December 4, 2012
UN Secretary General warns of new type of slavery

The 21st century has seen the rise of new forms of slavery, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned Friday in his message to mark the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery.{{more}}

He also urged UN member states to increase their efforts in the fight against the dehumanizing scourge.

In his statement marking International Day for the Abolition of Slavery — December 2 — Ban noted that despite the approval of the Slavery Convention 85 years ago, in which signatories vowed to prevent and suppress the slave trade, the practice had acquired new manifestations as it adapted to an ever-changing world.

“The movement against slavery brought together the international community to declare that slavery practices constitute an affront to our common humanity and that no human being should be another’s property,” Ban said.

“Today, governments, civil society and the private sector must unite to eradicate all contemporary forms of slavery,” he added.

The International Day for the Abolition of Slavery marks the date 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, on December 2, 1949.

The day’s focus is on eradicating contemporary forms of slavery, such as debt bondage, serfdom and forced labour; trafficking of persons and trafficking for the purpose of organ removal; sexual exploitation, the worst forms of child labour, and the forced recruitment of children for use in armed conflict; also forced marriage, the sale of wives, and widow inheritance.

The UN International Labour Organization (ILO) says some 21 million women, men and children are currently trapped in slavery all over the world.