Key Terms in Article 4
Slavery Convention of 1926 gave an explicit definition of slavery as the state of a being, over which any or all of the supremacy of attaching to right of possession is practiced. Slavery encompasses forced and bonded labor. Slavery is regarded as one of the worst form of child labor and the trafficking of human beings.
Human trafficking is the modern form of slavery. Human trafficking refers to the recruitment, transport or the receipt of persons, in the aid of trickery or threats. The major goal of traffickers is exploiting these persons in the end. An individual is transported from one place to another place where he/she is under the control of people who are more powerful than him (Alcock 35). Sometimes, the individuals may voluntary accept to go to such places since they may not know what is underlying the deal. Some of these people are cheated and sometimes money may lure them. However, at times, the traffickers may use threats and coercion. In certain situations, the victims may even get the legal qualifications to enter officially the countries where they end up facing these challenges. The major exploitations the traffickers expose their prey to, in the modern world, include exploitation of prostitution or any other form of sexual exploitation, they a may also subject the victims to forced labor, removal of organs and servitude.
An individual is said to have been subjected to forced labor in case he/she does not voluntary consent to carry out a task but instead performs a task due to coercion they are subjected to, either by using physical or psychology threats. Forced labor is all forms of work or services that are exacted from any individual in the society under the threat of any punishment and for which such an has not offered himself of hi/her accord. Forced labor encompasses threats or actual physical harm to the workforce. Workers are also confined to their area of work. Debt bondage is also another form of forced labor. Sometimes, there may be excessive wage reduction besides or withholding of the salaries of workers.
Servitude combines both forced labor and confinement. In servitude, a person is forcefully working for another person, and he is also forced to stay on the premises of another person. The victim always lacks the avenue to express their grief, and they always lack the ability to change the situation.
Despite the fact that slavery together with slave trade was brought to an end very many years ago, modern slavery is still experienced by most of the workers, especially migrants. Often, these migrants are subjected to compulsory work with very little remuneration or sometimes they are not paid anything at all. The migrants may also be prevented from escaping from such harassment. However, the prevention on holding an individual into slavery or rather servitude will remain absolute, and it’s not worth justifying under any circumstance. Lawful work required of prisoners or military services are, however, not included in the ban on entailing an individual to carry out forced or obligatory labor (Baik 91). Other forms of labor that are also excluded are work required in times of urgent situation or service that constitutes a section of normal or civil compulsions.
It is an obligation of each and every state to ensure that there are laws put in place to ensure that people are given protection over slavery, servitude, and forced labor. The government is thus, charged with the duty of enacting such laws as anti-trafficking legislation. The governments can also make these acts to be treated as an offense. Furthermore, the governments are also mandated to ensure that laws are placed to protect the victims of rather prospective victims showcased in Article 4 ill-treatment and instantaneous risks that should be recognized by the authorities. Moreover, the states are also obliged to look into any allegations of slavery, servitude or forced labor. Article 4 thus gives a state a mandate to refrain from subjecting their citizens from slavery, servitude, and forced labor.
The states should have comprehensive legislative and administrative frameworks that have the capacity of putting this law into action. States need to ensure that they investigate any allegations of such crimes in the society. The UK has had slavery in its territory for a long period. Currently, the UK government has a new and relatively stronger legal framework whose aim is to curb slavery and forced labor in all their forms. The UN declaration on human rights advocates for liberty. Violating article four would mean you are going to people liberty.
The Key Issues Addressed in Article 4
1. The authorities will sometimes fail to identify victims of trafficking. Unidentified victims remain unsupported.
Contemporary slavery and servitude have taken different forms. Human trafficking is the emerging form of slavery in the world. Very many activities surround human trafficking. For instance, coercive recruitment, compulsory transfer of people, so as to exploit these individuals, is some of the common forms of contemporary slavery and servitude. The common exploitations people are subjected to are prostitution and forced labor. Governments of any state have the responsibility of taking care of anybody within its boundaries. The states, thus, are mandated to have effective legislative besides administrative measures so as to identify and protect people who are trafficked and are subjected these types of exploitations. Article 4 gives every member of the society to be protected from these exploitations. Therefore, everyone has a right to be protected and to be helped out from the exploitative situations and the government should, in turn, give access to offer support to anybody exploited.
Common cases include:
• The authorities may time fail to identify some of the victims of trafficking, forced labor, and domestic servitude. To make matters worse, there exists inadequate data that could be used to investigate effectively these concerns.
