I had ideas for umpteen blogs. Here is where they all somehow converge and I attempt to do something productive with my sprawling web presence.
Tuesday, December 2, 2014
Faith leaders from all over the world gather to help eradicate modern slavery
Today is the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery. The day was put into place on Dec. 2, 1949 by the General Assembly of the United Nations. The day does not come without an aim. Leaders are focused on eradicating modern forms of slavery which include “trafficking in persons, sexual exploitation, the worst forms of child labour, forced marriage, and the forced recruitment of children for use in armed conflict.”
All of these issues and more are still pressing in 2014. The 2014 Global Slavery Index estimates that nearly 36 million people are currently trapped within the binds of modern slavery.
Today, through the Global Freedom Network, faith leaders from all over the world gathered in solidarity in Rome to make a commitment to eradicating slavery by 2020, reported Sys-Con Media. Faith leaders got together and signed a joint declaration that states that modern slavery which is “any relationship that fails to respect the fundamental conviction that all people are equal and have the same freedom and dignity, is a crime against humanity.” They further state that it is important to recognize across all nations that slavery’s complete obliteration is of the utmost importance and a prime responsibility of us all.
“It is clear in this age of globalization, what happens to one of us, happens to all of us. We are all interconnected and we are all co-responsible,” read a statement from Thich Nhat Hanh, as read by Venerable Bhikkhuni Thich Nu Chan Khong.
The monumental event today marked movement within one of the six “fields of action” that the Global Freedom Network has in place towards slavery’s eradication. Other things on the list include “ supply chain proofing to promote ethical purchasing arrangements,” an improvement of support for survivors who have been victimized by slavery, advocacy for law reform and then the enforcement of anti-slavery laws, education and awareness programs, and fundraising.
The faith leaders who joined in commitment today aim to go forth and inspire spiritual and practical actions in all “people of goodwill.” Those who signed were Pope Francis (Catholic), Mata Amritanandamayi (Hindu), Thich Nhat Hanh (Buddhist), Datuk K Sri Dhammaratana (Buddhist), Rabbi Dr Abraham Skorka (Jewish), Chief Rabbi David Rosen (Jewish), Patriarch Bartholomew I (Orthodox), Mohamed Ahmed El-Tayeb (Muslim), Grand Ayatollah Mohammad Taqi al-Modarresi (Muslim), Grand Ayatollah Sheikh Basheer Hussain al Najafi (Muslim), Sheikh Omar Abboud (Muslim), and Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby (Anglican). Many leaders from international business and organizations supporting the eradication of slavery were in attendance as witnesses to the signing of the declaration.
*originally published on the now defunct Examiner.com