U.N. Human Rights Council Appoints Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Slavery
Friday, November 9, 2007 9:55 AM

In September 2007, the United Nations’ Human Rights Council resolved to continue the efforts of the Working Group on Contemporary Forms of Slavery. Recognizing that slavery is a pervasive and international problem, the Council has appointed a Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Slavery as the most appropriate mechanism for continuing to address the issue. The work of the new Special Rapporteur has roots in the Slavery Convention of 1926 and the Slave Trade and Institutions and Practices Similar to Slavery of 1956. The Council commented that existing Rapporteurs and Commissions do not adequately address all slavery practices.

The Special Rapporteur will be appointed for three years. He or she will be responsible for examining the causes and consequences of contemporary forms of slavery, reporting on slavery practices, facilitating information exchange among governmental and nongovernmental groups, and promoting and recommending appropriate measures to address slavery and its causes. Collaborating with existing human rights mechanisms, such as the Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, the new Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery will take into account the gender and age dimensions of slavery and focus on effective practices on national, regional, and international levels. This position will give greater prominence to the issue within the U.N. system and reaffirm the basic tenets of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, “which states that no one shall be held in slavery or servitude and that slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.”

Compiled from: Alert provided by the Women’s United Nations Report Network.

To read the resolution:  UN HRC Resolution-Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Slavery