CHRI delivers an oral statement on Contemporary Forms of Slavery at The 45th Regular Session Of The UN Human Rights Council
16 September 2020, Geneva: CHRI delivered a video oral statement in the Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery, including its causes and consequences (Agenda Item 3) at the 45th Regular Session of the UN Human Rights Council. CHRI was amongst the ten civil society organisations that made a video or an in-person intervention during the interactive dialogue, following the presentation by Special Rapporteur, Tomoya Obokata, of his report addressing the impact of the coronavirus disease pandemic on contemporary forms of slavery and slavery-like practices .
The statement, delivered by Mr. Richard Hydes, supported the focus of the Special Rapporteur's report on the most vulnerable groups -- including informal and migrant workers -- who lack adequate protections and are at an increased risk of exploitation due to the economic impact of the pandemic. CHRI urged States to ensure that labour protections extend to these vulnerable groups both in legislation and implementation. It highlighted that only seven per cent of the Commonwealth countries have modern slavery checks in public procurement, and none require businesses to undertake mandatory due diligence to assess modern slavery risks, while calling on States to strengthen laws and policies applicable to supply chains. It raised concerns that COVID-19 has exacerbated existing vulnerabilities in the context of contemporary forms of slavery and in the absence of timely action, it threatens to erase the progress made towards achieving SDG Target 8.7.
You can read the statement here and watch the video below: