Statement of Iceland at the 27th session of the Human Rights Council
Mr. Thordur Sigtryggsson
Item 3: Interactive dialogue with the SR on
contemporary forms of slavery
Twenty-seventh session of the Human Rights Council
Geneva, 8 September 2014
Thank you Mr President,
Iceland would like to thank the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery for her report. Slavery remains a persistent and widespread phenomenon that affects all continents and most countries. The mandate of the Special Rapporteur is central to international efforts to eradicate it.
We strongly commend the Special Rapporteur’s emphasis on child, early and forced marriage. Like the previous mandate holder, we believe that there are clear links between child marriage and slavery. Such practices are clearly a manifestation of discrimination against women and girls, and an obstacle for them to fully enjoy their human rights. Iceland would therefore like to add its voice to the call for a coherent global response.
We also think that domestic servitude is an issue of tremendous importance due to the high number of victims worldwide. Women, especially low-skilled migrants, and children remain the most vulnerable groups and are disproportionately affected by this kind of forced labor. The situation of girls, who also face additional vulnerabilities in the context of migration, raises serious concerns. Iceland therefore welcomes the fact that the elimination of domestic servitude is seen by the new Special Rapporteur as a key priority for her new mandate.
Furthermore, the uneven implementation, and in some cases retrogression, of women's rights as guaranteed under international law is of grave concern, as the Special Rapporteur notes.
The role of transnational corporations in sustaining demand for forced labor in global supply chains should be further examined. We would ask the Special Rapporteur if she will put a particular emphasis on engaging transnational corporations in our common fight against contemporary forms of slavery?