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International Day against the Use of Child Soldiers – 12 February

End Violence Against Children

One in every six children live in conflict zones. Each day these children must navigate extreme risks of violence, psychological trauma, abduction, and abuse.
 
And thousands of these children are caught in the eye of storm each year, recruited and used as soldiers in armed conflicts across the world. Between 2005 and 2020, more than 93,000 children were recruited and used by armed groups. 8,500 of these cases were reported to authorities in 2020 alone, and the actual number of cases is believed to be much higher.
 
On 12 February, Red Hand Day is catalysing advocacy efforts from around the world to raise awareness about children recruited for armed conflict. Civil society, governments and international organisations are coming together to demand that children not be used in armed groups or other military units and to promote peace, aid and support for child soldiers.

No child should be a soldier in combat

Children in combat is more than just a child holding a weapon. Those recruited are forced into hardorzous child labour, hired as spies or looters, and forced to kill. Recruited children are often taken in by force, abduction, or even compelled by families for income and food. 

There is risk of abuse and sexual violence, especially for girls. Trafficking of children, particularly for sexual exploitation which disproportionately affects young girls and women, has been found in all conflict areas across the world.

Since 2002, the UN has instated the Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict in the Convention of the Rights of the Child. Ratified by 172 countries, it states the commitment that children under the age of 18 should not participate in military organisations of any kind and that recruitment for such purposes must be actively prevented. Yet, the UN’s 2021 report on Children and Armed Conflict notes that at least 15 countries have cases of recruitment and use of children in settings that need humanitarian assistance.

 

Source: Text & Image: https://www.end-violence.org/articles/red-hand-day

World Day of Prayer, Reflection and Action Against Human Trafficking – 8 February

Time to end slavery

Pope Francis has declared the feast of St Josephine Bakhita, which is celebrated each year on 8th February to be the World Day of Prayer, Reflection and Action Against Human Trafficking.

St Josephine Bakhita is the patron saint of victims of slavery and of Sudan. Australians are being urged to work together, through grass roots action and corporate governance, to end slavery around the world. (…)

It is estimated that millions of women, girls, men and boys are trafficked annually into domestic servitude, sexual exploitation, pornography production, forced marriage and forced labour.

“These forms of exploitation flourish because of society’s greed for cheap goods and services and because it is easy to forget that those who meet these needs are human beings with their own innate God-given dignity,” the Bishop of Parramatta, Vincent Long Van Nguyen, wrote.
 

Source: Text: www.cathnews.com   Image: www.renate-europe.com

International Day for the Abolition of Slavery – 2 December

Slavery is not merely a historical relic. According to the  International Labour Organisation (ILO) more than 40 million people worldwide are victims of modern slavery. Although modern slavery is not defined in law, it is used as an umbrella term covering practices such as forced labour, debt bondage, forced marriage, and human trafficking. Essentially, it refers to situations of exploitation that a person cannot refuse or leave because of threats, violence, coercion, deception, and/or abuse of power.

In addition, more than 150 million children are subject to child labour, accounting for almost one in ten children around the world.

Facts and figures:

An estimated 40.3 million people are in modern slavery, including 24.9 in forced labour and 15.4 million in forced marriage.

There are 5.4 victims of modern slavery for every 1,000 people in the world.

1 in 4 victims of modern slavery are children.

Out of the 24.9 million people trapped in forced labour, 16 million people are exploited in the private sector such as domestic work, construction or agriculture; 4.8 million people in forced sexual exploitation, and 4 million people in forced labour imposed by state authorities.

Women and girls are disproportionately affected by forced labour, accounting for 99% of victims in the commercial sex industry, and 58% in other sectors.

ILO has adopted a new legally binding Protocol designed to strengthen global efforts to eliminate forced labour, which entered into force in November 2016.

The 50 for Freedom campaign aims to persuade at least 50 countries to ratify the Forced Labour Protocol by 2018.

