Tomorrow brings a great opportunity to lean about the scope and impact of a hidden form of modern-day slavery: domestic servitude.
The Organization of American States (OAS) is conducting a policy roundtable to raise awareness and promote solutions.
The policy roundtable will be webcast live in English and Spanish from 2:30 p.m. (ET) to 4:30 p.m. ET on the OAS website. If you are in the Washington area, the event itself is open to the public at the OAS Secretariat on the National Mall near the White House. See the invitation here.
The roundtable is designed to create awareness about a growing form of trafficking throughout the Americas. Millions of women — and men — are on the move worldwide, migrating from impoverished rural areas to cities, and from poorer countries to wealthy ones, seeking jobs and better lives. Many times, they end up being tricked by traffickers posing as legitimate labor recruiters. There is growing awareness that many maids, gardeners, cooks, nannies and other domestic helpers these days are held in conditions that constitute modern-day slavery.
The International Labor Organization (ILO) released a report earlier this year estimating that more than 50 million people work as domestic servants worldwide, many of them in conditions of slavery. Two weeks ago, the ILO released research indicating that 10 million of those domestic servants are children. A new international treaty aims to curb abuses.
Tomorrow’s event will feature a top ILO representative, Erick Zeballos, along with FTS Executive Director Maurice Middleberg and Programs Director Karen Stauss. Free the Slaves Freedom Award winner Josefa Condori Quispe will speak too – she’s a domestic servitude survivor who now runs a shelter in South America for girls who escape this form of slavery. Also scheduled to speak are Marcelina Bautista of the International Domestic Workers Network, Carmen Moreno of the Inter-American Commission of Women, Paulina Duarte of the OAS, and Ambassador Luis CdeBaca of the U.S. State Department’s anti-trafficking program.
Mark your calendar for tomorrow – and spread the word!