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Chapter 9 Contemporary human rights issues. Human trafficking refers to the commercial trade or trafficking in human beings for the purpose of some form.

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter 9 Contemporary human rights issues. Human trafficking refers to the commercial trade or trafficking in human beings for the purpose of some form."— Presentation transcript:

1 Chapter 9 Contemporary human rights issues

2 Human trafficking refers to the commercial trade or trafficking in human beings for the purpose of some form of slavery, usually recruiting, transporting or obtaining a person by force, coercion or deceptive means. Issue 1: Human trafficking and slavery

3 International treaties and work by the international community resulted in the prohibition and abolition of slavery worldwide by the end of the 20 th Century. Today, every country has laws officially abolishing slavery and has undertaken to end the practice within their own borders. However, illegal slavery is still a problem in many countries around the world. Contemporary slavery

4 Contemporary slavery refers to a form of forced or bonded labour, with or without pay. Different forms include: forced labour – work performed under the threat of a penalty or harm which the person has not voluntarily submitted to debt bondage – where a person is forced to repay a loan with labour instead of money, at an undervalued rate or without limited duration. Contemporary slavery

5 –Sexual slavery – repeated violation or sexual abuse, or forcing of a victim to provide sexual services; forced prostitution. –Child soldiers – children participating in armed conflicts. –Forced marriage – where one or both parties is married against their will, often on promise of payment of money or goods. Contemporary slavery

6 Many victims are forced into slavery by way of human trafficking, for example by: recruiting or transporting a person for forced labour or debt bondage providing or obtaining a person for forced labour or debt bondage by use of force, fraud or coercion trafficking people for sexual slavery. Human trafficking and slavery

7 Human trafficking must be distinguished from people smuggling, where a person voluntarily pays a fee for the smuggler’s service, not necessarily by deception, and where the person is allowed free when they reach their destination. Human trafficking and slavery

8 The extent is difficult to estimate, but the Australian Government estimates between 700 000 to 4 million people are trafficked across international borders annually. But millions more are trafficked or in forced labour within their own country, which can be especially difficult to detect. Extent of human trafficking

9 It is a global problem involving people of diverse nationalities trafficked in many countries, including developed and developing countries. Illicit profits from human trafficking worldwide may be as high as $92 billion, second only to drug trafficking. Extent of human trafficking

10 The Slavery Convention of 1926 and the Supplementary Convention on the Abolition of Slavery of 1956 clarified and expanded the definition of slavery. The treaties provided for official abolishment of slavery but did not address issues of illicit slavery and human trafficking. In 2000 the UN General Assembly adopted the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children. Legal responses to human trafficking

11 The Protocol entered into force in 2003 and: was the first legally binding instrument with an agreed definition on human trafficking provided an umbrella of overall protection, with a regime for protection, prosecution and prevention. International legal responses

12 The Protocol: was designed for member states to enact into the most appropriate domestic laws improved global awareness, more uniform national laws, cross-border cooperation, investigation and prosecution 137 member states are implementing the Protocol, but some still lack sufficient resources or political will. International legal responses

13 Australia has dedicated over $60 million to the problem of human trafficking since 2003, and launched a renewed campaign in 2008. The strategy addresses all areas from recruitment to reintegration, but particularly prevention, investigation, prosecution, victim support and regional cooperation. Domestic legal responses

14 Australia’s slavery and human trafficking provisions are found in Divisions 270 and 271 of the Commonwealth Criminal Code. Australia has made a number of successful prosecutions in human trafficking cases – for example, the case of Wei Tang. Domestic legal responses

15 The UN has established a Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking (UN.GIFT): –it aims to mobilise non-state actors on human trafficking –increase awareness about human trafficking –assist NGOs in anti-trafficking campaigns –reduce the demand for exploitation and ensure support for victims who have escaped. The International Labour Organisation (ILO). Various NGOs, for example Anti-Slavery International. Non-legal international responses

16 The US monitors and reports on the issue of human trafficking, and has become a centre of activity, including production of the annual Trafficking in Persons Report. In Australia, a number of NGOs are active in the area of human trafficking and slavery. Non-legal domestic responses

17 Films, books and documentaries have been important in raising awareness of the issues. Australian universities are also active in researching and reporting on the issues. Non-legal domestic responses

18 The main issues contributing to human trafficking and slavery have been identified as: limited resources or effectiveness of developing states to combat human trafficking socio-political and economic factors that encourage exploitation and inhibit action against it. Effectiveness of responses

19 The annual Trafficking in Persons Report lists Australia as a Tier 1 best practice country, but identifies a number of areas where improvements can be made. Effectiveness of responses

