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Da’wah, How Muslim Propagators Deceive the Infidels

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Da’wah is one of the three arms that operate the Islamic strategy, together with Jihad and Hijrah.

Among the three Da’wah is the most dangerous, just because Western culture does not understand. It is the stealth devise, a means to deceive and to mislead the infidels about the essence of Islam, its operational aims and strategies, introducing the nice face of Islam as a religion of peace and compassion.

The motive of Da’wah is religious: the strengthening and expansion of Islam, and it is based on the Qur’an commandments, which can be observed as Jihād al-Da’wah, the spreading of Islam among the infidels by peaceful propagating means. It is intended to changing the infidels’ minds and behavior and to subverting their mode of thinking. It is a cultural coercive strategy aimed at toppling Western democratic liberal regimes by eliminating their freedoms and by infiltrating Western technology and society’s fabrics and destroying them from within. Where Jihad works on the body, on the material structure, Da’wah works on the mental–spiritual side as a persuasion means; where Jihad operates to terrorize and intimidate, Da’wah aimed at deceiving, confusing, and misleading; where Jihad acts to submit, Da’wah paves the way to Islamize.

According to these lines, Jamal Badawi, one of the known Muslim propagandists in the US, wrote an e-mail to Robert Spencer, on February 14 2005. The aim was to prove that all verses of the Qur’an are peaceful, and that Islam promotes peace and it is against violence and wars:

“The Qur’an prohibits compulsion in religion [2:256]. It teaches the Oneness of God, acceptance and respect of all prophets [2:285], broad human brotherhood [49:13], acceptance of plurality [5:48; 11:118], universal justice and fair dealing [4:134, 5:8]. It demands just, kind and respectful treatment of those who co-exist peacefully with Muslims [60:8-9]. Peaceful dialogue with the People of the Book and the emphasis on common grounds with them is a repeated theme in the Qur’an [3:64; 29:46, 5:5].

This list sums up most of the contemporary Islamic propaganda in plenty internet sites and various publications. It is distinctive and highly definitive that Muslim propagators purposely quote verses from the Qur’an that were written in the early days of Islam at Mecca, where Muhammad was weak and his followers were few and vulnerable. These passages make Islam appear a bit compassionate and peaceful. However, the Islamic propaganda that claims that the Meccan verses are dominant in Islamic teaching, is either ignorant of actual Islamic doctrine and tidings, or it practices a sophisticated deception of Da’wah.

Well, the question is are these verses quoted above really mean what Badawi says? It is easy to refute his claims as a pure propagation by introducing the real meaning of the verses.

As about verse 2:256, “no compulsion in religion,” La Ikrāh fīl-Dīn. Probably there is no verse more frequently cited by contemporary Muslims propagators to mislead the infidels. Let’s read verse 2:256 in entirety:

There is no compulsion in religion. Truly the right way has become clearly distinct from error; therefore, whoever disbelieves in Satan and believes in Allah, indeed has laid hold on the firmest handle, which shall not break off.

This verse was given after the Badr War, in March 624. According to the most authoritative Muslim exegetes, there are the following explanations to the verse circumstances:

First, the cause of this verse was the expulsion of the Jewish tribe of Banu al-Nadir, and it has nothing to do with tolerance towards the other. The women of Ansar, Arabs who joined Islam in Medina, used to make a vow to convert their sons to Judaism if they lived. When the tribe of Banu al-Nadir was expelled from Medina, some children of the Ansar were among them, so their parents could not abandon them; hence Allah revealed: “There is no compulsion in religion…”

Second, according to Ibn Ishaq, in his Sīrat Rasûl Allāh, narrated Ibn Abbas: it was revealed with regard to a man from the tribe of Bani Salim whose two sons converted to Christianity but he was himself a Muslim. He told the Prophet: “Shall I force them to embrace Islam as they insist on Christianity”, hence Allah revealed this verse. But, continue Ibn Ishaq, it was abrogated by the verses of “fighting” the infidels, in Sûrat al-Fath, 48:16; Sûrat al-Taubah, 9:73; and Sûrat al-Taubah, 9:123.

Third, according to Ibn Kathir: Allah says: “There is no compulsion in religion”, meaning: do not force anyone to embrace Islam, because it is clear and its proofs and evidences are manifest. Whoever Allah guides and opens his heart to Islam has indeed embraced it with clear evidence. Whoever Allah misguides and blinds his heart cannot embrace Islam by force. Therefore, all people of the world should be called to Islam. If anyone of them refuses to do so, or refuses to pay the Jizyah, they should be fought till they are killed. This is the meaning of “compulsion.”

