Anti slavery international annual Supporter Conference

Anti slavery international annual Supporter Conference

Posted: Mon, 22 Nov 2021 10:22

Anti slavery international annual Supporter Conference

Ryan Sherazi the Head of Anti-Slavery International Fundraising and Communication chaired the event, celebrating the work of this organisation which was founded in 1839.

ASI works against forced begging, bonded labour, climate change and slavery, supporting 17,880 people in 21 projects in 10 countries as outlined by Jasmine O, Connor CEO.

COVID has created conditions for slavery in Mali, Niger, and other countries in West Africa, but ASI is supporting five new communities who were born in slavery, setting free Nepalese communities who are in bonded labour.

ASI is supporting the EU Human Rights Due Diligence Law to be introduced from all aspects of the supply chain. More than 380 organisations and companies have joined together to pull out of Uighur enslaved supply chain.

There is a domino effect of climate change driving flooding in Bangladesh and crop failure in Bolivia.

Mrs. F was born in Niger, sold into slavery in Burkina Faso. The West African court of justice found that Niger violated Mrs. F's rights and ordered Niger to compensate her for her slavery.

The Anti Trafficking Monitoring Group is a coalition of 17 UK based anti-trafficking organisations. There are approximately 110,000 victims of slavery in the hospitality sector. Staff of hotels need to be aware of slavery on their premises.

Lucy Watson of ITN chaired the discussion between Fran Witt, Shakirul Islam and Ihshaan Shah.

Fran Witt spoke about climate change and slavery, which creates a vicious cycle of vulnerability, trafficking and slavery. Ghana experiences drought and desertification, eroding the ability to farm. Increased vulnerability results in rural to urban drift, men and women leave. Women also head to the city and become headporters, they would buy the headpan and fall into debt, unable to repay the debt. Debt bondage is a form of bonded labour, they become owned by those who sold them the headpan, living on the streets, in markets, vulnerable to the sex trade.

At COP 26, Anti-Slavery International looked at climate change and migration, working with the International Institute for Environment and Development. Deforestation in the Amazon uses slave labour. Both can be tackled at once.

Shakirul Islam, founding Chair of OKUP Bangladesh (Ovibashi Karmi Unnayan Program). Migrant activist and researcher. He explained that rising water leads to sea water entering farmland, the saline water is destroying farmland and traditional lifestyles. Women and girls sold into sexual slavery. Important to inform and educate people about their rights about migration.

Ishaan Shah, founder of Stolen Dreams and Youth For Freedom Collective

Young people impacted by climate change and slavery, hence the need to write to governments and big companies, buy second hand, buy locally sourced goods, reuse items whenever possible.

Writer: Fr Marco Vilani SDB

Image: Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Tags: Climate Change, Seminar