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Current and emerging forms of slavery Report of the Special Rapporteur — UN GENEVA — Human Rights Council 9–27 September 2019

Current and emerging forms of slavery Report of the Special Rapporteur — UN GENEVA — Human Rights Council 9–27 September 2019
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Human Rights Coun­cil 9–27 Sep­tem­ber 2019: Cur­rent and emerg­ing forms of slav­ery Report ENG:

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Intro­duc­tion

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; © 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

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Human Rights Coun­cil 9–27 Sep­tem­ber 2019: Cur­rent and emerg­ing forms of slav­ery Report FR :

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I. Intro­duc­tion

1. Dans son rap­port, soumis en appli­ca­tion de la réso­lu­tion 33/1 du Con­seil des droits de l’homme, la Rap­por­teuse spé­ciale sur les formes con­tem­po­raines d’esclavage, y com­pris leurs caus­es et leurs con­séquences, se penche sur la ques­tion de savoir si les efforts con­sen­tis actuelle­ment pour lut­ter con­tre l’esclavage sont adap­tés et con­stituent une réac­tion effi­cace aux formes d’esclavage con­tem­po­rain large­ment répan­dues aujourd’hui. Elle s’attache égale­ment à les recenser et à les éval­uer pour déter­min­er s’ils peu­vent être suff­isants pour s’attaquer aux formes et aux man­i­fes­ta­tions futures de l’esclavage con­tem­po­rain. Une telle analyse est indis­pens­able pour réalis­er le droit de ne pas être tenu en esclavage d’ici à 2030, délai con­venu par les États Mem­bres dans la cible 8.7 des objec­tifs de développe­ment durable.

2. La Rap­por­teuse spé­ciale s’appuie sur les enseigne­ments tirés de l’exercice du man­dat relatif aux formes con­tem­po­raines d’esclavage1, sur les travaux entre­pris ces six années dernières années avec les États Mem­bres, la société civile et le secteur privé, et sur les répons­es reçues à un appel à contributions2. La Rap­por­teuse spé­ciale tient à remerci­er le Cen­tre de recherche sur les poli­tiques de l’Université des Nations Unies, qui a mené les recherch­es de fond indis­pens­ables à l’élaboration du présent rapport.

3. Le rap­port com­porte trois sec­tions. Pre­mière­ment, la Rap­por­teuse spé­ciale déter­mine quelles sont les per­spec­tives d’évolution de l’esclavage. Elle exam­ine les con­nais­sances sci­en­tifiques actuelles sur les ten­dances en matière de formes con­tem­po­raines d’esclavage et les fac­teurs qui sont à l’origine de ce phénomène, ain­si que la ques­tion de savoir com­ment ceux-ci pour­raient être influ­encées par les évo­lu­tions sociales, tech­nologiques et physiques majeures dans les années à venir. Deux­ième­ment, la Rap­por­teuse spé­ciale se penche sur l’action menée à l’heure actuelle pour lut­ter con­tre l’esclavage et sur l’ampleur et la géo­gra­phie des efforts con­sen­tis aujourd’hui pour lut­ter con­tre les formes con­tem­po­raines d’esclavage, et livre quelques réflex­ions sur cette action, sur ce qui fonc­tionne et sur ce qui fait défaut. Troisième­ment, elle des­sine les con­tours de l’antiesclavagisme de demain, pro­posant à cette égard une approche de la lutte con­tre les formes con­tem­po­raines d’esclavage fondée sur six car­ac­téris­tiques. Ain­si, une telle approche doit être : a) sys­té­ma­tique, en ce sens qu’une action est req­uise à tous les niveaux, aus­si bien des États que des entre­pris­es et des acteurs de la société civile ; b) sci­en­tifique, en ce qu’elle doit s’appuyer sur des mesures dont l’efficacité est établie ; c) stratégique, en ce qu’elle sup­pose l’allocation coor­don­née des ressources disponibles en vue d’atteindre des d’objectifs défi­nis et com­muns ; d) durable, en ce qu’elle doit être liée à l’action visant à réalis­er l’ensemble des objec­tifs du Pro­gramme de développe­ment durable à l’horizon 2030 ; e) inspirée directe­ment par les rescapés et axée sur les vic­times, qui doivent jouer un rôle cen­tral dans la con­cep­tion des inter­ven­tions ; f) intel­li­gente, en ce sens qu’elle devrait tir­er par­ti de la tech­nolo­gie numérique pour inten­si­fi­er les efforts visant à appli­quer les méth­odes effi­caces à plus grande échelle et à adopter de nou­velles approches en matière de financement.