Fourth, according to Nahhas, with the authority of Ibn ‘Abbas: “scholars differed concerning 2:256. Some said it has been abrogated by Sûrat al-Taubah, 9:73, for the Prophet compelled the Arabs to embrace Islam and fought those that had no alternative but to surrender to Islam. Other scholars said that it has not been abrogated concerning the People of the Book. It is only the infidels who are compelled to embrace Islam, and upon them 9:73 applies. The Prophet said: I have been ordered to fight against the people until they testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah. This Hadīth is taken from the words of Allah in Sûrat al-Baqarah, 2:193. Allah sent Muhammad calling people to Him, showing the way to the truth… until the evidence of Allah’s truth became manifest … He ordered him to call people by the sword…”

Fifth, according to Suyuti, verse 2:256 was not abrogated by 9:73, but this is a case of delaying or postponing the command to fight the infidels until the Muslims become strong. This view exactly supports the issue: in Mecca Muhammad was weak with few followers, and he could not resist his enemies. From here the mild pronouncements concerning fighting his rivals. However, in Medina Muhammad became strong, and he ordered the Believers to fight the infidels.

However, most important to understand the meaning of verse 2:256, is by reading the following verse 2:257, which is connected to it. This sums up the entire issue:

Allah is the guardian of those who believe. He brings them out of the darkness into the light, and as to those who disbelieve, their guardian is Satan who takes them out of the light into the darkness. They are the inmates of the fire, in it they shall abide forever.    

Concluding the issue, one has to look at the context, to realize there is nothing compassionate and peace-loving here. No tolerance and no accepting other religions as legitimate. Verse 2:257 confirms that 2:256 prove, by definition and along its entire Scripture Islam is ethnocentric, racist and homophobic.

As about 2:285, in which Badawi says it “teaches the oneness of God, acceptance and respect of all prophets.” Well, Badawi is misleading as a propagator. The verse says:

The Apostle believes in what has been revealed to him from his Lord, and so do the believers. They all believe in Allah and his angels and his book and his Apostles. We make no difference between any of his Apostles, and they say: we hear and obey, our Allah (emphasis is mine).

That is, there is no pluralism and respect of the other. It is a firm belief in Allah alone and in Islam as the only legitimate religion. Moreover, this is the proof how Islam is compulsive and abusive. According to Islamic Din al-Fitrah, all human being are Muslims from the beginning of history to the end of the world. All Jewish and Christian prophets are Muslims and all submit to Allah. It is totally opposite from pluralism and tolerance. This is not exactly what Badawi says when he deceives the infidels with his pure propagation. Islam is in fact ethnocentric and racist.

As about 49:13, in which Badawi says “broad human brotherhood.” Well, it is not exactly as he says. The verse declares:

O people! We created you from a male and a female, and made you races and tribes, that you may know one another. The best among you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous (emphasis is mine).

The verse refers to the Arabs alone. It is clear from the next verse (49:14):

The Desert-Arabs say, “We have believed.” Say, “You have not believed; but say, ‘We have submitted,’ for faith has not yet entered into your hearts. But if you obey Allah and His Messenger, He will not diminish any of your deeds. Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.”

There is absolutely no “broad human brotherhood,” but submission to Islam alone. On the contrary, by definition and along its entire Scripture, Islam is ethnocentric, racist and homophobic.

As about 5:48 and 11:118, in which Badawi says “acceptance of plurality.” The analysis is far away from what he says: verse 5:48 declares:

And we revealed to you the Book [Qur’an], with truth, confirming the Scripture that preceded it, and superseding it. So judge [Muhammad] between them according to what Allah revealed, [meaning the superiority of the Qur’an] and do not follow their desires if they differ from the truth that has come to you. For each of you we have assigned a law and a method. Had Allah willed, He could have made you a single nation, but He tests you through what He has given you. So compete in righteousness. To Allah is your return, all of you; then He will inform you of what you had disputed (emphasis is mine).

It is also clear from the next verse (5:49):

And judge between them according to what Allah revealed, and do not follow their desires. And beware of them, lest they lure you away from some of what Allah has revealed to you. But if they turn away, know that Allah intends to strike them with some of their sins. In fact, a great many people are corrupt (emphasis is mine).