Source: Text: UN Image: Ecpat.UK

International Day for the Abolition of Slavery – 2 December

The International Day for the Abolition of Slavery, 2 December, marks the date of the adoption, by the General Assembly, of the United Nations Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others (resolution 317(IV) of 2 December 1949).

The focus of this day is on eradicating contemporary forms of slavery, such as trafficking in persons, sexual exploitation, the worst forms of child labour, forced marriage, and the forced recruitment of children for use in armed conflict.50forfreedom

According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), there are currently an estimated 21 million forced labour victims worldwide, creating US$ 150 billion in illegal profits in the private economy each year.

ILO has adopted a new legally binding Protocol designed to strengthen global efforts to eliminate forced labour, which entered into force in November 2016.

The 50 for Freedom campaign aims to persuade at least 50 countries to ratify the Forced Labour Protocol by 2018.

Source: Text & Image: UN

World Day against Trafficking in Persons – 30 July

trafficking-protest« Human traffickers prey on the most desperate and vulnerable. To end this inhumane practice, we must do more to shield migrants and refugees — and particularly young people, women and children – from those who would exploit their yearnings for a better, safer and more dignified future. » Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Human trafficking is a crime that exploits women, children and men for numerous purposes including forced labour and sex. The International Labour Organization estimates that 21 million people are victims of forced labour globally. This estimate also includes victims of human trafficking for labour and sexual exploitation. While it is not known how many of these victims were trafficked, the estimate implies that currently, there are millions of trafficking in persons victims in the world.

Every country in the world is affected by human trafficking, whether as a country of origin, transit or destination for victims. The link between the refugee and migration crisis and trafficking in persons was highlighted at this year’s observance of the day by the UN Office for Drugs and Crime.

Source: Text: UN  Photo: OHCHR A demonstration against human trafficking

World Day of the Fight Against Sexual Exploitation – 4 March

sex exploit www.dreamstime.comEvery year since 2009, 4th March has been designated as World Day of the Fight Against Sexual Exploitation. Although there are exceptions, sexual exploitation overwhelmingly involves women and children, and it is a problem of worldwide proportions.

It has been estimated that every second of the day an average of eight women, girls and often young boys, are trapped by international criminal networks where the sole aim is to sexually exploit them, traffic them and enslave them. This process obviously robs them of their basic human rights, including their right to freedom, their dignity, their right to live where they choose and the right to control their own bodies.

Although the problem is a worldwide one, some places are more vulnerable than others. These include areas in Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe and some Latin American and Caribbean countries. Trafficked women from these areas are generally taken to destination countries in the so-called developed world for the purposes of prostitution. Although older teenage girls can be involved in this traffic, younger girls and boys who are involved in sexual exploitation will generally stay close to their region of origin.

UNICEF estimates that more than 3 million children worldwide are affected by prostitution and that children make up more than a third of all sex workers in Asia. (…)

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) estimates that nearly a million people are trafficked every year for purposes of sexual exploitation. Although 98% are women and girls, this number also includes a significant number of boys and young men. The major international crimes are trafficking in drugs and weapons, but sexual trafficking follows closely behind and is now a highly lucrative international criminal industry.

According to the ILO, human trafficking for sexual exploitation makes between US$ 7 billion and $12 billion a year on the initial « sale ». However, once the victims of trafficking arrive in the destination country and are exploited, a further US$32 billion will be generated by the « industry ».

See more at: http://www.earthtimes.org/politics/world-day-fight-against-sexual-exploitation/2289/#sthash.kowtrjUw.dpuf
Source: Image: www.dreamstime.com

International Day for the Abolition of Slavery – December 2

slavery-abolition-unThe United Nations is committed to fighting against slavery and considers bonded labour, forced labour, the worst forms of child labour and trafficking people as modern forms of slavery.

Some sources say that more than one million children are trafficked each year for cheap labour or sexual exploitation.

These types of slavery are global problems and go against article four of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states that “no one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms”.