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World – Banning recruitment fees would help fight against trafficking

04 December 2013

The elimination of labour recruitment fees, a global minimum wage, and tackling the demand for goods and services produced through slavery are all needed in the global fight against human trafficking, said Anne Gallagher a leading expert on the issue of human trafficking, reports trust.org.

Ms Gallagher, an international lawyer who has worked on trafficking issues in almost 60 countries, spoke at a two-day conference run by TrustWomen, aimed at putting the rule of law behind women's rights.

The insatiable global demand for cheap, unregulated labour and the goods and services that it produces is one of the key reasons why almost 30 million people are estimated to be trapped in modern forms of slavery in factories, brothels and private homes, on farms and fishing boats.

Ms Gallagher said: "We need to face the challenge of demand." She stressed that campaigners and politicians needed to look more deeply and broadly into the systems and practices that encourage and reward such exploitation.

"Demand goes beyond commercial sex to forced labour and other forms of trafficking. Outlawing recruitment fees, making it illegal for any agency to charge employees for overseas job placements or for any company to accept the recruitment of their workers in that way, would be practical steps to help eliminate trafficking,” Ms Gallagher added.

“Every country is implicated in human trafficking and governments, in particular in countries of destination, must acknowledge their role in constructing conditions that breed trafficking and push for the effective enforcement of anti-slavery laws,” Ms Gallagher concluded.

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