Human Rights
Violations

ARTICLE 4 — NO SLAVERY

“No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.”

In northern Uganda, the LRA (Lord’s Resistance Army) guerrillas have kidnapped 20,000 children over the past twenty years and forced them into service as soldiers or sexual slaves for the army.

In Guinea-Bissau, children as young as five are trafficked out of the country to work in cotton fields in southern Senegal or as beggars in the capital city. In Ghana, children five to fourteen are tricked with false promises of education and future into dangerous, unpaid jobs in the fishing industry.

In Asia, Japan is the major destination country for trafficked women, especially women coming from the Philippines and Thailand. UNICEF estimates 60,000 child prostitutes in the Philippines.

The US State Department estimates 600,000 to 820,000 men, women and children are trafficked across international borders each year, half of whom are minors, including record numbers of women and girls fleeing from Iraq. In nearly all countries, including Canada, the US and the UK, deportation or harassment are the usual governmental responses, with no assistance services for the victims.

In the Dominican Republic, the operations of a trafficking ring led to the death by asphyxiation of 25 Haitian migrant workers. In 2007, two civilians and two military officers received lenient prison sentences for their part in the operation.

In Somalia in 2007, more than 1,400 displaced Somalis and Ethiopian nationals died at sea in trafficking operations.

ARTICLE 5 — NO TORTURE

“No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”

In 2008, US authorities continued to hold 270 prisoners in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, without charge or trial, subjecting them to “water-boarding,” torture that simulates drowning. Former-President George W. Bush authorized the CIA to continue secret detention and interrogation, despite its violation of international law.

In Darfur, violence, atrocities and abduction are rampant and outside aid all but cut off. Women in particular are the victims of unrestrained assault, with more than 200 rapes in the vicinity of a displaced persons camp in one five-week period, with no effort by authorities to punish the perpetrators.

In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, acts of torture and ill treatment are routinely committed by government security services and armed groups, including sustained beatings, stabbings and rapes of those in custody. Detainees are held incommunicado, sometimes in secret detention sites. In 2007, the Republican Guard (presidential guard) and Special Services police division in Kinshasa arbitrarily detained and tortured numerous individuals labeled as critics of the government.