace safety and protection of worker’s rights.

“Never in the history of the garment sector have we seen such an opportunity for improvement of labour conditions. With the signing of this agreement, the Netherlands with the ILO and our fellow donors will allow millions of workers in Bangladesh to live healthy and decent lives,” said the country’s Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, Lilianne Ploumen.

ILO noted that during the past year, the RMG industry in Bangladesh has been rocked by several major industrial accidents leading to large-scale worker protests calling for improved building and fire safety, better working conditions and higher minimum wages. These actions have resulted in work disruptions in hundreds of factories.

ILO members

ILO members (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“The Bangladeshi authorities are responding to these concerns and supporting the programme, which will start with a complete fire safety and structural assessment of all active RMG factories and, where necessary, initiate remedial action,” said the agency.

The programme also has the support of Bangladeshi employers’ organizations and unions. The Government for its part is moving to significantly improve the capacity of its inspection system by equipping and training current and new factory inspectors and introducing oversight to address integrity and increase transparency.

Additionally, the programme will train workers, supervisors and managers in the RMG sector to improve their capacity to ensure workplace safety including the prevention of violence.

#bangladesh, #guy-ryder, #international-labour-organization, #lilianne-ploumen, #netherlands, #occupational-safety-and-health, #rmg, #united-nations

UN Rights Expert Joins Call for Concerted Global Action to Fight Human Trafficking

Human Trafficking petition hand in

Human Trafficking petition hand in (Photo credit: 38 Degrees)

A United Nations independent expert, along with two other key human rights mechanisms today stressed the importance of partnerships as the “backbone” of global efforts to tackle the scourge of human trafficking.

“Partnership is the backbone for effective coordinated efforts to implement a human-rights based approach while addressing this multi-faceted phenomenon,” <“http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=13869&LangID=E“>said  the human rights experts from the United Nations, the Council of Europe and the Organization for Co-operation and Security in Europe (OSCE), on the occasion of the European Anti-Trafficking Day.

“Cooperation between origin, transit and destination countries, but also with regional and international mechanisms, as well as private stakeholders such as multi-national corporations and civil society organizations, is essential for comprehensive responses to trafficking in persons.”

The UN Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially women and children, Joy Ezeilo, underlined that trafficking is a grave violation of human rights which leads to further abuses.

“The rights of victims should be the beating heart driving all efforts towards eradicating this phenomenon which leads thousands of women, girls, men and boys in situation of profound exploitation and violence,” Ms. Ezeilo said. “The victims, whose rights are stolen, have to be protected, assisted, provided remedies, and re-integrated.”

Trafficking of women, children and men

Trafficking of women, children and men (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Human trafficking is a multi-billion dollar industry which has trapped some 21 million men, women and children in forced labour. According to 2005 estimates released by the International Labour Organization (ILO), profits generated in the sex industry alone are as high as $32 billion a year. Furthermore, nearly one-third of all victims of human trafficking officially detected around the world between 2007 and 2010 were children, according to a report released in December 2012 by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) citing data from 132 countries.

The President of the Council of Europe Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA), Nicolas Le Coz, emphasized that countries have a responsibility under international and European law to provide protection to victims to ensure their moral and physical integrity and prevent re-victimization, including by prosecuting and punishing the traffickers.

“Given the worrying proportions human trafficking has taken, there is a need to move from a national security model to a human rights-based approach in order to better identify and assist victims of trafficking who are often undocumented migrants,” Mr. Le Coz said.

For the OSCE Special Representative and Co-ordinator for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings, Maria Grazia Giammarinaro, “the realization of a victim’s right to effective remedies is at the core of the human rights-based approach as redress and compensation are the key stepping stones on the path to full recovery and social inclusion without fear or stigma.”

The three international expert mechanisms stressed that “a universal human rights-based approach is paramount to end human trafficking in the world today.”

#AceWorldNews  #HumanRights  #Trafficking

 

#32-billion, #council-of-europe, #december-2012, #greta, #human-trafficking, #human-rights, #international-labour-organization, #united-nations