CAA’s Articulate – 54 nations not doing enough to fight slavery


Context:

  • A report titled ‘Eradicating modern slavery’ was released by Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative and Walk Free foundation on World Day against Trafficking in persons.

Findings of report:

  • It showed light on the condition of modern slavery in the Commonwealth countries.
  • As per the report the countries comprises 40% of the total people living in conditions of modern slavery.
    • Modern forms of slavery can include –
      • Debt bondage, where a person is forced to work for free to pay off a debt,
      • Child slavery, forced marriage, domestic servitude and forced labour, where victims are made to work through violence and intimidation.
  • Further 54 nations were found lacking in actions to eradicate modern slavery by 2030.
  • Around 1/3rd commonwealth countries have criminalised forced marriage while 23 had not criminalised commercial sexual exploitation of children.
  • India performed poorly in tackling slavery as it has no National Coordinating body or National Action plan in place.

Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative:

  • It is an independent, non-profit, non-partisan, international non-governmental organisation working in the area of human rights.
  • In 1987, several Commonwealth professional associations founded CHRI.
  • Through its reports, research and advocacy, CHRI draws attention to the progress and setbacks to human rights in Commonwealth countries.
  • It is headquartered in New Delhi, India, with offices in London, UK and Accra, Ghana.
  • CHRI’s work is split into two core themes:
    • Access to Information and Access to Justice, which includes Prison Reform, Police Reform, and advocacy on media rights and the South Asia Media Defenders Network (SAMDEN).

Commonwealth of Nations:

  • It is a political association of 54 member states, nearly all former territories of the British Empire.
  • The chief institutions of the organisation are the Commonwealth Secretariat, which focuses on intergovernmental aspects, and the Commonwealth Foundation, which focuses on non-governmental relations between member states.
  • The Commonwealth dates back to the first half of the 20th century with the decolonisation of the British Empire through increased self-governance of its territories.
  • It was originally created as the British Commonwealth of Nations through the Balfour Declaration at the 1926 Imperial Conference, and formalised by the United Kingdom through the Statute of Westminster in 1931.
  • The current Commonwealth of Nations was formally constituted by the London Declaration in 1949, which modernised the community and established the member states as “free and equal”.
  • The human symbol of this free association is the Head of the Commonwealth, currently Queen Elizabeth II; the 2018 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting appointed Charles, Prince of Wales to be her designated successor, although the position is not hereditary.
  • Member states have no legal obligations to one another, but are connected through their use of the English language and historical ties.
  • Their stated shared values of democracy, human rights and the rule of law are enshrined in the Commonwealth Charter and promoted by the quadrennial Commonwealth Games.
  • It covers 1/3rd of Global population and 20% of the world area.