习近平向第八届中俄博览会致贺信
习近平向第八届中俄博览会致贺信
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China urges US to combat human trafficking, forced labor

Source: Xinhua | 2021-09-24

BEIJING, Sept. 23 (Xinhua) -- China urges the United States to take immediate action to vigorously combat human trafficking and forced labor, a Foreign Ministry spokesperson said here Thursday.

Spokesperson Zhao Lijian made the remarks at a daily news briefing in response to a question regarding the recent dialogue during the 48th session of the UN Human Rights Council with the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery. At the dialogue, many countries expressed concern about human trafficking and forced labor in the United States.

In response, Zhao said that the United States has historically practiced abhorrent slavery and slave trade and committed genocide against American Indians.

"Today, the United States remains plagued with human trafficking and forced labor," said Zhao, sharing statistics on the issues.

Over the past five years, nearly 100,000 people were trafficked to the United States from abroad annually for forced labor, with half of them ending up in sweat shops or domestic enslavement, according to Zhao.

Around 500,000 child laborers, many below the age of ten, are trapped working 72-hour weeks in the agricultural sector in the United States; roughly 240,000 to 325,000 women and children in the United States are victims of sexual slavery; the average life expectancy of children after sex trafficking is 7 years, he added.

"The deliberate indifference and inaction of the U.S. government is directly culpable for the fermenting human trafficking and forced labor issues," Zhao said, adding that the United States is the only country in the world that has not ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child, nor has it ratified the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.

"The United States should take immediate actions to ratify relevant human rights treaties, crack down on crimes of human trafficking and forced labor, rescue innocent women and children and bring those responsible to justice," he said, adding that the Human Rights Council and relevant mechanisms should give continued attention to these issues and take necessary actions. 

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