December 2, 2010: The United Nations' (UN) International Day for the Abolition of Slavery is annually observed on December 2 to remind people that modern slavery works against human rights.
The day also encourages people to put meaning to the words of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that “no one shall be held in slavery or servitude,” through their actions. The International Day for the Abolition of Slavery recalls the adoption of the UN Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others of.
Global March is committed to fighting against slavery and considers bonded labour, forced labour, the worst forms of child labour and trafficking people as modern forms of slavery. Some sources say that more than one million children are trafficked each year for cheap labour or sexual exploitation. These types of slavery are global problems and go against article 4 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states that “no one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms”.
173 of the 183 ILO member states have ratified the ILO Convention 182 on the elimination of the worst forms of child labour, while the UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime has been ratified by 117 of the 142 state parties.
Mr Kailash Satyarthi, Chairperson, Global March Against Child Labour marking the International Day said, “ Modern day slavery is a crime, child and human trafficking is more global and complex than ever before in history. Newer and more complex forms of slavery are evolving with astonishing pace. We have the international conventions and treatises, but the real test is their enforcement and implementation. Domestic laws and policies must be aligned with the international norms. Victims of slavery and trafficking should be treated as victims and not culprits. They need protection and support in pursuing remediation. Children are most vulnerable, and particular attention needs to be paid to the child victims, to ensure that they are protected, rehabilitated and reintegrated with dignity into their communities. Protection from any future abuse is after release is critical to rehabilitation.”
Education sector has a huge role in not only preventing trafficking and slavery but also in remediation and rehabilitation of the victims of trafficking and slavery. Millions of people including children in the world who are sold and bought like animals – trafficked and trapped into slavery due to sheer ignorance and illiteracy. Ms Jan Eastman, Deputy General Secretary of Education International remarked, “Education is the only weapon to their liberty and liberation. Education is a cross-cutting lifeline to sustainable development, economic growth and poverty reduction, social and gender justice, HIV/AIDS, peace and stability, effective democracy and civic participation, and protection of child rights. It is a tool to fight slavery and trafficking.”
UN International Day for the Abolition of Slavery