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Contemporary Forms of Slavery

Contemporary Forms of Slavery (CFS) affect millions of people worldwide.

Different kinds of CFS include:

  • Debt bondage
  • Serfdom
  • Forced labour
  • Child labour and child servitude
  • Trafficking of persons and human organs
  • Sexual exploitation
  • Recruitment of children in armed conflict
  • Sale of children
  • Forced marriages and the sale of wives

The existence of all these forms of slavery in contemporary times remain largely unknown and insufficiently addressed by State policies.

The policies that are in place tend to focus exclusively on human trafficking with the primary aim of fighting criminality rather than protecting human rights of victims. There is a need to raise more awareness on these issues, at the local, national and international level and to influence policy-makers to act against slavery-like practices and to protect victims.

Franciscans around the world witness how victims of CFS are traumatised; and how their human dignity is denied when one person takes ownership over the life of another. Over the past years, FI has worked to empower those Franciscans who live in proximity of these victims and who work to advocate for real change in their life conditions.

FI helps voice these concerns at the United Nations through, in part, working closely with the UN Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Slavery (CFS), Ms. Gulnara Shahinian. 

  • FI Advocacy Events

    Franciscans International brings together Franciscans from the grassroots, the UN Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Slavery, and other influential decision-makers to effect positive change.

    Sr. Nisha Mathew (L) on a UN side event panel with the Special Rapporteur (R) to discuss Contemporary Forms of Slavery
    FI invited the Special Rapporteur on CFS to hear Franciscans' concerns