Modern day slavery and the EU

“Brexit could destroy EU progress on tackling modern slavery” says Aiden McQuaId in the magazine Left Foot Forward.

Pointing out that generally those trafficked enter the UK legally and that this could also increase the number of those vulnerable, he goes on to consider UK influence:

“Outside of the EU the UK would also lose its voice at the Council of Ministers and hence be unable to influence EU wide law and policy on slavery, such as the wider application of supply chain transparency provisions, introduced in the UK’s Modern Slavery Act. “

In his 2014 report, rapporteur Jose Mendes Bota of the European People’s Party revealed that trafficking is on the rise and that 84% are trafficked for the purpose of prostitution

In 2008, the EU were planning to strengthen the relationship with Ukraine and our research for a ‘Marshall Plan’ proposal, focussed on the issue of childcare reform:

“We see a staggering array of social problems arising directly from poverty, including but not limited to tens of thousands of children in orphanages or other state care; crime; disrespect for civil government because government cannot be felt or seen as civil for anyone left to suffer in poverty; young people prostituting themselves on the street; drug abuse to alleviate the aches and pains of the suffering that arises from poverty and misery; HIV/AIDS spreading like a plague amidst prostitution, unprotected sex, and drug abuse; more children being born into this mix and ending up in state care at further cost to the state; criminals coming from poverty backgrounds, ending up as bandits, returning to communities after prison, with few options except further criminal activity. These are all part and parcel of the vicious negative cycle of poverty, and this threatens to destroy Ukraine, if Ukraine is defined in terms of people rather than mere geographic boundaries.”

This was introduced to the EU as a submission to the EU Citizens Consultation.

The work was brought to the attention of Commissioner Michel Barnier VP of the European People’s Party in 2012 by MEP Sir Graham Watson.

Commissioner Barnier’s response acknowledged that part of their role was to ensure that “business that target social missions are well supported and financed throughout the EU”. He expressed hope for fruitful collaboration in future.

Not long after EU Trade Commissioner and UK business secretary Lord Mandelson declared at a social enterprise summit that his department were helping firms who help others.

The extent of collaboration was evident only a year later when the EU held a meeting in Strasbourg which introduced “the concept of people-centered business.”

The practic e of people-centered business had been introduced to the EU citizens consultation 5 years earlier with a ‘Marshall Plan’ for Ukraine which spelt out the primary focus:

“This is a long-term permanently sustainable program, the basis for “people-centered” economic development. Core focus is always on people and their needs, with neediest people having first priority — as contrasted with the eternal chase for financial profit and numbers where people, social benefit, and human well-being are often and routinely overlooked or ignored altogether. This is in keeping with the fundamental objectives of Marshall Plan: policy aimed at hunger, poverty, desperation and chaos. This is a bottom-up approach, starting with Ukraine’s poorest and most desperate citizens, rather than a “top-down” approach that might not ever benefit them. They cannot wait, particularly children. Impedance by anyone or any group of people constitutes precisely what the original Marshall Plan was dedicated to opposing. Those who suffer most, and those in greatest need, must be helped first — not secondarily, along the way or by the way. “

Lord Mandelson wasn’t exactly helping those who help others when he joined up with oligarch Dmitri Firtash to develop another ‘Marshall Plan’ as described in the Firtash Octopus.

Neither was Michel Barnier, whose European People’s Party have resolved to do the same thing, another ‘Marshall Plan’ for Ukraine.

Are the two plans connected? With projected costs in the range of hundreds of billions of euros, who will pay? Above all, will it benefit “those in greatest need”?

I remind these politicians of what General George Marshall said 70 years ago about profiting from huma misery:

“Our policy is directed not against any country or doctrine but against hunger, poverty, desperation and chaos. Its purpose should be the revival of a working economy in the world so as to permit the emergence of political and social conditions in which free institutions can exist. Such assistance, I am convinced, must not be on a piecemeal basis as various crises develop. Any assistance that this Government may render in the future should provide a cure rather than a mere palliative. Any government that is willing to assist in the task of recovery will find full co-operation I am sure, on the part of the United States Government. Any government which maneuvers to block the recovery of other countries cannot expect help from us. Furthermore, governments, political parties, or groups which seek to perpetuate human misery in order to profit therefrom politically or otherwise will encounter the opposition of the United States.”