GANAPATHI BHAT, AKOLA
LIKE the slavery of the past, no one can deny the existence of modern slavery. When a person is forced by intimidation to do some chores, modern slavery comes into the play. Human trafficking, bonded labour and forced marriages are stark examples of modern slavery. Forced or compulsory labour is all work or service which is extracted from any person under the threat of penalty and for which the person has not offered himself or herself voluntarily. Domestic work, agriculture, construction activities, manufacturing units, sexual exploitation fall into the areas of forced labour where there are little regulatory clauses. Child labour is a sordid story of modern slavery and its vagaries with approximately ten million children falling prey to the devious agendas of employers. One in four children is pushed to act as slaves. The International Labour Organisation identifies about 25 million men and women as victims of modern slavery. The plans were laid down in detail in the general conference of the ILO in 2014. A sense of urgency is paramount to prevent and eliminate forced or compulsory labour. The assembly called for penal laws to offenders who force the vulnerable to modern forms of slavery. The ILO has specially marked migrant workers who are lured or easy to be tricked because of their poor understanding of the local language and tradition. The issue of compensation and rehabilitation has also been extensively discussed by the ILO. One of the articles of the protocol adopted by the ILO also stresses on education of the susceptible on the lurking dangers of modern exploitation. Coupled with awareness, education can go a long way. Appropriateness and uniformity are needed for the consistent implementation of the laws to the satisfaction of all concerned. It is agreed that recovery and rehabilitation require monetary assistance from different players. Those forced into unlawful activities require legal immunity and the ILO strives to ensure they do. To take stock of the progress done by ancillary agencies and the respective governments, International Day for the Abolition of Slavery is observed on December 2.