Improved labour conditions in GCC key factor in propelling rapid increase in overall GDP
24/11/2013 10:11 am EDT


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Business leaders in the world all agree that improving living conditions for labourers and eradicating the various forms of slavery could propel economic growth across the globe. “Countries that are working to improve their living conditions for labourers might emerge as market leaders in years to come,” these remarks were made by Raza Jafar, CEO of ENSHAA – which is Dubai’s premium real estate developer – and an internationally noted philanthropist, during the world business leaders gathering in china titled ‘New trends in Chinese and Global Philanthrophy’.

RazaJafar attended the Forum as a speaker and panelist and warned of the shocking global prevalence of modern slavery, highlighting the various initiatives undertaken by Walk Free – the worldwide activist movement – to bring an end to the practice.

He said, “Many countries do not have the luxury of high national income and strong, stable governance. We believe the path to ending modern slavery involves building broad public support for legislative, corporate and social policy change and enforcement. The Walk Free movement is bringing millions of concerned citizens to the table together with decision makers. Through engagement in a number of strategic grassroots advocacy campaigns, it has become one of the fastest growing citizen-activist communities in the world.”

“In parts of the world, slavery is an endemic tragedy,” Jafar said. He continued, “More than three quarters of slaves across the world can be found in just ten countries. Modern slavery takes many names – human trafficking, forced labour, debt bondage, forced marriage and exploitation of children – but whatever the name, in reality it is slavery in different forms, which isdespicable and inexcusable.”

“The prevalence of slavery is correlated with certain economic indicators,” MrJafar noted. Though slavery is illegal almost everywhere, the best-ranked countries in the survey tended to have high per capita GDP, high levels of human development and readily enforceable laws; while the worst performers tended to be much poorer nations marred by legal and political instability.

Calling slavery an ‘affront to humanity’ and “an insult to our dignity”, Jafar highlighted efforts by Walk Free to raise funds to eradicate the practice. The initiative’s ‘Global Fund to End Slavery’ – a multi-stakeholder operation, including governments, the private sector, civil society and survivors of modern slavery – will be launched in 2015 and raise “unprecedented levels of capital”. Walk Free has also partnered with two leading anti-slavery activist groups, Humanity United and the Legatum Foundation, in a seven-year effort to raise and deploy at least $100m to fight modern slavery – announced at the annual Clinton Global Initiative this year.

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