A workshop on modern slavery – hosted in Entebbe, Uganda – which brought together parliamentarians from six African countries, has seen a significant increase in understanding and a greater commitment to combating human trafficking and exploitation from legislators.

Organised by the UK branch of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA UK), the Africa Regional Workshop highlighted some of the causes and consequences of modern slavery, which claims an estimated 45.8 million victims worldwide.

Delegates in attendance – from Ghana, Uganda, Nigeria, Kenya, Malawi and Mozambique – recorded a 35% increase in level of understanding of modern slavery and related issues, including human trafficking, forced labour, commercial sexual exploitation and transparency in supply chains. They also made pledges to combat these forms of exploitation, such as reviewing and strengthening existing anti-slavery legislation; campaigning to increase budgets to tackle modern slavery; and raising the awareness of modern slavery through debates in parliament and in the media.

Read the full Modern Slavery Africa Regional Workshop report here.

In an interview during the workshop, Ghana MP, Hon. Moses Anim said “Best practices demand that we [parliamentarians] come together to learn from each other and see how best we can consolidate laws and link up with the international community to ensure we curb [modern slavery]”.

Moving forward, CPA UK’s Modern Slavery Project, which is a two-year initiative, will seek to provide tailored support for individual parliaments in the area of legislative drafting, as well as building a network of legislators committed to tackling modern slavery across the Commonwealth and beyond. Find out more about the project here.

In Ghana specifically, the Global Slavery Index estimates that there are around 103,300 people living in slavery, of which 85 percent are in forced labour. The main industries of concern are farming and fishing, retail sales and manual labour and factory work.