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Modern Slavery Definition

Modern slavery refers to various forms of exploitation and coercive practices that deprive individuals of their freedom, rights, and dignity. It encompasses situations where individuals are forced or coerced into labor, servitude, or human trafficking against their will. Modern slavery can take different forms, including forced labor, debt bondage, forced marriage, human trafficking, and child labor.

The International Labor Organisation estimates that over 40 million people around the world are victims of modern slavery. In recent years, supply chain transparency is a key policy strategy used by governments to identify and prevent business practices that lead to modern slavery.

Defining and addressing Modern Slavery

The following entities have played a significant role in defining and addressing modern slavery:

  1. International Labour Organization (ILO): The ILO is a specialized agency of the United Nations and has been at the forefront of efforts to combat modern slavery. It has developed conventions, such as the Forced Labour Convention (No. 29) and the Protocol of 2014 to the Forced Labour Convention, which provide definitions and guidelines for combating forced labor and human trafficking.

  2. United Nations (UN): The UN has been actively involved in addressing modern slavery through various bodies, such as the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the United Nations Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking (UNGIFT). The UN has also adopted the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which include a target (Goal 8.7) to eradicate forced labor, human trafficking, and child labor.

  3. International Organization for Migration (IOM): The IOM is an intergovernmental organization that works on migration-related issues, including human trafficking and forced labor. It provides support to governments, NGOs, and other stakeholders in preventing and addressing modern slavery.

  4. Walk Free Foundation: The Walk Free Foundation is a global organization dedicated to ending modern slavery. They have developed the Global Slavery Index, which provides estimates and data on the prevalence of modern slavery worldwide. The foundation also advocates for policy changes and raises awareness about modern slavery.

  5. Anti-Slavery International: Anti-Slavery International is one of the oldest human rights organizations focused on ending slavery and related practices. They work to raise awareness, conduct research, and advocate for policies and initiatives to combat modern slavery.

These entities, among others, have contributed to the understanding and definition of modern slavery, as well as to the development of legal frameworks, initiatives, and campaigns aimed at combating this grave violation of human rights.

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