Measurement, Action, Freedom: Governments not on track to meet SDG 8.7
A report published by the Minderoo Foundation’s Walk Free initiative has found that governments are significantly behind in meeting their commitments to SDG 8.7 by 2025. The report provided an independent assessment of 183 governments and their responses to modern slavery.
The report suggests a set of measurement indicators on all forms of modern slavery be implemented into government action plans to ensure progress is being made. The 183 governments assessed for the report were evaluated in various areas, including their ability to:
· identify and support survivors
· Establish effective criminal justice systems
· Strengthen coordination mechanisms and be held to account
· Address underlying risk factors
· Clean up government and business supply chains.
Sustainable Development Goal 8.7 saw a number of governments in 2015 publicly pledging to “Take immediate and effective measures to eradicate forced labour, end modern slavery and human trafficking and secure the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labour, including recruitment and use of child soldiers, and by 2025 end child labour in all its forms”. The report cites 3 key reasons why this goal is unlikely to be met:
Lack of government accountability sees millions continue to suffer globally
10,000 people must be freed each day if we are to eradicate modern slavery by 2030
Leading anti-slavery civil society organisations call on governments, facilitated by the UN, to develop indicators on all forms of modern slavery to improve measurement and accountability
Andrew Forrest, founder of Walk Free highlighted that the rate of change is not adequate if SDG 8.7 is to be met. “At the current rate of progress, achieving SDG 8.7 by 2030 is impossible,” he said. “We know that 47 countries globally have not yet recognised human trafficking as a crime in line with international standards. Nearly 100 countries still fail to criminalise forced labour or, if they do, the penalty for this form of exploitation amounts to nothing more than a fine. Less than one third of countries protect women and girls from the terrible harm of forced marriage. This is not a situation that any of us should tolerate.”
Walk Free is not the only group to call for measurement indicators to be attached to the goal. Many non-profits have raised concerns that there is currently no established way to measure progress towards the 2030 goal.