Up to 27 million living in slavery: US

2012-06-20 11:01
AP

AP

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

Washington - Up to 27 million people are living in slavery around the world, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton estimated on Tuesday as the US unveiled its annual report into human trafficking.

But the report showed that as governments become more aware of the issue, instigating tough new laws and programmes to help victims, progress is being made in wiping out what it called the "scourge of trafficking".

"The end of legal slavery in the United States and in other countries around the world has not, unfortunately, meant the end of slavery," said Clinton.

"Today it is estimated as many as 27 million people around the world are victims of modern slavery, what we sometimes call trafficking in persons," she said at the unveiling of the report at the State Department.

"Those victims of modern slavery are women and men, girls and boys, and their stories remind us of the kind of inhumane treatment we are capable of as human beings," said Clinton.

"Whatever their background, they are the living, breathing reminders that the work to eradicate slavery remains unfinished."

Moving up the list

As America prepares to mark the 150th anniversary of the proclamation of the emancipation of US slaves, people must reflect on "how much further we have to go to free all these 27 million victims", Clinton added.

Out of the 185 countries included in the 2012 report, only 33 complied fully with laws in place to end human trafficking, putting them at the top of a four-tier ranking system.

But five countries had moved up from the bottom blacklist known as tier 3, including Myanmar and Venezuela, to be included among the 42 countries now on what is known as a tier 2 watchlist.

Myanmar was removed from the blacklist because the government "took a number of unprecedented steps to address forced labour and the conscription of child soldiers; these steps amount to a credible commitment to undertake anti-trafficking reforms over the coming year", the report said.

Syria however fell onto the blacklist for the first time, in a move which could cut off any US aid and make it harder to get US backing for funds from organisations like the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Governments taking 'right steps'

"The government of Syria does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so," the 2012 Trafficking in Persons report said.

Among the 16 other countries on the blacklist were Algeria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Libya, North Korea and Saudi Arabia.

Kenya slipped down onto the watchlist for the first time in five years, while Nigeria lost its place on tier 1, moving down a notch as the report highlighted that women and children were forced into labour and sex trafficking.

But Clinton hailed the fact that a total of 29 countries had been upgraded to a higher ranking, "which means that their governments are taking the right steps".

They included Bangladesh, which was bumped up to tier two for making significant efforts to comply with minimum standards, including passing "a comprehensive anti-trafficking law" in December.

Ambassador Luis CdeBaca, director of the office to combat trafficking in persons, said while the number of people officially identified as victims of trafficking and slavery had gone up by 28% since last year to 42 291, the numbers of prosecutions in 2012 had also increased by 10% to 3 969.

Focus on protection

So while countries "still have a little ways to go" there was "the beginnings, I think, of a real trend", he said.

This year's report focuses on how to better protect the victims, and urges governments to meet the challenge head-on.

"Traffickers are criminals. Governments - which alone have the power to punish criminals and provide legal recourse to survivors - cannot waver in their efforts to confront modern slavery," the report says.

But it also argues that human trafficking takes many guises and it is not just about moving people across borders to trap them in prostitution.

"The United States government, and increasingly, the international community, view 'trafficking in persons' as the term through which all forms of modern slavery are criminalised," it says.

"The essence of the trafficking experience is the denial of freedom, including the freedom to choose where and how you live, the freedom to work or choose not to work, the freedom from threats, and the freedom of bodily integrity," the report says.

Read more on:    hillary clinton  |  us  |  human trafficking
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Fashion
 

Tips on how to set your fitness goals

Before you embark on a fitness or training programme, set yourself clear and realistic long-term and short-term goals.

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

This all-terrain vehicle is badass!
The TRUTH about painkillers and exercise
WIN! Where were you when you last felt alive?
Watch: Fishing under ice

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Deal of the week!

Save R1200 on the Samsung 48” smart full HD LED television now only R8799. Buy now!

Toys 4 for the price of 3

Buy 4 toys and get the cheapest FREE! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing prices – As seen on TV

Get mind blowing prices on 1000’s of products! Shop now.

Save 20% on Nivea beauty products!

Buy any two Nivea beauty products and save 20%. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R1000 on electronics!

Get mind blowing savings on top electronic products. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be spending too much time organising and trying to control things to make sure everything is perfect instead of just...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.