To be sure, verse 5:47 says:

So let the people of the Gospel rule according to what Allah revealed in it. Those who do not rule according to what Allah revealed are the sinners.

Verse 11:118 declares:

Had your Lord willed, He could have made humanity one community, but they continue to differ (emphasis is mine).

This is not a declaration of plurality, but differentiation: those who are not Muslims continue to differ and that is why Allah has not made humanity one community. A proof comes from verses 11:117, and 11:119:

Your Lord would never destroy the towns wrongfully, while their inhabitants are righteous.

Except those on whom your Lord has mercy-for that reason He created them. The Word of your Lord is final: “I will fill Hell with jinn and humans, altogether.”

These verses do not show any pluralism. On the contrary, by definition and along its entire Scripture, Islam is ethnocentric, racist and homophobic.

As about verses 4:134, 5:8, in which Badawi says “universal justice and fair dealing.” It is important to show these have nothing to do with the subject matter.

Whoever desires the reward of this world with Allah is the reward of this world and the next. Allah is All-Hearing, All-Seeing.

This verse has nothing to do with “universal justice and fair dealing.” It says: the Muslims loyal believers will receive Allah’s rewards in this world and the next. That is all. Moreover, the verses before and after clear the issue:

132. To Allah belongs everything in the heavens and everything on earth. God suffices as Manager.

133. If He wills, He can do away with you, O people, and bring others. Allah is Able to do that.

135. O you who believe! Stand firmly for justice, as witnesses to Allah, even if against yourselves, or your parents, or your relatives. Whether one is rich or poor, Allah takes care of both. So do not follow your desires, lest you swerve. If you deviate, or turn away, then Allah is Aware of what you do.

As about 5:8. It relates only to the Muslims.

O you who believe! Be upright to Allah, witnessing with justice; and let not the hatred of a certain people [not Muslims] prevent you from acting justly [to your fellow believers]. Adhere to justice, for that is nearer to piety; and fear Allah. Allah is informed of what you do (emphasis is mine).

The verses before and after prove this issue clearly:

And Remember Allah’s blessings upon you, and His covenant which He covenanted with you; when you said, “We hear and we obey.” And remain conscious of Allah, for Allah knows what the hearts contain.

Allah has promised those who believe and work righteousness: they will have forgiveness and a great reward (emphasis is mine).

Concluding these, by definition and along its entire Scripture, Islam is ethnocentric, racist and homophobic.

As about 60:8-9, in which Badawi says Islam “demands just, kind and respectful treatment of those who co-exist peacefully with Muslims.” One can only wonder how Badawi interpret these verses. The verses are as follows:

As for those who have not fought against you for your religion, nor expelled you from your homes, Allah does not prohibit you from dealing with them kindly and equitably. Allah loves the equitable.

But Allah prohibits you from befriending those who fought against you over your religion, and expelled you from your homes, and aided in your expulsion. Whoever takes them for friends-these are the wrongdoers.

These verses prove that those who resist Islamic coercive religion and prefer not to become Muslims, their fate is to be fought. Islam is ethnocentric and warmongering.

As about 3:64; 29:46, 5:5, in which Badawi says Islam advocates for “peaceful dialogue with the People of the Book and the emphasis on common grounds with them is a repeated theme in the Qur’an.” However, Badawi reveals only a small portion of the truth. The verses are as follows:

3:64. Say, “O People of the Book, come to terms common between us and you: that we worship none but Allah, and that we associate nothing with Him, and that none of us takes others as lords besides Allah.” And if they turn away, say, “Bear witness that we have submitted.”

5:5. Today all good things are made lawful for you. And the food of those given the Scripture is lawful for you, and your food is lawful for them. So are chaste believing women, and chaste women from the people who were given the Scripture before you, provided you give them their dowries, and take them in marriage, not in adultery, nor as mistresses. But whoever rejects faith, his work will be in vain, and in the Hereafter he will be among the losers.

29:46. And do not argue with the People of the Scripture except in the best manner possible, except those who do wrong among them. And say, “We believe in what was revealed to us, and in what was revealed to you; and our Allah and your Allah is One; and to Him we are submissive” (all emphases are mine).

