Archive for April 4th, 2012


Child Labour Returns to Europe

Human Wrongs Watch

By Stefan Steinberg (WSWS*) – The latest figures released by the official European Union statistics agency Eurostat reveal that unemployment across the euro zone rose for the 10th consecutive month and topped 17 million, or 10.8 per cent of the workforce, in February. 

**Photo by R. K. Singam |Wikimedia Commons

The official jobless rate is the highest since the introduction of the euro 15 years ago and represents an increase of 1.5 million unemployed compared to one year ago.

The overall estimate of 17.1 million unemployed conceals considerable differences between individual European countries. The highest level of unemployment was registered in Spain, at 23.6 percent overall and more than 50 percent of those under 25 out of work. In second place was Greece at 21 percent.

At the bottom of the list are a number of northern European countries such as Austria, with just over 4 percent, and Germany, with an official unemployment rate of 5.7 percent.

There is good reason to believe that the Eurostat figures grossly underestimate the real unemployment problem in Europe. While Eurostat reports 5.7 percent unemployment in Germany, the German Labour Agency estimates unemployment in the country at 7.2 percent.

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2.4 Million Victims of Human Trafficking At Any Given Time Across the Globe

Human Wrongs Watch

New York – At any given time across the globe, some 2.4 million people are victims of human trafficking, a crime that generates $32 billion annually, rivalling the profits reaped by the illicit trade in arms and drugs. Every year, thousands of people fall into the hands of traffickers, in their own countries and abroad, with women comprise two thirds of trafficking victims.

**Photo credit: Kay Chernush for the U.S. State Department | Wikimedia Commons

These are some of the spine-chilling facts, which were presented on 3 April by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)* at a special UN General Assembly meeting.

“Where traffickers use threats and weapons, we must respond with laws and prosecutions,” UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said during an interactive dialogue meeting at the UN General Assembly in New York, entitled “Fighting Human Trafficking: Partnership and Innovation to End Violence Against Women.”

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