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Pakistani women take part in a rally against modern slavery and forced labor. Pakistani activists take part in an International Women’s Day rally in Lahore, Pakistan, Oct. 9, 2020 (AP photo by K.M. Chaudhry).

Ending Modern Slavery Must Be Part of ‘Build Back Better’

Monday, July 12, 2021

Of the many injustices in the contemporary world, modern slavery is among the most shocking. The trade in humans is a worldwide phenomenon. It spans the poorest and wealthiest countries and is deeply embedded in global supply chains. This is not only an ethical outrage but a threat to international security, prosperity, good governance and development. As the world seeks to “build back better” from the COVID-19 pandemic, it must tackle the scourge of human bondage.

Slavery is one of the oldest human institutions, and it remains stubbornly persistent. The global abolitionist movement, which originated in the late 18th century, eventually succeeded in outlawing formal chattel slavery by the mid-20th century—one of the signal moral advances in human history. The global prohibition against slavery is embedded in numerous international legal instruments, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, signed in 1948. ...

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