AFT Resolution


WHEREAS, there are an estimated 25 million people trapped in some form of slavery today. According to the International Labor Organization, modern-day slavery has become the fastest growing transnational criminal enterprise, earning an estimated $150 billion in illegal profits annually; and

WHEREAS, Section 1 of the 13th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution provides that “neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States”; and

WHEREAS, modern-day slavery today harms people in every country of the world, including: child marriage in India; open-air slave auctions of youth in Libya; and corporations recruiting child soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. The United States is by no means exempt from the scourge of modern-day slavery, as thousands of people are trafficked within our own borders in a wide range of industries, such as agriculture, domestic work, forced prostitution, service industries, fishing, wrongfully convicted and construction; forced marriage/child marriage is an issue in the U.S., as it is worldwide; and

WHEREAS, modern-day slavery is particularly dangerous to youth, who are at extreme risk for abuse and exploitation; according to the State Department, of the 700,000 people trafficked across international borders worldwide, 50 percent are children and 80 percent are young women and girls; and

WHEREAS, Education International and Public Services International are dedicated to social justice issues that seek to eradicate the underlying causes of modern-day slavery, including the fight against global poverty, worker exploitation, exploitation of women and children; and

WHEREAS, the American Federation of Teachers is recognized for speaking out against human rights abuses through its work as co-chair of the Child Labor Coalition, its affiliate partnerships combatting human trafficking, and through its various protest campaigns that have drawn attention and response from the Department of State, Department of Defense, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the International Labor Organization; and

WHEREAS, the AFT’s Teach Human Rights website, created by members for members, is among the most popular resources for project-based learning human rights tools available online:

RESOLVED, that the American Federation of Teachers will expand its agenda of online teacher tools to provide our members with current cases for project-based learning on key human rights issues; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT will urge Education International to host a new educational website, dedicated to the grave injustice of modern-day slavery, where the spotlight stories of victims from around the world will be profiled to help as a teaching tool to challenge and inspire students.



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