The future of work

9. Vul­ner­a­bil­i­ty to slav­ery is close­ly relat­ed to labour mar­ket reg­u­la­tion and dynam­ics. The unem­ployed and those par­tic­i­pat­ing in part-time employ­ment are at high­er risk of slavery.15 Trends in the future of work and in social pro­tec­tion schemes are thus high­ly rel­e­vant to any under­stand­ing of how slav­ery may change.16

10. Infor­mal­i­ty, includ­ing casu­al­iza­tion, and oth­er forms of pre­car­i­ous­ness in employ­ment are risk fac­tors for vul­ner­a­bil­i­ty to slav­ery. The infor­mal sec­tor is char­ac­ter­ized by low pro­duc­tiv­i­ty and low-skilled jobs with­out sta­ble sources of income.17Today, more than 60 per cent of the world’s employed pop­u­la­tion, includ­ing 56 per cent in G20 economies, are in infor­mal employment.18 In devel­op­ing coun­tries, infor­mal­i­ty accounts for more than 90 per cent of work.19 Yet infor­mal employ­ment looks set to grow, not only due to automa­tion but also due to the rise of dig­i­tal plat­forms for own-account and piece­work – the so-called “gig economy”.20 There is wide­spread evi­dence that work­ers in this type of work, at the end of high­ly inte­grat­ed and volatile sup­ply chains, are often vul­ner­a­ble to exploita­tion. Rigid pur­chas­ing prac­tices that rely exces­sive­ly on short-term con­tracts, short pro­duc­tion win­dows and unfair pay­ment terms are exam­ples of prac­tices that push risk down the sup­ply chain onto the most vul­ner­a­ble indi­vid­u­als – a trend that may be fur­ther exac­er­bat­ed by automation.21

11. If tech­no­log­i­cal and social changes in the world of work are not human-cen­tred and trends towards decent work deficits are not tackled,22 pre­car­i­ous­ness in the labour mar­kets could increase,23 and slav­ery risks will like­ly rise with it. Low­er-skilled jobs will be sus­cep­ti­ble to dis­rup­tion by automa­tion, result­ing in dis­placed work­ers com­pet­ing with oth­er low-skill work­ers for a small­er num­ber of jobs for low­er wages.24 Dis­rup­tions in labour mar­kets will gen­er­ate neg­a­tive income shocks for many house­holds, cre­ate neg­a­tive per­cep­tions of house­hold income and fuel inequal­i­ty, all thought to be key risk fac­tors for slavery.25 At the same time, new jobs will demand high­er skill lev­els and edu­ca­tion­al attain­ment, requir­ing sig­nif­i­cant retrain­ing and invest­ments in education.26

Demo­graph­ic trends and migration

12. Lim­it­ed access to jobs is also a main dri­ver of migra­tion, itself a major source of vul­ner­a­bil­i­ty to slav­ery. And both access to jobs and migra­tion are also like­ly to be sig­nif­i­cant­ly affect­ed by demo­graph­ic trends: 85.6 per cent of the 25.6 mil­lion young peo­ple enter­ing the labour force glob­al­ly by 2030 will be in devel­op­ing and emerg­ing countries.27 The high­est growth is esti­mat­ed to take place in Africa, where 1.3 bil­lion of the esti­mat­ed 2.2 bil­lion peo­ple to be added to the world pop­u­la­tion between 2017 and 2050 live, fol­lowed by Asia and Latin Amer­i­ca and the Caribbean.