According to these verses it is not a peaceful dialogue but a coercive one: if Jews and Christians accept Allah as their only deity, and associate nothing with him, then there is a cooperation. However, if they stick to their God then they are sinners. Even for women it is one-sided: Muslims can take Jewish and Christian women but not vice-versa. But the issue is much more complicated. Even in their prayer, in Sūrat al-Fātihah, verse 7, Muslims disassociate themselves from the Jews, who have gone astray and Christians, on whom there is the wrath of Allah.

Unfortunately, Judaism and Christianity are rejected and not acceptable to Allah, after he has sent his final messenger to the entire world. Jews are sinners and transgressors and have therefore forfeited their status as the chosen people. They are evil incarnate like devils, since they have killed all the prophets. They have turned into monkeys and pigs destined to suffer in Hellfire forever.

As for Christianity, it is a corrupted and distorted religion based on myths and legends. Jesus is a Muslim Prophet who asserts that the foundations of Christianity, like the Trinity, are false, and that Christ’s Divinity is a blasphemy. Christians are infidels and blasphemers and have invented lies about Allah by ascribing partners to Allah, which is the worst of sins. For that, they are condemned forever to Hell. Jesus will come back and destroy Christianity by breaking the Cross, and on the Day of Judgment he will be a witness against them. Indeed. On the Day of Resurrection, Jews and Christians would take the place of Muslims in Hell.

For Badawi’s sake, here is an up-to-date version of Islamic behavior concerning the non-Muslims: fighting is prescribed upon the believers (2:216). It is Jihad in the cause of Allah (2:244 and other forty verses) against the powers of Satan (4:76), the infidels and the hypocrites (9:5; 9:73; 66:9), and the People of the Book (9:29). The order for the Muslims is to smite their necks (47:4; 8:12) and to strike terror in their hearts (3:151; 8:60), including the People of the Book (59:2), for the hereafter world (4:74). For that, the Jihadi Muslims will earn paradise (3:195: 9:72: 13:22-23; 47:4-6), and their reward will be black-eyed virgins (44:51-54; 52:17-20; 56:22-24), and the utmost tiding is that they are not dead, but alive, staying beside Allah (2:154; 3:169).

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New Social Compact

Gender and Climate Change: Where are we and what next?

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credit: UN photo

Climate change affects women more profoundly than men. Often, women bear the brunt of extreme weather events because they lack economic, political and legal power, especially in developing countries.

Because of cultural barriers and their lower economic status, women often have fewer assets to fall back on than men. They are largely absent from decision-making because of unequal participation in leadership roles – further compounding their vulnerability. So when it comes to coping with climate change, women usually have fewer adaptive strategies than men.

The women who live in poor rural communities use natural resources in a different way than men because they possess fewer assets.  It is women, for example, who are responsible for collecting firewood, fetching water, growing food – or foraging for it – making them more vulnerable to the climatic changes that affect these resources.  So the international community must pay attention to gender dynamics when it develops climate change policies and puts them into action.

International recognition – where are we now?

International frameworks are beginning to incorporate a gender dimension into action on climate change. The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) emphasises gender balance and increased participation of women in its processes and in national delegations. It also calls for the development of gender responsive climate policies at all levels.

Gender is also getting more attention at climate change conferences.  In 2014, at COP20 in Lima, a Programme of Action on Gender was established ‘to advance implementation of gender-responsive climate policies’. The Paris Agreement of 2015 acknowledged the importance gender equality and empowerment of women in climate action. In 2017, COP23 established a Gender Action Plan.  So there is forward momentum.

And with developing countries calling for more money to address climate change, there is also an increasing emphasis on gender-responsive budgeting. The Green Climate Fund – the largest international fund for countering climate change – is shifting towards a more gender-sensitive approach and recently developed a Gender Policy and Action Plan.

The Commonwealth, gender and climate change

The Commonwealth has a long history of championing small states, women and young people.  In 2015, the Commonwealth Summit introduced a Women’s Forum to amplify the voice of women and raise key gender issues to leaders. Gender and climate change issues gained further momentum at the 2018 Summit in London, when heads of government committed to accelerating action to achieve targets under the Paris Agreement and the Women’s Forum called for the Commonwealth to take gender into account in addressing climate change.

Gender and climate change is one of four gender priorities of the Commonwealth.  That means the Commonwealth is shaping its work to reflect gender considerations.  However, more can be done to build on synergies and collaborate with partners to increase support to small and vulnerable states.

What next?

