Header image for news printout

For International Day for the Abolition of Slavery, 2 December

Tackling the cruel modern-day reality of child slavery

GENEVA (28 November 2016) – A former child slave who now works to rescue and rehabilitate other children forced into modern-day slavery and a social activist who campaigns to eradicate manual scavenging in India are among the panellists at an event organised by the UN Human Rights Office to mark International Day for the Abolition of Slavery on Friday 2 December.

The event, entitled “Revealing the Child Faces of Modern Slavery”, will also mark the 25th anniversary of the UN Voluntary Fund on Contemporary Forms of Slavery, which since it was established in 1991 has supported more than 400 organizations worldwide and, through them, tens of thousands of men, women and child victims of various forms of today’s slavery. In 2016, the Fund issued grants to projects in 34 countries, helping more than 29,000 victims, a third of whom were children.  

The panel event will take place from 11:00 to 13:00 in Room XXIII on 2 December at the Palais des Nations and be opened by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein.

An estimated 21 million people worldwide are trapped in conditions of contemporary slavery, including some five million children. Slavery is not something that belongs to the past but a cruel reality of our age. The event will showcase the extent of modern-day slavery, in particular its dehumanizing impact on children and share the experiences of those who have benefited from the UN Slavery Fund.

Nevena Vučković-Šahović  – Chair of the UN Slavery Fund
Urmila Bhoola - UN Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Modern Slavery
James Kofi Annan – former child slave who founded Challenging Heights in Ghana to help rescue, rehabilitate and reintegrate child victims of slavery
Loretta Bondi - Director of International Projects of BeFree Social Cooperative in Italy that helps female victims of trafficking
Ashif Shaikh – Indian social activist who campaigns against manual scavenging and works for the empowerment of Dalits, founder of Jan Sahas.
Katy Robjant - Consultant Clinical Psychologist, specialising in treatment of trauma-related disorders of child victims of modern slavery, asylum seekers and refugees. Member of Vivo International.
Mary Read – Head of Advocacy and Partnership Unit  (ILO - Fundamental Principles and Rights to Work Branch) with extensive expertise on child labour issues. 


For more information and media requests, please contact: Laura Dolci-Kanaan, Secretary of the Fund, ldolci-kanaan@ohchr.org

Read the media advisory online: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=20944&LangID=E

United Nations Voluntary Trust Fund on Contemporary Forms of Slavery:

Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of slavery:

For your news websites and social media:
Multimedia content & key messages relating to our news releases are available on UN Human Rights social media channels, listed below. Please tag us using the proper handles:
Twitter: @UNHumanRights
Facebook: unitednationshumanrights
Instagram: unitednationshumanrights
Google+: unitednationshumanrights
Youtube: unohchr