Modern-day slavery is everywhere: from the cotton farms of Uzbekistan, to domestic workers in Mauritania and cattle ranches in Paraguay; from the fisheries in the Philippines, to the World Cup construction sites in Qatar. The production chain of the clothes you wear, the food you eat, the World Cup that you'll watch on TV is hiding a harsh reality for millions of workers.
Half of the 10 worst countries for workers in the 2015 Global Rights Index have a structural problem of forced labour in their economy. Estimates of workers in modern slavery have consistently risen over the last decades, today ranging from an alarming 21 million to 36 million.
The international community is clearly not equipped to effectively address modern slavery. In 2014, governments adopted a new global treaty to end modern slavery. The protocol offers a framework to effectively eradicate forced labour, including human trafficking and slavery-like practices, through a combination of measures for prevention, protection and remedy. It calls for protection against abusive recruitment of migrant workers and is the first binding treaty that calls for due diligence by companies to prevent and respond to risks of forced labour in their operations and supply chains.
Without broad ratification, the protocol will remain a paper tiger. Unless individual governments ratify, their commitment from 2014 is false and the numbers of modern slaves will keep rising.
Don’t let that happen. Help ensure that this historic and unique opportunity to end modern slavery does not go to waste.
Call on your minister of labour to ratify the protocol now!
Update: Mauritania, Niger, Norway and the United Kingdom have ratified the protocol.