Report of the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery, including its causes and consequences
“In the present report, the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery, including its causes and consequences, Urmila Bhoola, assesses features of slavery today and indicates how expected changes in the future of work, demographics, migration and the environment may shape slavery in the years to come. In a stocktaking and forward-looking exercise, anti-slavery efforts by States, international organizations, civil society and private actors are mapped out, an analysis of effectiveness is provided and gaps that need to be bridged to better tackle emerging forms of slavery are assessed.The Special Rapporteur suggests an integral approach which is grounded in international human rights norms and standards to tackle slavery more effectively. The report is submitted pursuant to Human Rights Council resolution 33/1
1.In her report, submitted in accordance with Human Rights Council resolution 33/1, the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery, including its causes and consequences analyses whether current anti-slavery efforts are fit for purpose to respond effectively to the contemporary forms of slavery which are widespread today. She also identifies and evaluates whether these efforts are likely to be adequate to address future forms and manifestations of contemporary forms of slavery. Such an analysis is essential if the right to be free from slavery is to be achieved by 2030, the time frame agreed by Member States in target 8.7 of the Sustainable Development Goals.
2.The Special Rapporteur draws on lessons learned by the mandate on contemporary forms of slavery1 and from working with Member States, civil society and the private sector over the past six years, as well as responses received following a call for submissions.2 The Special Rapporteur wishes to thank the United Nations University Centre for Policy Research for undertaking the background research for the present report.
3.The report contains three sections. First, the Special Rapporteur considers what can be expected from slavery tomorrow. She examines the current scientific understanding of the patterns and drivers of contemporary forms of slavery and how these are likely to be impacted by major social, technological and physical changes in the years ahead. Second, she examines the anti-slavery agenda of today, looking at the scale and geography of current anti-slavery efforts and offering insights on what is happening, what is working and what is missing. Third, she offers an outlook on the anti-slavery panorama of tomorrow, suggesting an approach to addressing contemporary forms of slavery based on six characteristics. Such an approach must be (a) systematic, in the sense of requiring action at every level, not only by States but also by business and civil society actors; (b) scientific, in that it must be based on evidence of what works; (c) strategic, in that it must involve coordinated allocation of available resources to achieve defined and shared goals; (d) sustainable, in that it must be connected to action to achieve the full suite of elements of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development; (e) survivor-informed and victim-centred, in that it must give victims and survivors a central role in shaping response; and (f) smart, in that it should use digital technology to accelerate efforts to scale up what works and adopt new approaches to financing.
Read the full report here.