News/UN: Message for International Day for Abolition Notes Legal

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Subject: News/UN: Message for International Day for Abolition Notes Legal
From: Melanie Orhant (morhant@igc.org)
Date: Thu Dec 02 1999 - 09:14:16 EST


         SECRETARY-GENERAL SAYS PERSISTENCE OF SLAVERY, IN ...

OTC 12-1-99 8:23 PM

 Dec 01, 1999, (INTERNET WIRE via COMTEX) -- Message for International Day
for Abolition Notes Legal Texts, Declares Eradication in All States Vital
Goal for New Millennium
   This is the text of a message from Secretary-General Kofi Annan to mark
the observance of the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery, 2
December 1999:
   The twentieth century has been a century of progress in almost every
area of human rights. This makes the persistence of slavery in today's
world even more egregious. Even as laws banning slavery and its
prohibition are enshrined in international instruments, notably the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights, it is still practised in many
forms: traditional chattel slavery, bonded labour, serfdom, child labour,
migrant labour, domestic labour, forced labour and slavery for ritual or
religious purposes.
   This is not a time for complacency in the fight against slavery, but a
time for action. States which have not yet ratified the principal
international conventions against slavery shall not assume that slavery in
all its forms has been abolished and that there is no need to take steps
to accede to these conventions. Similarly, States which ratified them in
the past shall not assume there is no longer any need for new laws or
measures to ensure that the conventions are implemented.
   In reality, there is an urgent need for laws and action to ensure that
new forms of exploitation and oppression are not allowed to occur, and
that old forms of slavery are eradicated, once and for all.
   Trafficking and related practices such as debt bondage, forced
prostitution and forced labour are violations of the most basic of human
rights. The right to life; the right to dignity and security; the right to
just and favourable conditions of work; the right to health; and the right
to equality. These are rights that we all possess - irrespective of our
gender, our nationality, our social status, our occupation.
   Men, women and children are not property but human beings. The
international community should declare, loudly and more strongly than
ever, that we are all members of the human family. Slavery simply has no
place in a world of human rights. As we enter a new century and a new
millennium, eradicating slavery is a goal we can and must reach.
          Copyright 1999 Internet Wire, All rights reserved.

   -0-
    Copyright 1999

Melanie Orhant

morhant@igc.org
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