WHEREAS, Rotary’s first area of focus is peace and conflict prevention, and therefore Rotary recognizes that maintaining human dignity is part of its mission, morals and values, and
WHEREAS, RI endorses and supports the human rights of children, youth, and adults to food, shelter, health care, education, and freedom from abuse, violence and modern-day slavery, including sex trafficking, labor trafficking, forced child marriage, child soldiering, debt bondage, as well as other forms of exploitation, and WHEREAS, RI recognizes that modern-day slavery is among the worst and most damaging forms of abuse and exploitation, and that every nation on earth has adopted laws to ban this practice, and
WHEREAS, RI has had a unique and important role in the founding of the United Nations and in the ongoing Sustainable Development Goals and human rights policies, and
WHEREAS, in 2015, the United Nations developed Sustainable Development Goals, which include Target 8.7: “Take immediate and effective measures to eradicate forced labor, and end modern slavery and human trafficking and secure the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labor, including recruitment and use of child soldiers and by 2025 end child labor in all its forms,” and
WHEREAS, the Rotary Action Group Against Slavery has been working for over ten years to increase awareness and encourage local Rotary clubs to engage in anti-trafficking projects, and
WHEREAS, every business, community organization, faith community, family and individual can make a difference by choosing products that are not produced by forced labor; by working to protect our young people from exploitation; by addressing the problem of internet sex trafficking; and by becoming more aware of the problem and possible solutions
IT IS RESOLVED by Rotary International that the Board of Directors of Rotary International consider encouraging all Rotarians to become more familiar with the growing problem of modern-day slavery, to be vigilant and report suspicious activity in this regard, and to work towards solutions to end the practice in all its forms.
IT IS FURTHER RESOLVED by Rotary International that the Board of Directors of Rotary International consider encouraging clubs around the world to engage in projects to protect all victims from hunger, neglect, abuse, and all forms of exploitation and modern-day slavery.
PURPOSE AND EFFECT
The exploitation of children, youth, and adults is a growing problem across the globe. Today, there are over 40 million people enslaved in 155 countries; 10 percent of these victims are age 18-25, and 25 percent are under age 18. It is the fastest growing criminal enterprise worldwide.
RI has a choice on this issue: It can either rationalize the exploitation of children and youth as an age-old problem, simply accepting that human nature never changes and that, in any case, slavery is a problem for government, and do nothing; or RI can put into practice the tenets of The Four-Way Test, the second Object of Rotary, and the Rotary Code of Policies in relation to the rights of the individual by taking a strong public stand in opposition to enslavement, and do its utmost to help eradicate this worldwide evil practice.
By taking a strong position, RI will increase global awareness, encourage clubs to initiate anti-trafficking service projects, publicly declare its opposition to the evils of slavery, and reach the hearts and minds of stakeholders and decision makers throughout the world.
If implemented, this resolution could have a financial impact on RI which cannot be determined at this time. Cost would be dependent on the scope and extent of support provided by the RI Board to accomplish this goal.