- The Hon Kevin Rudd, MPMinister for Foreign Affairs
- The Hon Julie Bishop MPDeputy Leader of the Opposition
Crush Slavery by meeting the 0.7% GNI Millennium Development Goal
Thank you for supporting me in my 10,000 Push-ups to Crush Slavery campaign to raise awareness about slavery and human trafficking.
There are 27 million slaves in the world, including children worked to death by age 14 picking some of the cocoa that goes into the chocolate we eat, and girls as young as 6 sold into forced prostitution and internet porn businesses. The average price of a slave has fallen to US $90, and in some countries you can buy a slave for only $5. Enslaved children in Ghana are thrown overboard to untie fishing nets, with rocks tied to their ankles. Who cares if they don’t make it back up? It seems that people have become as expendable as paper cups.
The world’s experts in slavery agree that the root cause of slavery is poverty. “A man came into town offering jobs. I knew he looked shady, but my children were starving and there were no other choices.”
Australia was one of 191 countries to sign the Millennium Development Goals in 2000, where we pledged to “spare no effort to free our fellow men, women and children from the abject and dehumanising conditions of extreme poverty.” We also committed to giving our agreed share of 0.7% of our Gross National Income in foreign aid by 2015, yet we currently only give 0.32% , with a plan to reach 0.5% by 2015.
Dr Kevin Bales of Free The Slaves estimates the average cost to free a slave is $400. That’s not just rescue, but full rehabilitation and life-skills training. So the cost to free 27 million slaves at $400 each is US $10.8 billion. At a global level, that’s pocket change. It’s how much Australians spend on online purchases each year. It’s how much we earn from pokies each year. It’s what Americans spend on potato chips and pretzels, and ironically, how much they spend on self-help products. It’s Queensland’s budget for health, and the size of the alleged miscounting in the Opposition’s budget. It’s also what we’re likely to make from the Carbon Tax. Thank you for supporting my campaign to crush slavery. Please take the time to share this with all your friends.
- Minister for Foreign Affairs
The Hon Kevin Rudd, MP
- Deputy Leader of the Opposition
The Hon Julie Bishop MP
We, the undersigned, call on the Australian Government to set a time-line for achieving the promised 0.7% Gross National Income (GNI) target for Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) by 2015/16.
In "A discussion paper on Poverty, Development and the Elimination of Slavery", published by Anti Slavery International in October 2007, Kaye & McQuade argue that “development assistance which is targeted at those in slavery or at risk of becoming slaves may be particularly effective in helping to achieve the millennium development goals as well contributing towards the reduction of slavery from the world.” 
Australia was one of 191 countries to sign the Millennium Development Goals  in 2000, where we pledged to “spare no effort to free our fellow men, women and children from the abject and dehumanising conditions of extreme poverty.” We also committed to giving our agreed share of 0.7% of our Gross National Income in foreign aid by 2015, yet we currently only give 0.32% , with a plan to reach 0.5% by 2015.
Whilst the Australian Government is supportive of the MDGs and has made commitments to the global community to reaching 0.7% of gross national income (GNI) in overseas development assistance (ODA) by 2015/16, we give one of the lowest rates of all the OECD countries. The Rudd Government is working to raising ODA to 0.5% by 2015/16 - whilst we applaud the Government for this, we believe we should strive to set a timeline to reach the 0.7% target.
To reiterate, we call on the Australian Government to set a time-line for achieving the 0.7% Gross National Income (GNI) target for Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) by 2015/16.
We urge the Government to match its rhetoric with action, and to fulfill the commitments that we have already pledged to the global community. The Millennium Development Goals represent the best way for Australia to help end the suffering of the 27 million people currently trapped in slavery.
PS: You will also receive another 120 or so signatures on the offline petition.
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