LAHORE - Speakers at a conference have stressed the need for making joint efforts against modern day slavery from the country.

ECO Azaadi Trust arranged the first ever ‘End Slavery Conference’ at Royal Palm Golf and Country Club yesterday to devise a joint strategy for eradicating slavery in all forms. Parliamentarians, civil society reps and officials joined in.

Former minister Samsam Bukhari said that child and forced marriages, bonded labour, human trafficking and domestic servitude were the most widely used methods of enslaving people around the world.

He said that ending modern slavery and forced labour was a noble mission that ECO Azaadi was struggling to perform in the society. He said the government needed to contribute more in taking steps for eradicating modern day slavery.

Human Rights Activists Amna Akhsheed, Syeda Ghulam Fatima and IA Rehman shared their experiences on miseries of survivors of modern slavery in the country.

IA Rehman said that there was a serious threat to the humanity. He argued that the Global Slavery Index 2014 estimated 2,059,200 people were enslaved in Pakistan, ranking Pakistan in the top five countries with the highest number of people in modern slavery in absolute terms.

Founding General partner of the White Sand Investor Group Elliott Donnelley said that it was essential to help poor and marginalized people to come out of poverty and slavery like conditions. He shared that United Nations has set goals and targets to end slavery in Sustainable Development Goals (Goal 8).

Dr Maria Zulfiqar called for media role in mobilizing the people against such social evils. She said that the role of media was also critical in the process of effective legislative measure.

Ahmed Waleed said that effective media engagement would contribute to bringing in change. ECO Azaadi Chairman Raza Jaffar highlighted the moot objectives’ while General Secretary Naveed Gilani shared the trust’s objective with the participants. At the end, Raza Jafar and trustees distributed shields and certificates among the participants.