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African religion leaders unite to create coalition in opposition to fashionable slavery

A coalition of religion leaders from lots of the world’s largest religions have united in Ghana to signal a declaration in opposition to fashionable slavery.

The dedication by 14 leaders from 4 international locations to the Joint Declaration of Non secular Leaders In opposition to Trendy Slavery represents a pan-African coalition of moral leaders to combat an injustice which impacts greater than 40 million folks globally.

The Declaration signing was hosted by the World Freedom Community, the religion arm of worldwide human rights group, Stroll Free, which is devoted to accelerating the tip of contemporary slavery.

It’s the eighth signing since 2014, when Pope Francis and Grand Ayatollah Mohammad Taqi al-Modarresi joined different religion leaders from lots of the world’s nice religions in declaring that fashionable slavery should be eradicated.

Trendy slavery is an umbrella time period that features human trafficking, home servitude, the worst types of youngster labour and compelled and youngster marriage.

Armiyawo Shaibu, the spokesperson for Ghana’s nationwide chief Imam, mentioned all religions denounced these crimes.

“As religion leaders, you’ve gotten a really particular place in Ghanaian society,” Mr Shaibu, a sheikh, mentioned.

“You possibly can see adjustments in folks that may cross many others by. And also you perceive what poverty and desperation can do to males, girls and kids.

“So you’re uniquely positioned to determine victims and assist victims by placing them in contact with professionals who may also help them and who may also help cope with the perpetrators.”

Lazarus Anondee, secretary-general of the Ghana Catholic Bishops Convention, mentioned that fashionable slavery usually concerned low-cost or abusive labour.

“Human trafficking is an particularly heinous crime. It’s because it includes the exploitation and abuse of human beings for revenue,” Mr Anondee, a reverend father, mentioned.

Stroll Free co-founder Grace Forrest, who was within the Ghanaian capital Accra for the signing, mentioned religion leaders have been pivotal within the combat to finish fashionable slavery.

“Religion leaders are uniquely positioned to look at and sort out cases of contemporary slavery of their communities,” Ms Forrest mentioned.

“That is particularly so in Africa, the place religion is embedded in communities and the prevalence of contemporary slavery is excessive.

“Religion leaders are capable of affect the place authorities and enterprise can’t. They’ll work as neighborhood leaders creating programs change and authorized reform, in addition to offering ethical steerage and training to their congregations.

“We’re deeply honoured to be in Ghana for this signing, and we acknowledge the historical past of slavery and the exploitation of the folks of this nation and different components of Africa, the results of that are nonetheless felt right this moment and are undoubtedly linked to the prevalence of contemporary slavery
on this area.

“Stroll Free is dedicated to working alongside these leaders to speed up the tip of contemporary slavery.”

Religion leaders from Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria and Cote d’Ivoire joined Ghanaian leaders to signal the dedication in a ceremony held underneath strict COVID-19 protocols.

Each the Nationwide Interfaith Council of South Africa (NICSA) and the Inter-Non secular Council of Kenya (IRCK), who couldn’t be a part of due to COVID-19, mentioned their organisations wholeheartedly endorsed the declaration and that their representatives sit up for including their signatures.

The signing occasion coincided with the launch of the Religion For Freedom smartphone app, which was developed in collaboration with religion leaders to assist information them to sort out fashionable slavery of their communities and congregations.

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