This is apropos International Labor Organization’s (ILO) resolution to end modern day slavery on the occasion of international day for Abolition of Slavery, being commemorated on December 2 every year. According to ILO, approximately 21 million women, children and men are living their lives which come within the scope of modern day slavery that comprises debt bondage, forced marriage, child labor and prostitution etc.

It is hard to digest this practice, which is against human dignity, being practiced with impunity in an age of democracy. Given that majority of the states are democratic and their constitutions have been designed to curb such heinous crimes, but due to poor implementation of laws, this practice goes on. In Pakistan a law banning bonded labor has been in force since 1992. Also, a law prohibiting forced marriages has been theoretically in force but rarely invoked. A former slave and one of the renowned exponents of Abolitionist Movement, Frederick Doughlas, at a point of time said, ‘Knowledge makes a man unfit to be slave.’ In order to curb slavery, the need is to make the common man aware of the laws against slavery, and making those in power accountable for implementation of laws aimed at curbing slavery.

INAM ULLAH MARWAT,

Lahore, December 4.