Delegates were addressed by Chief Justice and President of the Supreme Court of Kenya, Lady Justice Martha Koome and by Hon. Dr. Moses M. Wetang’ula EGH MP, Speaker of the National Assembly of Kenya, who formally opened the workshop and said: “The work that lies before us carries an unprecedented significance that cannot be overstated”.
The workshop also attracted many of the world’s leading civil society organisations (CSOs), such as Anti-Slavery International, Lifeline/Childline and the United Nations Global Compact Network.
The final day of the workshop concluded as delegates participating in both workstreams united behind joint resolutions that committed them to further actions.
Within the ‘Resolution of the Modern Slavery Group’, delegates:
- Pledged to provide a global network to share best practices and information about how local modern slavery and similar laws are implemented and enforced.
- Called on heads of government to take action to eradicate modern slavery and human trafficking, in line with UN Strategic Development Goal 8.7, and pledged to raise this matter in their parliaments in advance of the Commonwealth Heads of Governments Meeting in 2024.
- Called on Commonwealth parliaments to introduce security and health packages for their parliamentarians, given the risks associated with working on this issue.
Delegates take part in a 'mock' committee exercise
Within the ‘Resolution of the VAWG (Violence Against Women and Girls) Group’, delegates:
- Called for evidence-based policies and implementation plans for eliminating Violence Against Women and Girls to be part of the deliberation of the next Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in 2024 in Samoa.
- Requested that those recommendations demonstrate the harm done to women and girls through abusive actions such as FGM, child marriage, domestic violence amongst intrusive partners, teenage pregnancy, forced marriage and all forms of rape.
- Called on Commonwealth leaders to join parliamentarians in taking a public stand to reject VAWG in all its forms and advocate for change in their country.
Dame Maria Miller MP, Chair of CPA UK, who was also a delegate on the gender-based violence workstream, commented on the significance of these resolutions: “The issues this workshop addressed are two of the most far-reaching and devastating humanitarian challenges of our time. Their global scale requires parliamentarians from across the world to come together and learn from one another’s experiences and, crucially, to commit to their eradication behind a unified strategy - I am pleased that the workshop achieved just that.
“The Commonwealth, with its similar legal and parliamentary structures, enables us to collaborate and detail our response strategies in a way no other organisation can.”
The Workshop was delivered as part of a Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office-funded project: Strengthening Parliamentary Oversight and Effectiveness in Tackling Gender-based Violence and Modern Slavery.
A full report on the workshop will be published by CPA UK. A link will appear on this page once it is available.