Eradicate all forms of human exploitation: paper

ABU DHABI, 22nd February, 2015 (WAM) — A UAE paper has said that even as the international community observed the World Day of Social Justice last Friday to highlight the power of global solidarity to aance opportunities for all, it is obvious that there is a long way to go.

“The UN General Assembly proclaimed February 20th as the World Day in 2007, inviting member states to devote the day to promoting national activities in accordance with the objectives and goals of the 1995 World Summit for Social Development, at which leaders pledged to make poverty eradication, full employment and the fostering of social integration overriding objectives of global development,” said The Gulf Today in its editorial on Sunday.

There have been strong calls on the world community to take practical steps to break down the barriers of inequality by doing more to empower individuals through decent work, provide adequate social protection, and ensure that the voices of the poor are heard.

This year’s commemoration focuses on the scourge of human trafficking and the plight of approximately 21 million women, men and children in various forms of modern slavery.

According to the International Labour Organisation, ILO, about 21 million women, men and children are forced to work under inhuman conditions on farms, in sweatshops, on board fishing vessels, in the sex industry or in private homes. Their sweat generates $150 billion in illegal profits annually.

Women and children are particularly at risk of being abducted and sold into slavery in times of violent conflict. Forced labour can also keep entire families in abject poverty for generations.

As ILO officials point out, the economic gap continues to widen, with the richest 10 percent earning 30 to 40 percent of total income while the poorest 10 percent earn between 2 and 7 percent. In 2013, 939 million workers – 26.7 percent of total employment, were still coping on $2 a day or less.

With United Nations member states working to craft a post-2015 agenda and a new set of sustainable development goals, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s call on the international community to build a world of social justice where all people can live and work in freedom, dignity and equality assumes huge significance.

The Sharjah-based daily concluded by saying, “Around the world, there is a rising call to secure a life of dignity for all with equal rights and respect for the diverse voices of the world’s peoples. As Ban put it, “At the core of this movement lies the need for social justice.”