• UN chief calls for joint efforts to eradicate contemporary forms of slavery

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    UNITED NATIONS: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki- moon appealed Tuesday for united efforts of governments, civil society and the private sector to root out all contemporary forms of slavery, including forced labor.

    “Each day, women are trafficked, sold and locked in brothels. Every day, young girls are forcibly married, sexually abused or exploited as domestic workers,” said Ban in his message on the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery, which is observed on Dec. 2 annually.

    “Men, separated from their families, are still being locked in clandestine factories, working in situations of bonded labor with negligible wages and remote chances of ever repaying their debts,” he added.

    According to the statistics of the United Nations International Labor Organization (ILO), 21 million women, men and children worldwide are trapped in slavery and denied the right to live and ultimately work in freedom, dignity and equality.

    Meanwhile, forced labor generates illicit profits of US$ 150 billion every year. About two-thirds of those proceeds came from exploitation, mainly of women and children in the sex and entertainment industry.

    In this regard, Ban urged all states to ratify and implement the relevant instruments of international law, particularly the new protocol drawn up by the ILO to coordinate the fight against forced labor.

    The new legally binding treaty, adopted by the ILO at the International Labor Conference in June 2014, provides guidance to the effective eradication of forced labor, trafficking and slavery- like practices.

    The International Day for the Abolition of Slavery marks the General Assembly’s adoption on Dec. 2, 1949 of the United Nations Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others.

    It aims to spark a global movement against contemporary forms of slavery, such as human trafficking, sexual exploitation, child labor, forced marriage, and the recruitment of children in armed conflict. PNA

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