Via – Reuters
LONDON, Feb 12 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Slavery is not a crime in almost half the countries in the world, a study of global laws said on Wednesday, urging nations to close legal loopholes that allow abusers to escape punishment.
Many states lack laws which directly criminalize and punish exerting ownership or control over another person, according to the Antislavery in Domestic Legislation database, launched at the United Nations headquarters in New York.
“Slavery is far from being illegal everywhere and we hope our research will move the conversation beyond this popular myth,” said Katarina Schwarz, a researcher at the University of Nottingham’s Rights Lab, which led work on the slavery database.
“It will surprise many people to learn that in all of these countries there are no criminal laws in place to prosecute, convict and punish people for subjecting people to the most extreme forms of exploitation.”
More than 40 million people are held in modern slavery, which includes forced labor and forced marriage, according to estimates by the International Labor Organization and the anti-slavery group the Walk Free Foundation.
Ending modern slavery by 2030 was among the global goals adopted unanimously by members of the United Nations in 2015.