Commonwealth countries unite to stamp out human trafficking and child exploitation. A new UK aid package of support will help eradicate human trafficking and child exploitation in the Commonwealth, as more countries commit to take action to help victims and bring perpetrators to justice….reports Asian Lite News
At the Commonwealth Heads of Government meetings being held in London, a further eight countries have already joined the global Call to Action to end Forced Labour, Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking, launched by the Prime Minister at the United Nations last year. Over 50 countries around the world have now endorsed the call to action, including more than a third of the Commonwealth, and more are expected to join during the Summit.
The support, from the Department for International Development and the Home Office, will identify vulnerable people most at risk of child labour and strengthen law enforcement responses in a number of Commonwealth countries to crack down on this horrific crime.
UN experts will determine where child labour is taking place, in what form, and map out where the greatest number of victims are. This work will show where the help can be provided to the most children and develop targeted plans to prevent and stop child labour, including in businesses and supply chains.
They will also focus on communities affected by conflict where there could be a higher risk of exploitation, such as Rohingya families in Bangladesh who have already fled brutal violence and persecution.
The UK will also work in Commonwealth countries such as Sri Lanka and Malawi to build the capacity of police forces and prosecutors to root out human trafficking and rapidly increase the number of convictions to punish the perpetrators.
International Development Secretary, Penny Mordaunt, said: “The UK and the Commonwealth are stepping up to fight one of the greatest injustices of our time – the trafficking and exploitation of vulnerable people by predators.
“UK aid is helping to stamp out these evil practices, by smashing the traffickers’ exploitative business model, helping to punish the perpetrators and supporting vulnerable people and victims – who are all too often women and children – to rebuild their lives so they do not fall back into a cycle of abuse.
“The Commonwealth is uniting to take on this challenge and our renewed commitment to end exploitation of anyone, anywhere, is vital in a world where over 40 million people are still being forced to live in these barbaric conditions.”
Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, said: “Human trafficking, forced labour and child exploitation are cruel and horrendous crimes that no one should suffer.
“The UK is leading the world in tackling this form of abuse through the ground-breaking Modern Slavery Act 2015, which ensures victims are identified and supported and provides law enforcement agencies with the tools they need to bring perpetrators to justice.
“But this is a global problem which requires a global response, which is why all countries must unite to end this to make these brutal crimes a thing of the past. The UK continues to work with our Commonwealth neighbours to strengthen their response to human trafficking and child exploitation. The funding announced today will play a vital role in helping these countries identify and support the most vulnerable people in their communities, while supporting law enforcement to bring offenders to justice.”
The UK is already working closely with Commonwealth countries to end the exploitation of men, women and children.
Forced labour and trafficking affects an estimated 40 million people and thrives on desperation, discrimination and inequality in every country of the globe. Women and girls are particularly vulnerable and constitute 71% of all victims – such as in forced labour in the garment sector, sexual exploitation and domestic servitude. The UK’s work is enabling girls and women to make informed choices about their lives, including through access to skills and education.