Identifying victims can help fight modern slavery

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Forced labour often means unpaid wages, excessively long work hours without rest days and confiscation of ID documents. Photo: ILO/A. Khemka (file)

Proper victim identification is crucial in fighting modern slavery, according to a UN human rights expert.

Special Rapporteur Urmila Boolah made the remarks at the end of an official visit to Belgium on Thursday.

The European nation has set up specialized units including police, social and labour inspectors to investigate claims these crimes.

Jocelyne Sambira has the story.

Belgium has been hailed by the UN independent expert as an example of good practice in the fight against modern slavery.

The country's penal code already punishes forced begging, forced labour and domestic servitude.

However, Urmila Boolah said that the country needs to focus sharply on victim identification.

She pointed out that potential victims, including children are not always detected, identified and referred to the appropriate structures, leaving them susceptible to abuse and exploitation.

Ms Boolah stressed the need to train front-line actors like the police, social, labour inspectors and health workers to spot the victims.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 0’46″

 

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