13. Migra­tion will like­ly con­tin­ue to increase due to push fac­tors such as con­flict, income inequal­i­ty, lack of eco­nom­ic oppor­tu­ni­ty and cli­mate change, and pull fac­tors such as demand for labour.28 Vul­ner­a­bil­i­ty of migrant work­ers to slav­ery increas­es as they are rel­e­gat­ed to the infor­mal econ­o­my in order to bypass legal routes for work, and are sub­ject­ed to pay­ment of recruit­ment fees and fraud­u­lent prac­tices of labour brokers.29 This leads to low par­tic­i­pa­tion in soci­ety, poor health and lack of a safe­ty net, all dri­vers of slavery.

Eco­nom­ic changes

14. Eco­nom­ic shifts will also impact the geog­ra­phy of slav­ery. Asia, already bur­dened with the high­est absolute preva­lence of slav­ery accord­ing to the Glob­al Esti­mates, is under­go­ing an eco­nom­ic boom that may height­en the risk of slav­ery in cer­tain eco­nom­ic sec­tors, notably con­struc­tion and infra­struc­ture devel­op­ment. Shifts in glob­al con­sump­tion pat­terns and agri­cul­tur­al and com­mod­i­ty sup­ply chains, respond­ing to new sources of demand from emerg­ing economies, may also impact the geo­graph­ic dis­tri­b­u­tion of slav­ery. There may be increas­ing risk in those sec­tors that rely on low-skill, low-pay pro­duc­tion and are high­ly ver­ti­cal­ly inte­grat­ed into volatile and mar­ket-respon­sive glob­al sup­ply chains, includ­ing soy, cat­tle, palm oil, appar­el and electronics.

Envi­ron­men­tal change

15. The geog­ra­phy of con­tem­po­rary forms of slav­ery will also be heav­i­ly impact­ed by cli­mate and envi­ron­men­tal change. Expo­sure to nat­ur­al dis­as­ters is emerg­ing as a pos­si­ble risk fac­tor for and reor­ga­niz­ing force in con­tem­po­rary forms of slav­ery, and cli­mate change will like­ly mul­ti­ply and inten­si­fy nat­ur­al dis­as­ters. In the Asia-Pacif­ic region, already the region with the high­est esti­mat­ed absolute preva­lence of con­tem­po­rary forms of slav­ery and forced labour, the inter­link­age between vul­ner­a­bil­i­ty to exploita­tion and cli­mate change may become more apparent.30

16. By 2050, approx­i­mate­ly 5 bil­lion peo­ple may live in areas where the cli­mate “will exceed his­tor­i­cal bounds of vari­abil­i­ty”, 31 and 143 mil­lion peo­ple in sub-Saha­ran Africa, South Asia and Latin Amer­i­ca will face inter­nal migra­tion due to cli­mate change,32 which will increase vul­ner­a­bil­i­ty for these populations.33 Even with­out nat­ur­al dis­as­ters, the slow- rolling impacts of cli­mate change on pri­ma­ry indus­tries are like­ly to lead to sig­nif­i­cant dis­rup­tions in and reor­ga­ni­za­tions of indus­tries, liveli­hoods and house­holds, test­ing house­hold finan­cial resilience, height­en­ing under­ly­ing vul­ner­a­bil­i­ties and dis­rupt­ing liveli­hoods and social networks.34 Com­pe­ti­tion among pro­duc­ers for dwin­dling resources may encour­age behav­iours that dri­ve down labour and oth­er costs, as we see in South-East Asian fisheries.35 Cli­mate change may also height­en the risk of forced mar­riage, with dowries viewed as a cap­i­tal for­ma­tion adaptation.36

