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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Modern Slavery News Round-Up

New agreement to fight human trafficking
The International Organization for Migration (IOM)and the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime pledge closer cooperation to tackle the issue of modern-day human trafficking last Tuesday in Vienna.  Due to the large number of victims that suffer this problem, the two agencies signed the agreement to ensure borders are better managed.  "It is believed there are between 12 and 27 million victims of trafficking.  This is really something due tot the fact that there are no worldwide mechanisms in place to detect appropriately victims," says Laurence Hart, head of the migrant assistance division of the IOM.  Trafficking is a $32 million/year industry and the agreement also calls for a greater cooperation by businesses to eradicate human slavery.  

Thomas Connors, four sons, a daughter and her husband face charges of forcing others to perform forced labor, while some also face assault allegations, an Irish court was told.  Homeless and other vulnerable men were poorly fed, frequently threatened and forced to work for nothing.  Victims were recruited at homeless shelters, soup-kitchens or taken off the streets.  Physically violence was then threatened and/or used in order to get them to comply and stop demanding promised wages.  The prosecution has urged the press to describe the allegations as forced labor and servitude.  They say that hundreds of men allegedly fell prey to the Connors family.  

Rwanda opens center to rehabilitate former child soldiers
This past weekend, the Rwanda Demobilization and Reintegration Commission inaugurated a new child rehabilitation center for former child soldiers who fled from the Democratic Republic of Congo.  The children, between ages 13 and 18, were forced into war activities and forced labor by the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), a group responsible for the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.  The center will offer psycho-social support, vocational training and help the ex-combatants find their parents.  Rwanda's success story is now a blueprint for the United Nations Security Council campaign to shame other groups that force children into labor and to act as soldiers.  

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