Slavery

As slavery seems to take new forms, it is still, nevertheless, identified by an element of ownership or control over another's life, coercion and the restriction of movement and by the fact that someone is not free to leave or to change an employer.1

The United Nations has assigned a Working Group on Contemporary Forms of Slavery to look at this issue. The modern definition of slavery has been expanded by conventions signed by almost all countries in the world to include trafficking in women and bonded labor. The High Commissioner for Human Rights in his Opening Statement to the Working Group (Geneva, 18 May 1998) stated that "Slavery and its prohibition is enshrined in international treaties and in the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights which the international community is actually commemorating its 50th Anniversary. Article 4 of the Universal Declaration guarantees that 'No one shall be held in slavery or servitude, slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.' But still, slavery is not dead. It continues to be reported in a wide range of forms: traditional chattel slavery, bonded labour, serfdom, child labour, migrant labour, domestic labour, forced labour and slavery for ritual or religious purposes."


1Baltimore Anti-Slavery Society

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