17. There is also evi­dence of covari­ance between the like­li­hood of con­tem­po­rary forms of slav­ery and the like­li­hood of vio­la­tions of envi­ron­men­tal laws and stan­dards, whether in the fish­ing indus­try, in forestry or in agriculture.37 Yet it is impor­tant to rec­og­nize that the causal path­ways involved are com­plex and may not be lin­ear: they may be influ­enced by nation­al- and inter­na­tion­al-lev­el pol­i­cy choices.38

Oth­er emerg­ing trends

18. New tech­nolo­gies are lead­ing to new forms of exploita­tion, such as forc­ing chil­dren to par­tic­i­pate in online sex­u­al exploita­tion. Oth­er new forms of slav­ery may also be emerg­ing. For-prof­it “orphan­ages” risk becom­ing gate­ways into child slav­ery. Chil­dren may be traf­ficked into exploita­tion in these insti­tu­tions or traf­ficked from the insti­tu­tions into exploita­tion in oth­er set­tings, and those who have been through such insti­tu­tions may be more vul­ner­a­ble to slav­ery sub­se­quent­ly. And the antic­i­pat­ed rise of “vol­un­teer tourism”in for­eign orphan­ages may risk stok­ing demand for such traf­ficked children.39

19. There are also dis­turb­ing signs sug­gest­ing that a resur­gence of enslave­ment in armed con­flict con­texts, not only as a method of recruit­ment but increas­ing­ly also as an open tac­tic of ide­o­log­i­cal sub­ju­ga­tion and con­flict financ­ing. The grow­ing trend towards frag­men­ta­tion of armed con­flict sug­gests a weak­en­ing of the estab­lished inter-State norms of war­fare, includ­ing the strong taboo against enslave­ment. From the Syr­i­an Arab Repub­lic to Libya to Nige­ria, there are recent signs that enslave­ment is trans­form­ing from inci­den­tal to also being instru­men­tal to conflict.40 Most com­mon­ly report­ed forms of traf­fick­ing for the pur­pose of exploita­tion in sit­u­a­tions of armed con­flict are sex­u­al slav­ery of women and chil­dren and their abduc­tion for forced mar­riage; recruit­ment of chil­dren into armed groups; and forced labour in dif­fer­ent sec­tors such as agri­cul­ture, the domes­tic sec­tor and extrac­tive indus­tries. The lat­ter may be used to finance oper­a­tions of armed groups or for per­son­al profit.41

20. Con­flict-induced dis­place­ment is at his­toric highs, fur­ther lim­it­ing people’s access to decent work, dis­rupt­ing social net­works and increas­ing their vul­ner­a­bil­i­ty to debt bondage, forced labour, com­mer­cial sex­u­al exploita­tion, child labour and servile forms of mar­riage as a means of sur­vival and coping.42 Addi­tion­al­ly, the increas­ing tar­get­ing and use of schools for mil­i­tary pur­pos­es great­ly height­ens children’s vul­ner­a­bil­i­ty to con­tem­po­rary forms of slav­ery, in par­tic­u­lar child labour and child recruitment.43

21. Final­ly, there will be a height­ened risk of forced and servile mar­riage and sex­u­al slav­ery in soci­eties where there is a per­sis­tent gen­der imbal­ance, a phe­nom­e­non often result­ing from the prac­tice of sex-selec­tive abortion.44 Coun­tries with dis­pro­por­tion­ate gen­der ratios and a grow­ing young, male pop­u­la­tion will gen­er­ate an increased demand for traf­fick­ing of women and girls into servile forms of mar­riage and into com­mer­cial sex­u­al exploita­tion, includ­ing from oth­er coun­tries in their region.45 Addi­tion­al­ly, long-term dis­place­ment will like­ly lead to a rise in the rates of servile forms of mar­riage, in par­tic­u­lar of girls, as a cop­ing mech­a­nism, and may over time increase female par­tic­i­pa­tion in vul­ner­a­ble domes­tic work and forced labour.

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