SOMEWHERE IN SYRIA — The Islamic State will soon be appointed to head the United Nations subcommittee tasked with abolishing slavery worldwide, according to several people familiar with the matter.
An ISIL official, who declined to give his name claiming, “There are literally drones circling my ministry right now.” The official said that ISIL hopes it can have a significant impact on the committee. “We don’t have illegal slavery in our caliphate, unlike other countries such as Mauritania or Eritrea or the Zionist entity. But we recognize that modern slavery is a real issue. We hope that we can help the world understand how our culturally rooted labor and marriage practices are in fact fully in line with accepted human rights norms.”
The terrorist group with ambitions of statehood has long sought a position on the UN’s prestigious Human Right Council, or UNHRC. Because the group is not recognized as a state by any other country, it will assume its role as chair of the UNHRC’s subcommittee on the abolition of slavery in an observer status.
UN officials argue is a necessary step. “I don’t get the criticism. You can ride your high horse all you want, but the fact is that the Islamic State beheaded fewer people than Saudi Arabia last year,” said a UN official, who asked not to be named because she basically lacks the courage to be identified, like every other anonymous official everywhere. “They are valid and important stakeholders in the fight against modern slavery.”
In its new role, ISIL envoys will help advise the UN special rapporteur on slavery on global issues “with particular attention paid to the Islamic world.” Other members of the subcommittee include Mauritania, North Korea, and South Sudan.
International human rights groups have expressed support for the move. “”If we want to build a better world, the first step is meeting in a big tent,” said a think tank scholar with extensive opinions on international issues. “ISIL can be a key partner in the fight against modern slavery and I look forward to seeing how its unique perspective on these issues contributes to the global dialogue that is necessary to solve these problems.”