The urgency of climate change requires more progress at a greater pace. Increasing the participation and engagement of women in addressing it is a first and critical step.  I look forward to seeing progress and will follow discussions on the Gender Action Plan at COP24 in Poland later this week.  Even more important will be the first report on its implementation in 2019 because – as they say – the proof of the pudding is in the eating.

Sharing experiences and learning from what is already happening is important in understanding gaps and challenges and in developing better responses and strategies, so I would love to hear your thoughts and experiences on this topic. Are there challenges and lessons learned that you feel are important and that can shape the agenda moving forward, especially in the Commonwealth?

The Commonwealth

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New Social Compact

Young Voices Program: Global Space for Youth Empowerment

Rattana Lao

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Young people matter. Not just because they can be powerful constituencies to recruit or consumers to develop. They matter in their own right and their growth is fundamental for the future stability and civilized success of societies, countries, and the world.

Unfortunately, a space for them to be themselves – to express and explore their own thoughts and to learn to articulate their own voices – is limited, especially on a global scale. Within the limited spaces available, most are politicized if not outright commercialized. Too often, youth have been used as vehicles for narcissistic adults, power-hungry politicians, and greedy conglomerates. In other words, around the globe grownups have maximized, exploited, and manipulated the power and potential of the young, all supposedly in the name of ‘youth.’

With seventeen years of experience in educational and youth empowerment projects in Thailand and Asia, I have witnessed how these exploitations take place. Politicians talk about the importance of education, but only in terms of gaining votes for themselves. Political transactions are not bad in and of themselves, if the votes can bring about better schooling, equal opportunities, and gender equity, just to name some rightful benefits. More often than not, however, these talks on education are shallow rhetoric that cease to impact reality after the votes have been dropped into the ballot boxes.

The commitment to education is there, don’t get me wrong. Countries spend billions of dollars on it. But the commitment for youth excellence, for the articulation of original youth analysis, is lacking. More space is needed for youth to express themselves, their concerns for their society, and debate the ideas openly and civilly. Elite schools have done this for centuries – bringing the best and brightest minds together in a room to debate and articulate their thoughts. But with the internet, online spaces have become critical in creating opportunity for youth dialogues and learning spaces. But now the online arena also carries with it dangers: we need to create spaces that provide enlarged, engaged, and equitable venues for youth to participate in the important issues of the day, without fear of retaliation, retribution, or politicization. More youth need to get involved in expressing their ideas on issues that matter to them, to truly become globally-engaged citizens now. This is not so much about a virtual ‘safe space’ as it is a declaration of creating virtual engaged spaces. These are too few and far between in today’s world.

Thus, increasing quality online courses make quality learning fairer and more accessible to youth worldwide. This is why we propose the creation of an online platform on Modern Diplomacy, one of the most vibrant e-magazines in Europe, with massive followers far beyond it. This MD platform believes in the freedom of expression and sharing of ideas. It will allow youth – students across the world in all types of institutions – to not just share their ideas but have opportunities to engage with their own readers, creating a vibrant dialogue and budding global youth network.

Professor Anis Bajrektarevic, professor of Law from the University of Vienna and Chairman of Modern Diplomacy, put it bluntly by saying we are in a crisis of the “cognitive:” namely, there is a dearth of “cognition.” In some circles, the talk already flows about the existence of a “cognitive war:”

“To address this issue, we need to rethink our global intellectual flow, create information pathways for youth to create their own narratives beyond traditional convention so they can articulate themselves, learn to become self-assured, and explore their boundaries and limitations”.

With this new MD platform project, youth can write about current affairs, contest theories, or share their own original creative trajectories. They can learn from each other by being engaged and reading new ideas not as a form of competition but as a spur for new intellectual growth. In addition, they can get feedback to improve their writing from a team of international, experienced, and well-articulated youth editors. Aditi Aryal, one of the editors for the MD Young Voices program, is an experienced and highly-regarded international writer. Growing up in Nepal and India, she has extensive experience in writing, addressing social taboos, and gender restriction in the South Asian context:

“Modern Diplomacy is a huge platform that permits the expression of unfettered ideas and opinions. It has always been a vibrant platform that allows writers to express freely without having to face backlash, judgment, or censorship. As I began my writing journey with Modern Diplomacy, I grew not only as a writer but also as a thinker. It has always supported my quest for expression of ideas without obstructions. I have found in Modern Diplomacy a secure space that has nurtured me, my writing, expression, and thoughts. There could not have been a more conducive platform for this growth that I have seen in myself”.

