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MRG calls for clear accountability measures to address human rights violations

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This statement was delivered by Rasha Saba in the name of MRG at the Human Rights Council’s Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Slavery, 51st Session, held on Thursday 15 September 2022.

Mister Special Rapporteur,

Minority Rights Group welcomes your important report that highlights how contemporary forms of slavery is a serious concern among many minorities and indigenous peoples, hindering their access to education and decent work among other concerns.

We echo the concern that women and girl from minorities and indigenous communities have been disproportionately affected by modern forms of slavery. This is especially clear in the form of domestic servitude. For example, in Lebanon, domestic workers – the majority of whom are migrant women – have endured human rights violations and exploitation. According to figures from the national intelligence agency, on average two migrant workers are dying every week in that country as a consequence of the conditions they are subjected to.

MRG and its partners recognise the need for societal and state led transformation to address the lasting legacies of slavery and caste-based discrimination and their structural impacts on mentalities and institutions. This means improving access to education and other services as well as challenging social prejudice against Dalits, Roma and Haratines, among others.

We welcome the stance of the Special Rapporteur on the need for anti-discrimination legislation and protective labour laws. We also emphasise the need to eliminate minority-specific barriers to accessing justice and remedies among victims of modern slavery, especially access to adequate information, including in minority languages.

We also recognize the need to establish clear accountability measures to address human rights violations, including exploitation of minorities and indigenous peoples, throughout global supply chains in which governments, companies and consumers have a responsibility of working together.

I thank you.

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