NASSAU, BAHAMAS — On the occasion of the 35th International Day for the Abolition of Slavery, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday pledged to work with international organizations to end modern-day slavery.
“Despite the fact that slavery was abolished hundreds of years ago,” the ministry acknowledged in a statement, “there continue to be widespread conditions of modern slavery. According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), more than 40 million people worldwide are victims of modern slavery.
“Modern slavery covers conditions such as forced labor, forced marriages, human trafficking, exploitation, coercion, and abuse. The ILO also estimates that more than 150 million children are subject to child labor, accounting for almost one in ten children around the world.
“Furthermore, women and girls are disproportionately affected by forced labor, accounting for 99 percent of victims in the commercial sex industry, and 58 percent in other sectors.
“The Bahamas’ Constitution guarantees protection from slavery and forced labor, and states, ‘No person shall be held in slavery or servitude,’ and ‘No person shall be required to perform forced labor.’
“The Bahamas…will use our voice in international organizations and bodies such as the UN (United Nations), the ILO and the Human Rights Council to denounce slavery in all its forms, and we will continue to work with all countries of the world to demand its abolition.”
The International Day for the Abolition of Slavery is globally recognized on December 2. It was established by the UN in 1986 with the aim of raising awareness of and fighting against modern-day slavery.