Another leading editor is Selene Sandoval, graduate student at Teachers College- Columbia University. Being a first-generation student of color to attend college in her family, Selene brings a passion for education, equity, and social empowerment. An experienced writer and tutor, she can help train and inspire other young writers to express and articulate themselves:

“My current belief for youth is that we have a voice stronger than we might realize. That is why it is essential for students around the world to research and be involved in issues that are affecting our generation, whether it be education, politics, or social issues. Students have historically been at the forefront of radical shifts in society by expressing their opinions on such issues like civil rights. Not only is it a way to express your opinion on current events and news around the world, but it is a way to grow as a writer. Writing as a basic skill is fundamental because it is part of every field. The more we are able to effectively communicate our ideas through writing, the more we are able to develop our professional careers. Modern Diplomacy can be the platform where you express your interests in a way that may be palatable for other youth to read and understand.”

‘Young Voices’ as a platform requires space where the communication and interaction of minds and ideas flow freely without judgment. By learning and engaging dissimilar perspectives and engaging in healthy debates and discussions, across all analytical disciplines and geographical locations, we welcome any age group to be participants! We at Modern Diplomacy seek to provide young people a constructive and cohesive community to build around them, based on the freedom of expression, intense analysis, and rigorous, rational thought.

Articles selected will be published on Modern Diplomacy online and the best articles will be published in our geopolitical Ebook series.

Articles can be submitted for reviews at mdyv[at]moderndiplomacy.eu

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The need for speed on modern slavery

Dr. James Cockayne

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Three years ago, world leaders committed to take effective measures to end modern slavery by 2030. By the best estimates, there are around 40.3 million people in modern slavery. Reaching that goal would mean 9,127 people being removed from or prevented from falling into modern slavery each and every day between now and 31 December 2030.

How close are we to meeting that proposed rate of change? Until now, the short answer has been: we don’t really know. There has been no centralized place to access information on the rate of change towards this goal.

That changed on Sunday, the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery. Delta 8.7 – a project of the Centre for Policy Research at United Nations University – began publishing country data dashboards measuring the change towards this goal.

These dashboards bring together the best available data on modern slavery, forced labour, human trafficking and child labour for each country. They also provide contextual information, including details of what each country is doing to bring these numbers down, and links to relevant legislation, national action plans and social protection arrangements. Over the coming months, more of these dashboards will be steadily rolled out.

So what do these dashboards tell us?

First, the dashboards suggest we are nowhere near the rate of change needed to meet the goal of ending modern slavery by 2030.

Even the countries that are performing best, with double-digit reductions in child labour, are not achieving the sustained reductions needed to meet the 2030 targets. Until we have more complete country coverage it will be too early to draw conclusions on a ‘global’ reduction rate, but the signs from the first set of dashboards are that a steep increase in reduction rates is needed.

Second, they show that we need to rapidly improve our ability to measure these reduction rates.

Most of the countries covered have reliable data only for child labour. Our ability to measure reduction of modern slavery, forced labour and human trafficking is much weaker. That stands to reason: countries have invested more, over a longer period, in measuring child labour. Only recently have they begun to invest in efforts to measure modern slavery and forced labour with the same scientific rigor.

There are promising signs on this front, though. In October national statisticians from around the world agreed a new method for measuring forced labour, which should make better data available in the next few years. The UN’s Office on Drugs and Crime has also been working with countries to strengthen measurement of human trafficking.

Third, the country dashboards suggest that there may be lessons from the effort against child labour for the fight against adult forms of modern slavery, forced labour and human trafficking. Some of the reductions in child labour identified in the dashboards are impressive – for example, child labour decreased 59% between 2002 and 2015 in Brazil, while in Argentina it decreased 31% in just one year between 2011 and 2012. Figuring out ‘what worked’ in the fight against child labour may be instructive as we seek to identify ‘what works’ in the fight against modern slavery – and scale it up.

Generating this type of knowledge can take time. Starting in February 2019, the project will work with partners to accelerate the knowledge-generation process on ‘Code 8.7’, by bringing artificial intelligence and machine learning into the equation. Computational science offers a way to accelerate the process of understanding what works to end modern slavery.

Ultimately, however, it will be up to world leaders to learn these lessons – whether generated by artificial intelligence or the old-fashioned human kind. Unless world leaders accelerate their own learning and efforts, chances are, we will not come close to meeting their lofty goal.

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