UN Human Rights Council 45: statement for the Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on Contemporary forms of Slavery

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Thank you, Mr. President,

Mr Obokata, the United Kingdom would like to warmly welcome your appointment as Special Rapporteur. We look forward to working closely with your Office, building on the excellent work of Ms. Bhoola, to drive forward international momentum to eradicate forced labour, modern slavery, and human trafficking.

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The UK is deeply concerned about the impact of COVID-19 on the most vulnerable in our societies, especially women and children. We are grateful for this report highlighting the particularly detrimental impact that the crisis has had on victims of contemporary forms of slavery, and the further work that must be done globally to identify victims and ensure access to support and justice.

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The pandemic has highlighted the scale of vulnerability to modern slavery across the world, and we join the Special Rapporteur in calling for an acceleration of anti-slavery efforts. This is essential if the international community is to honour its commitment to Sustainable Development Goal 8.7.

The UK is concerned about warnings of an increase in child labour figures after 20 years of progress. Does the Special Rapporteur have plans to build momentum around this issue to mark the Year for the Elimination of Child Labour next year?

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Thank you.

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