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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Modern Slavery News Round-Up

Human trafficking cases down in Dubai
Human trade cases recorded in Dubai declined by nearly 50 per cent in 2011 and Asian girls were the main victims last year, according to the general administration for human rights in the emirate. The figures showed the emirate handled 16 human trade cases in 2011, involving 48 defendants and 32 female victims. In 2010, 35 cases were recorded, involving 109 defendants and 76 female victims, the department said. “The decline in human trade cases last year was a result of intensified police campaigns against such crimes and the increase in awareness programmes,” the Administration’s director Colonel Mohammed Al Murr told the Dubai-based Arabic language daily Emirat Alyoum.

Three to eight million people work as bonded labour in Pakistan
Activists from human rights organisations held a protest on December 30, 2011 to show solidarity with bonded labour. The protesters were holding placards and banners in front of Karachi Press Club. They were demanding the government to ensure the labourers got their rights.  According to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP), there are more than three to eight million people working as bonded labour in Sindh and Punjab. They claim that these people work for land lords and brick kiln owners because of debt.

California cracks down on global slave labor
A new California law will force retailers and manufacturers to disclose how they guard against slavery and human trafficking throughout their supply chains, ratcheting up scrutiny of some of the largest U.S. corporations.
Beginning 2 January 2012 about 3,200 major companies doing business or based in California, a list that includes Apple and Gap Inc., will be required to disclose steps they take, if any, to ensure their suppliers and partners do not use forced labor.  Companies risk getting sued by the state attorney general if they flout that law. But experts say the real pressure will come from the court of public opinion: consumers who care about ethical working conditions and take an interest in how their favorite brands get made.

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