The Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) has won a Commonwealth Secretary-General’s Innovation for Sustainable Development Award 2019, for its work to eliminate contemporary forms of slavery across the Commonwealth.
The awards showcase impactful and forward-looking solutions that are helping commonwealth countries and people achieve sustainable development, while advancing the values in the Commonwealth Charter.
The chairwoman of CHRI’s UK Executive Committee, Joanna Ewart-James, said: “This award indicates the Commonwealth Secretariat’s new commitment to tackling the scourge of modern slavery and child labour.
“We hope that our work on the nature and scope of modern slavery across Commonwealth countries both offers an impetus and guides practical, coordinated action towards its end.”
The CHRI said it had been advocating for the Commonwealth to play a leading role in achieving an alliance to end child labour since 2016.
CHRI has contributed to the Minderoo Foundation’s most recent update of the Global Slavery Index (GSI) and has also developed its own Indicator Framework to supplement and reinforce the GSI.
Working with Minderoo, the CHRI said it would feed into a public-facing Commonwealth Indicator Portal to be launched at the next CHOGM in Kigali, Rwanda, in 2020.
Head of CHRI’s London Office David White said: “We’re delighted to have our work recognised by the secretary-general.
“We look forward to working with Secretary-General Scotland, member governments, and civil society to ensure that momentum created at the last CHOGM is carried forward to the next at Kigali.”
CHRI had also established a network of over 50 local, grassroots civil society organisations working on SDG 8.7 issues across the Commonwealth, which will be launched officially in July.
The Commonwealth 8.7 Network will serve as a knowledge-sharing platform for best practice across all five regions of the Commonwealth and a mechanism for NGOs from across the Commonwealth to prepare collectively advocate.
– African News Agency