Contemporary Slavery: Understanding the New Face to an Old Evil
On 27 June 2012, Metin Kazak MEP opened a conference in the European Parliament organised in conjunction with UNPO examining the current extent and forms of slavery across the world.
Understanding the New Face to an Old Evil
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European Parliament Conference
Reveals Need for Improved Data and Analysis
as EU Publishes New Anti-Human Trafficking Strategy
Brussels, 28 June 2012 – Coming in the wake of the EU Strategy towards the Eradication of Trafficking in Human Beings 2012–2016 adopted on 19 June 2012, the Vice-Chair of the European Parliament’s Subcommittee on Human Rights, Metin Kazak, MEP, has brought together international experts in collaboration with the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO) to discuss ‘Contemporary Slavery: Understanding the New Face to an Old Evil’ in one of the first discussions to tackle the breadth of modern day slavery and assess current efforts to combat it.
After the opening remarks of Mr. Kazak, MEP and Andrew Swan (UNPO), Dr. Artwell Cain (Ninsee) placed contemporary slavery in its historical context by drawing parallels and distinctions between legal and illegal slavery, which was expanded by Irene Wintermayr (ILO) into an analysis of different forms of slavery and their victims. Turning to specific case studies, Ulrich Delius (Society for Threatened Peoples), discussed state sanctioned slavery practices in Myanmar and Mauritania, placing particular emphasis on the case of Biram Dah Abeid, president of the ‘Initiative de Résurgence du Mouvement Abolitionniste de Mauritanie’ (IRA).
Donka Petrova (Animus Association Foundation), provided insights into supporting victims of human trafficking in their recovery and reintegration while Virginia Murillo Herrera (UN Trust Fund on Contemporary forms of Slavery) explained how the UN is tackling modern forms of slavery, while Gert Bogers (European Commission) discussed the new EU strategy towards the Eradication of Trafficking in Human Beings. Joanna Ewart-James (Anti-Slavery International) drew attentions to successful campaigns waged against state-sanctioned child labour in Uzbekistan’s cotton harvest, recruitment of child camel jockeys in the UAE and descent-based slavery in Niger.
The conference concluded with consensus on the need for more detailed statistical information and pledges being made to raise awareness of contemporary slavery in Mauritania. The blight of modern day slavery is expected to be the focus of future discussions of the Subcommittee on Human Rights, of which Mr. Kazak is Vice-Chair.
Background information on the conference:
Press release Save the Date click here
Press release click here
Conference programme click here
Press reminder click here
Speaker biographies click here
Briefing note Contemporary Slavery click here
Post-conference Press release click here
Conference Report click here
To watch the introductory remarks by Metin Kazak, MEP and Andrew Swan (UNPO) click here
To watch Dr. Artwell Cain's speech click here
To watch Ulrich Delius' speech click here
To watch Virginia Murillo Herrera's speech click here
To watch Joanna Ewart-James' speech click here
To watch the first Q&A click here