Unshackling Development

Unshackling DevelopmentWhy Do We Need Global Partnerships?

Dr James Cockayne is the author of a report released this month entitled Unshackling Development: Why Do We Need Global Partnerships? The report reminds us that we unwittingly feel the touch of slavery in our smartphones, the palm oil in our cosmetics and shampoo, the seafood we buy at supermarkets, our rice bowls, and in our beef. It is woven into our clothes, forged into the steel in some of our buildings, dusted into the mica sparkles on our cars, and it helps to lay the foundations of megasporting stadiums. It pervades the global sex industry and provides domestic labour in many countries around the world.

The good news, this report suggests, is that we already know quite a bit about what drives slavery—and which keys unlock which shackles. Slavery emerges not only in wholly illegal sectors, but often where legitimate industry intersects with informal work. It is a product of vulnerability arising from social exclusion, income shocks, illiteracy, low educational levels, state instability, conflict, high corruption levels, or insecure immigration status. It is a form of extreme inequality, sustained by a range of vested interests— inscrupulous business actors, corrupt police and officials. We know more and more about the keys that address slavery, unlock this trapped human potential, and unshackle development. These keys take many forms, and not only disrupt, but also prevent slavery by improving access to education, credit, food, health care, land, wage regulation, women’s rights, safe migration and recruitment, and rehabilitation services. Read more…

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