20 Article 25 of the UDHR recognises that children are “entitled to special care and assistance.” The UN’s 1959 Declaration of the Rights of the Child expanded on this. Issue 2: Child soldiers

21 Despite significant progress, many children across the world today are still denied basic human rights or have those rights violated. In some countries, children are even recruited into armed forces as ‘child soldiers’. Issue 2: Child soldiers

22 Children have been involved in military campaigns in many cultures throughout history. In the 20th century, international campaigns were undertaken to stop the practice. Use of children in armed conflict is often considered a form of contemporary slavery or human trafficking. Defining the issue

23 Children in armed conflict may be exposed to high levels of danger or abuse and significant psychological trauma. They may be targeted because they may be seen as free and expendable labour, or easier to exploit, abduct or manipulate. Defining the issue

24 Use of child soldiers can take three main forms: direct involvement in armed conflict, e.g. taking part in fighting and armed with a weapon indirect involvement, e.g. support roles like messengers, scouts, cooks, porters, servants, laying or clear land mines or as sexual slaves use for particular advantage, such as propaganda or as human shields. Defining the issue

25 UN and NGO reports estimate the number of children serving in armed conflicts at between 200 000 and 300 000. Conflicts are as wide apart as Africa, Asia, the Middle East and South America. It can involve both boys and girls. The majority are between 15 to 18 years old, but in some cases as young as seven years old. Extent of the issue

26 Hundreds of thousands of children have fought and died in conflicts around the world over the last decade. Where children do manage to escape, the physical and psychological scarring, and stigmatisation in their former communities, makes reintegration very difficult. Extent of the issue

27 Many countries around the world also continue to officially recruit under-18s into government armed forces. Developed countries such as Australia or the US still allow voluntary recruitment of 17-year-olds into the army. Extent of the issue

28 Use of child soldiers has throughout history been condemned by groups as morally or ethically wrong, but it is only relatively recently that international efforts have tried to end the practice. Reponses to the issue of child soldiers

29 In 1977, the Additional Protocols to the Geneva Conventions recognised the problem of child soldiers. The Geneva Conventions set a minimum age for recruitment or use in armed conflict at 15 years old. Today, this is considered international law and cannot be violated anywhere in the world. Legal responses

30 UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989): –restates the minimum age of recruitment at 15 –discourages recruitment under 18 years old –requires minimisation of harm to children during armed conflicts. Legal responses

31 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (1998): –lists recruitment of under-15-years-olds as a war crime –has enabled prosecution of war criminals for use of child soldiers, for example the case of Thomas Lubanga Dyilo. Worst Forms of Child Labor Convention (1999) – prohibits the forced or compulsory recruitment of children under 18. Legal responses

32 Optional Protocol to the Rights of the Child on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict (2000): –sets the minimum age for compulsory recruitment or direct participation in hostilities at 18 years old –raises the absolute minimum voluntary recruitment age to 16. Many countries, like Australia, signed the Optional Protocol with reservations, because the Australian Defence Force still permits voluntary recruitment at 17 years old. Legal responses

33 The Commonwealth Criminal Code makes the use, conscription or enlistment of child soldiers under 18 years old a crime. However, rules for the Australian Defence Force are different: –for national forces, it is only a crime if the child is under 15 –for compulsory conscription, the minimum age is 18 –for voluntary recruitment, the minimum age is 17, and in 2007 there were approximately 500 under-18s serving in the ADF –young applicants can start to apply at 16½, and children as young as 10 can register their interest online. The ADF Ombudsman has recommended reviewing the age of recruitment; however, the Defence Department has rejected this. Domestic responses

34 The UN plays an important role in monitoring the use of child soldiers around the world, in particular through the ILO and the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF). NGOs such as the Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers conduct important work in monitoring and reporting on the issue, educating the public and lobbying government and international organisations to take action. Non-legal responses – international

35 There are also many domestic NGOs that work in the area of children’s rights and child soldiers, for example by assisting to rehabilitate former child soldiers. ‘Red Hand Day’, on 12 February every year, has developed worldwide to enable local groups, individuals, schools and other institutions to take part in a global effort to raise awareness on children in armed conflict. Media, books, documentaries and films (eg 2006 movie Blood Diamond) also help raise awareness of the issues. Non-legal responses – domestic

36 “Ultimately, if the international community is to make good its promise to protect children from military exploitation, the level of political will, the amount of human and financial resources, the adherence to established best practice and the quantity as well as the quality of collaborative effort and imaginative endeavour must all be multiplied.” 2008 Global Report, Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers Effectiveness of responses

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