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Statement of Iceland on modern forms of slavery

Thank you Mr. President,

Iceland thanks Ms. Urmila Bhoola, Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery for her comprehensive report. 

Slavery is not a problem of the past. Modern slavery remains widespread in all parts of the world. The mandate of the Special Rapporteur is central to international efforts to eradicate it and Iceland will continue to fully support it. 

Mr. President,
Iceland strongly commends the Special Rapporteur’s emphasis on the issue of the impact of slavery and servitude on marginalized migrant women workers in the global domestic economy. We fully share her observations, that policies are needed that tackle discrimination while also helping to balance the legitimate concerns of both employers and workers. 

Mr. President, 
Iceland is certainly not immune to the difficulties encountered by migrant women in employment and their exposure to violence. A sustainable domestic work economy should ensure access to justice, effective enforcement and remedies in the case of exploitation and abuse, while also addressing issues of prejudice against migrants through advocacy. 

Modern slavery and trafficking is – in clear violation of our laws. The Government is actively working on eliminating this practice through better cooperation mechanisms and stronger supervision measures of the Icelandic Labour Market in cooperation with the labour unions

Mr. President,
The fight against forced labour, modern slavery and human trafficking requires a global response, and we will continue to advocate for a coherent multidimensional and multi-actor response both at the regional and international level. 

This type of criminality causes its victims in particular women and girls great suffering, and constitutes a challenge to the entire international community. 

The Special Rapporteur mentions in one of her recommendations that States should create viable, accessible and non-discriminatory employment options for women as a sustainable alternative to poverty and to prevent exploitation. We ask the Special Rapporteur to give us some examples of these options? 

I Thank you

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