UN Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Slavery

UN Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Slavery, Gulnara Shahinian, reported in The Guardian recently that she has often been asked to avoid using the word slavery because of the meaning and implication this word carries.

She writes ” Yet what other word describes people who have been beaten mercilessly, shut indoors, made to work without pay, sexually abused, poorly fed and threatened with more abuse against themselves and their family if they attempt to leave? This is not just violence or exploitation. What describes the situation in which a mother has no right over her child, or a father is forced to put down his own life – and those of his family – as collateral, working for nothing to try to repay a debt that will never go away? These are the forms of slavery that exist today…..By not speaking out, we are helping to perpetuate an industry that strips millions of their humanity and rights. ”

A full copy of the report can be read here.

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