UNITED NATIONS: Annan marks international slavery day 1998.12.3

UNITED NATIONS: Annan marks international slavery day 1998.12.3

UNITED NATIONS: Slavery still world problem, Annan says

Although slavery was one of the first human rights issues to arouse widespread international concern, slavery-like practices remain a grave and persistent global problem, Secretary-General Kofi Annan said on Wednesday. In his message on the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery, reported in a UN press briefing, the Secretary-General pointed out that slavery included not only the slave trade, but also such human rights violations as bonded labour, trafficking in women and the forced conscription of children into military service. While those abuses were often clandestine and thus difficult to identify, there was enough evidence to show that violations are vast and widespread. The Secretary-General stressed that governments bear the primary responsibility for eradicating contemporary forms of slavery. But he also pointed out that long experience had shown that official action is not enough by itself. Therefore, civil society must "do what it does best: pressing governments to pass and enforce legislation; conducting consumer campaigns where appropriate; and raising public awareness." The United Nations, for its part offers mechanisms for monitoring State compliance and channels for receiving complaints of violations, the Secretary-General observed. "Let us, on this International Day, resolve to build societies in which slavery, in all its modern or age-old manifestations, is no longer tolerated."

Date: Thu, 3 Dec 1998 11:50:16 +0000 (GMT) From: UN IRIN - West Africa <> Subject: UNITED NATIONS: Annan marks international slavery day 1998.12.3

Editor: Ali B. Ali-Dinar

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