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UN investigator: Contemporary slavery extensive around globe

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US A U.N. investigator says contemporary types of slavery are widely practiced all over the world, including forced labor for Chinas Uyghur minority, bonded labor for the cheapest caste Dalits in South Asia, and domestic servitude in Gulf countries, Brazil and Colombia.

Human Rights Council Special Rapporteur Tomoya Obokat adds that traditional enslavement, especially of minorities, is situated in Mauritania, Mali and Niger in Africas Sahel region.

He said in a written report to the U.N. General Assembly circulated Wednesday that child labor — another contemporary type of slavery — exists in every regions of the planet, including its worst forms.

In Asia and the Pacific, the center East, the Americas and Europe, between 4 and 6 percent of children are reported to be in child labor, and the percentage is a lot higher in Africa (21.6%), with the best rate in sub-Saharan Africa (23.9%), he said.

His conclusion about Uyghurs in Chinas northwestern province of Xinjiang follows a U.S. ban imposed last December on imports from the spot unless businesses can prove items are created without forced labor. There were many claims China partcipates in systemic and widespread abuse of ethnic and religious minorities in its western region.

Chinas Foreign Ministry sharply criticized that finding by Okobata, who’s a Japanese scholar and professor of international law and human rights at Keele University in England.

In the report, Okobata said that predicated on an unbiased assessment of available information from many sources, including victims and government accounts, he regards it as reasonable to summarize that forced labor among Uyghur, Kazakh along with other ethnic minorities in sectors such as for example agriculture and manufacturing has been occurring in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China.

He cited two systems utilized by China — the detention of minorities for vocational skills education and training accompanied by work placement, and a poverty alleviation through labor program where surplus rural laborers are used in other work. He said labor transfer can be practiced in Tibet where farmers, herders along with other rural workers are transferred into low-skilled and low-paid employment.

While these programs may create jobs and income because the government claims, Obokata said oftentimes the task is involuntary and workers are at the mercy of excessive surveillance, abusive living and working conditions, restricted movements, threats, physical or sexual violence, along with other inhuman or degrading treatment.

Some instances may total enslavement as a crime against humanity, meriting an additional independent analysis, he said.

Chinas Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin accused Obokata of choosing to trust in lies and disinformation about Xinjiang spread by the U.S. plus some other Western countries and anti-China forces.

He also accused Obokata of abusing his authority as a particular investigator to smear and denigrate China and serve as a political tool for anti-China forces. He accused unnamed forces of fabricating disinformation on forced labor to undermine Xinjiangs prosperity and stability and contain Chinas development and revitalization.

China strongly condemns this, Wang said. There’s never been `forced labor in Xinjiang.

He said China protects the rights and interests of workers from all ethnic groups to get employment, take part in economic and social life, also to share the dividends of socioeconomic progress.

Obokata said minorities may also be put through forced labor in Latin America, pointing to rural regions of Brazil, like the Amazon, where slavery is intricately associated with economic activities which are causing environmental devastation, including illegal logging and mining. Nearly all victims are men of African descent with low degrees of education, he said.

The report also cited two other styles of contemporary slavery child or forced marriage and sexual slavery.

Rates of child marriage spike in marginalized communities just like the Roma minority in southeastern Europe, he said. In elements of the Balkans, 1 / 2 of all Roma women ages 20 to 24 are married before age 18, in comparison to around 10% nationally, he said.

He said official data in britain suggest a big most forced marriage cases relate with Pakistan also to a smaller extent Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India and Somalia.

In other regions, Boko Haram has forced Christian women and girls to convert to Islam also to marry, Obokata said, Some ethnic minority groups in Nigeria practice forced or child marriage at high rates — 74.9% on the list of Kambari and 73.8% on the list of Fulfude, he said.

Forced marriage can be a problem in the African nation of Congo, in Cambodia, India, Kazakhstan, Sri Lanka and Vietnam in Asia, and in Bolivia, Colombia, Honduras and Panama in Latin America, he said.

For sexual slavery, which includes been particularly notable during conflicts and humanitarian crises, Obokata pointed to the a lot more than 6,500 women from Iraqs Yazidi minority reportedly taken captive in 2014 by Islamic State fighters who used rape as a weapon of war against them. Nearly 2,800 Yazidi women and children remain missing or in captivity today, he said.

In Ethiopia, Obokata said, minority ladies in the northern Tigray, Amhara and Afar regions have already been put through rape, sexual mutilation along with other types of sexual violence by parties to the conflict.

In northern Nigeria, Boko Haram has primarily targeted Christians and moderate Muslims for enslavement, including sexual slavery, he said.

In Myanmar, women from the Rohingya Muslim minority have already been put through systematic sexual violence by the countrys security forces which might be thought to be war crimes or crimes against humanity, he said.

Regardless of the persistence of contemporary types of slavery among minorities, Obokata said governments, national human rights bodies, civil society organizations and regional along with other groups have already been playing a significant role in avoiding the exploitation of minorities.

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