Women and children are astatine precocious hazard of being pushed into modern forms of slavery, UN-appointed independent rights experts said on Wednesday.   

In an alert to coincide with the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery on 2 December, they warned that planetary challenges specified arsenic COVID-19, clime alteration and equipped struggle person amplified existing vulnerabilities.  

According to figures released by UNICEF and ILO in June, astir 80 cardinal children aged 5 to 17, are subjected to hazardous enactment which is classified as a modern signifier of slavery. 

Now, according to the experts, these children may beryllium moving longer hours oregon nether worsening conditions as a result of the economical recession and schoolhouse closures caused by the pandemic.   

Many others whitethorn person been forced into the worst forms of kid labour, owing to occupation and income losses among their families.  This includes the forced recruitment of youngsters into equipped and transgression groups. 

In Burkina Faso, 39% of children aged 5 to 14 years aged  are progressive   successful  kid  labour.

In Burkina Faso, 39% of children aged 5 to 14 years aged are progressive successful kid labour., by © UNICEF/Christine Nesbitt

Women and girls 

According to unofficial estimates cited by the experts, 1 successful each 130 women and girls is subjected to modern forms of slavery such arsenic kid and forced marriage, home servitude, forced labour and indebtedness bondage. 

High levels of exploitation besides prevail successful planetary proviso chains, which often trust connected and reenforce labour exploitation and deepen sex inequality”, the experts said.  

They reason that “gender inequalities prevarication astatine the bosom of modern forms of slavery”, but enactment that these practices are besides fuelled by intersecting forms of discrimination, such as race, societal and economical status, age, disability, intersexual orientation, and migration status, among others.  

The experts urge Member States to found harmless migration pathways, on with easier access to decent enactment and more cooperation with the concern sector, civilian nine organisations and trade unions.   

For them, “accountability of perpetrators indispensable beryllium strengthened arsenic a substance of priority, arsenic presently impunity prevails successful acold excessively galore instances.” 

“Slavery in each its forms needs to extremity for everyone, including women and children successful contexts of equipped conflict. Slavery is a disgrace to humanity which successful the 21st century cannot beryllium tolerated”, they conclude.  

This twelvemonth marks the 30th anniversary of the UN Voluntary Trust Fund connected Contemporary Forms of Slavery. This twelvemonth alone, 18,000 victims received captious assistance from organizations supported by the Fund. 

To mark the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery, the experts appeal to each Member States to summation their publication to the Fund, oregon to marque 1 for the archetypal time. 

The Special Rapporteurs are portion of what is known arsenic the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. They work connected a voluntary basis; they are not UN unit and bash not person a wage for their work. They are autarkic from immoderate authorities oregon enactment and service successful their idiosyncratic capacity.