By Namrata Hazarika / GICJ

“Each country has a different approach to tackle contemporary slavery,” said Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery, Tomoya Obokata, “All are encouraged as long as they are enforced”. 

The 9th meeting of the 51st HRC session was held on the 15th of September 2022. It linked the continued prevalence of contemporary forms of slavery to business and human rights. Mr Obokata addressed the growing gap between policies and enforcement in businesses as well as the lack of regulations to curb discrimination in the informal economy. More than 50% of global labour is informal. The absence of stringent policies to forbid racially discriminatory practices normalises intolerance. Hence, recommended better education and professional training that reflects easier accessibility and enhanced affordability. Moreover, he urged for better and proportionate representation of minority groups in legislative state bodies as well as trade unions to materialise said recommendations.

Delegations of member states underlined the root causes of modern slavery, most prominently poverty and systemic racism that breeds exclusion. Multiple delegations linked potential solutions to eliminate said remnants of enslavement to breaking the self-perpetuating cycle of poverty and creating safe spaces for minorities, to prevent intersectional discrimination.  States like Sri Lanka and Mauritania even invited the SR to conduct independent investigations in their respective states.

Geneva International Centre for Justice (GICJ) strongly and fully condemns all forms of contemporary slavery and labels it as a serious crime against humanity. We are alarmed by the stagnation in global efforts to curb said exploitations. GICJ urges member-states to strengthen their provisions prohibiting hate based on difference.

We will be publishing a full discussion report on this discussion, stay tuned!

slavery, discrimination, racism, hrc51, Special rapporteurInteractive Dialoguehuman rights councilHuman RightsJusticeGenevaGeneva International Centre for Justice

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