The 54th Session of the Human Rights Council
11 September - 13 October 2023
Item 3: Interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery, including its causes and consequences
18th September 2023
Statement of Union of Arab Jurists
Delivered by Lené Sophia Strydom
Thank you, Mr. Vice President
We thank the Special Rapporteur for their report.
Modern slavery is a fundamental human rights violation. It encompasses forced labour, human trafficking, debt bondage, and sexual exploitation, affecting millions. This abhorrent practice thrives due to global supply chains, criminal networks, and systemic vulnerabilities.
Modern slavery perpetuates poverty and social inequity, fostering fear and coercion in its victims. To combat slavery effectively, we must strengthen legal frameworks and law enforcement, and promote international cooperation. Addressing the root causes, from the transatlantic slave trade to poverty, is crucial to combat modern slavery.
The Special Rapporteur highlighted the connection between modern slavery and homelessness, from the profound social issue rooted in complex challenges such as economic disparity and insufficient access to resources. Unfortunately, it also renders other individuals profoundly vulnerable to exploitation, such as women, children, migrants and refugees.
Article 4 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights explicitly denounces slavery and the slave trade, yet the harsh truth remains: modern slavery continues, leaving us with no option but to confront our collective failure to eradicate it.
Union of Arab Jurists, Ma’onah, Meezaan and Geneva International Centre for Justice condemn all forms of contemporary slavery and recognise the urgency of our collective pursuit of a world where no person is enslaved.