(OTTAWA) — The Green Party of Canada released the following statement in recognition of the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery:
“It is greatly troubling to me that, according to the International Labour Organization (ILO), over 40 million people are currently subjected to modern slavery — a quarter of them being children. Few of us realize how prevalent debt bondage, human trafficking, forced marriage and forced labour are, punishing individuals to live against their will under horrific conditions,” said Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party of Canada (MP, Saanich-Gulf Islands).
Joe Foster, the Green Party’s Human Rights Critic, said: “Canada can take a leadership role in challenging these human rights abuses. The ILO is campaigning to get 50 countries to ratify an international protocol on forced labour, which would result in a broad and sustained crackdown on these illicit practices. 21 countries have ratified the agreement, with Canada being absent thus far. Our government should immediately ratify the protocol, and use all of its diplomatic weight to compel other countries to do the same.”
“On an individual level, we can all help fight slavery by making ethical food choices. Thai farmed shrimp and non-fair trade chocolate are at risk of being produced using slave labour. Just as abolitionists in the 19th century urged people to give up sugar in their tea due to the slave trade, today's consumers need to be far more aware of the human misery embedded in products we like to buy at bargain prices,” concluded Ms. May.
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