16 September 2011


A recent UN sponsored exhibition in Geneva highlighted the incidence of slavery like situations that still exist today affecting an estimated 27 million people.

Persistent modern-day slavery covers a variety of human rights violations and includes the practices of child labor, bonded labor, serfdom, servile marriage, trafficking in persons (especially women and children), and the exploitation of domestic and migrant labor. Such slavery-like practices remain clandestine in nature and, in certain cases, accepted as a part of society, making them difficult to root out and eliminate.

Public ignorance has contributed to governmental and international inaction to abolish such forms of slavery. The problem is compounded by the fact that, worldwide, victims of contemporary slavery are characterized by their poverty and vulnerability.

In Australia ACRATH (Australian Catholic Religious Against Trafficking) have been active in lobbying Australian Parliamentarians about their concerns for people who are trafficked to Australia. These concerns focused both on the well-being of those trafficked and of prevention strategies in regard to the problem. At least two Christian Brothers are active members of ACRATH.

In Kenya the Edmund Rice Justice and Advocacy group has recently organised an essay writing competition in Nairobi schools to raise awareness about child labour, whilst in the US the Christian Brothers continue to have an outreach to migrant workers and contributed to a submission as part of the UPR of the United States at the UN Human Rights Council.

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