• The authorities may fail to give adequate protection to the children victims since they may fail to identify the victims.
• Poor assessment of children makes may hinder them from getting support. Some trafficked children may be assessed as adults.
• In cases where the situation is not brought to the attention of the authorities, the victims of trafficking may be criminalized. Sometimes these victims are set to the immigration detention centers
2. Some migrant workforce remains susceptible to forced labor
Article 4 offers protection to of all workforces from any form of forced labor. Article 4 majorly concerns with the welfare of the migrant workers who are more susceptible to the exploitation. The state has the obligation of protecting these workers from exploitation. The states should also investigate this form of exploitation. However, evidently, there are still traces of forced labor, in particular, sectors. At the same time, the measures that the government has put in place to curb these problems are not adequate to fully protect the migrant workers from such exploitations (Baik 97).
3. Migrant domestic workers remain susceptible to breach of Article 4
The major part of the population that is more vulnerable to such exploitations –is the migrant domestic worker. The state must ensure that rights of these persons are not violated. Therefore, the state has the responsibility to prosecute contentions of forced labor in domestic servitude. Some of the frontline agencies do not have adequate knowledge about domestic slavery; that can lead to their failure to probe allegations that thwarts protection to the domestic workers. Moreover, the visas for diplomats’ domestic workers make these workers more susceptible to slavery, trafficking, and forced labor. These workers are also likely to access little justice as compared to other members of the society.
4. Conviction for slavery, trafficking, and forced labor are difficult
To evaluate whether the laws against slavery, trafficking and forced labor efficient enough to protect the victims, it is in good to have a general picture of the number of prosecutions. There is no availability of a good number of prosecutions and convictions for slavery, trafficking, and forced labor. Moreover, there exists the danger of the new Coroners Justice Act (CJA) of 2009 that does not prevent criminal or facilitate decisive action.
The Lord’s Resistance Army guerillas, a militia group in the Northern region of Sudan, have recruited almost twenty thousand children in the past twenty-two years. These young people are forced to serve the army in ambushing the government. Some of these young children are also subjected to sexual exploitation. These children are doing these evil acts without their consent. The militia uses threats and coercion to achieve their missions. The children are underpaid and sometimes lack even basic needs like water and food. There is a need for much evil that these young people undergo in the camps.
Another common slavery is seen in Guinea-Bissau, where very young people, as young as five years, are kidnapped and forced to beg in the capital city. These children are made to withstand the hostile life of the streets to beg and in the evening, there are masters who pick the money for their personal reasons. Some of the children that are kidnapped here are also transported to work on the cotton plantations in the Southern Senegal. Moreover, the fishing industry is also ruining young people’s lives in Ghana. Taking young people to work in the fishing industry is draining Ghana of her workforce shortly. This is putting Ghana at a risk of losing the skilled expertise her economy deserves for her economic progress.
Furthermore, Asia remains the world leading destination for trafficked women for prostitution. Women from Philippines and Thailand are trafficked to Asia for slavery, prostitution and other forms of servitude. The latest news indicates that very many African women are exposed to prostitution and other sexual harassment in Dubai and other parts of Asia. Women, especially from Kenya, are forced to work as house helps in Dubai, and their masters end up exploiting them sexually. Some women are lured with very lucrative promises, yet they end up in brothels working as prostitutes in Dubai. It forced the Kenyan Government to bring their citizens back to their country from Asia after some of the slaves got a chance to share their fate to the government and their family members. UNICEF, on the other hand, gives an approximation of roughly 65000 children who work as prostitutes in the streets of Philippines.
The US, on the contrary, gives an approximation of 600,000 to 820, 00 people trafficked across the international borders every year. Half of these people are young people either children or women who are running out of Iraq. However, the world response to these people remains pathetic. Most countries, US included reacting to the migrants by harassment and deportation. In the year 2007, almost 1500 displaced people from the Somali and Ethiopia lost their precious lives in the sea in the trafficking act.
In conclusion, article 4 offers relief for the oppressed in the society. Should there be a proper implementation of article four by all states, then, at least, contemporary slavery, servitude, human being trafficking and other forms of such vice will be eliminated. However, we must admit that the states are also doing their level best, but the major challenge is the identification of the victims. Many people still suffer but without identifying the victims, crafting solutions become a challenge.