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Slavery News Weekly: 17 March 2017

March. 17, 2017 / In the news Christopher Zoia / @Freedom_Fund

Each week the Freedom Fund compiles the most insightful and timely news stories about modern slavery. Check out what we’re reading among this week’s top slavery articles.

Bitter truth of Indian sweet shops: boys in bondage, burnt and beaten
Thomson Reuters Foundation, 15 March 2017
Lured by labour agents, boys in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu are systematically targeted and trafficked to sweetshops in western and northern India where they are abused and trapped in bonded labour. The Tamil Nadu government has received increasing requests to investigate such cases.

Syrian children ‘pushed to the brink’ after worst atrocities since war began
The Guardian, 12 March 2017
Families in Syria are increasingly desperate and pushing children into child labour and early marriage for survival. UNICEF report finds that Syrian children in more than two-thirds of households are working to support their families, often in hazardous conditions, and the number of children recruited to fight in the conflict has risen dramatically. Children, especially those out of school, are at significant risk of abuse and exploitation as a result of the conflict.

Bangladesh child marriage: New law will ‘reduce minimum marital age to zero’
The Independent, 10 March 2017
A new legal loophole in Bangladesh’s child marriage law allows for special exceptions to the legal age of marriage. This change has drawn the concern of campaigner group Girls Not Brides, which fears that it could legitimise statutory rape, lead to widespread abuse and further encourage child marriage in the country.

Nestle, Cargill win dismissal of ex-child slaves’ lawsuit
Bloomberg News, 10 March 2017
Nestle’s U.S. unit and Cargill Inc. won dismissal of a lawsuit by six former child slaves from Mali who sought to hold the cocoa importers liable for their captivity and mistreatment on farms in Ivory Coast. The former slaves claimed the cocoa importers knew forced labour was being used by their suppliers, but a U.S. federal judge found that the companies’ domestic conduct couldn’t be linked to forced labour overseas. The ruling sets a high bar for overseas slavery cases involving U.S.-based companies.

Former Yazidi sex slave fears plea for help ignored by world
Thomson Reuters Foundation, 10 March 2017
Nadia Murad, an Iraqi Yazidi woman who survived sexual slavery at the hands of Islamic State militants, appeared at a United Nations event on Thursday. Both Murad and her attorney, Amal Clooney, expressed frustration at the U.N.’s failure to investigate and prosecute Islamic State crimes. As an advocate for the Yazidi, Murad has frequently appeared before governments and the U.N. Security Council to appeal for international action.

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Photo credit: UN Photo/Cia Pak

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