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International Labour Office The elimination of forced or compulsory labour Contemporary challenges Caroline OReilly Special Action Programme to combat.

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Presentation on theme: "International Labour Office The elimination of forced or compulsory labour Contemporary challenges Caroline OReilly Special Action Programme to combat."— Presentation transcript:

1 International Labour Office The elimination of forced or compulsory labour Contemporary challenges Caroline OReilly Special Action Programme to combat Forced Labour, IFP/Declaration ITC Turin/ACTRAV 3 March 2005

2 International Labour Office SAP-FL : What we do Established in 2001 after publication of « Stopping Forced Labour » Increase understanding of contemporary forced labour Advocacy and awareness raising Strengthen capacity of ILO constituents and others for effective action to eliminate forced labour practices Increase external visibility of ILOs role and activities and internal coherence

3 International Labour Office What is forced labour? ILO Convention No.29 Forced Labour Convention (1930) « Forced or compulsory labour shall mean all work or service which is exacted from any person under the menace of a penalty and for which the said person has not offered himself voluntarily » Art. 2 Exaction of forced labour must be punishable as a penal offence with penalties that are really adequate and strictly enforced

4 International Labour Office Two basic elements to the ILO definition Menace of a penalty – can be physical coercion, pyschological pressure or threats (e.g of deportation or handing over to authorities in cases of trafficking or irregular migration), or threats to family members, or threat of dismissal Involuntariness of labour relationship – lack of freedom to leave the job (even if entered into it « voluntarily ») e.g debt bondage

5 International Labour Office Exclusions Compulsory military services for work of purely military character normal civic obligations forced prison labour as a result of a conviction in a court of law and carried out under the control of a public authority work exacted in cases of emergency minor communal services in the interest of the community

6 International Labour Office Convention No.105 (1957) Abolition of Forced Labour Convention Forced labour can never be used as a: means of political coercion or education method for mobilizing labour for purposes of economic development means of labour discipline or punishment for participation in strikes means of racial, social, national or religious discrimination

7 International Labour Office Debt bondage Defined in the UN Supplementary Convention on the Abolition of Slavery….1956, as: « the status….arising from the from a pledge by a debtor of his personal services or of those of a person under his control as security for a debt, if the value of those services as reasonably assessed is not applied towards the liquidation of the debt or the length and nature of those services are not respectively limited and defined » Art. 1 (a)

8 International Labour Office Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention (No.182), 1999 Includes: « all forms of slavery or practices similar to slavery, such as the sale and trafficking of children, debt bondage and serfdom and forced or compulsory labour, including forced or compulsory recruitment of children for use in armed conflict »

9 International Labour Office Trafficking in persons the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation ….shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons (2000), Especially Women and Children, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime Art. 3(a)

10 International Labour Office Main categories of forced labour State-imposed FL includes situations such as the FL imposed by the military (e.g Burma/Myanmar), compulsory participation in public or community works (some cases in Africa), or forced prison labour (both in developing and industrialised countries). FL exacted by private individuals, entities or companies (the majority) includes forced commercial sexual exploitation as well as forced economic exploitation in different sectors: incl. agriculture and forestry, domestic service, small-scale manufacturing/sweat shops, construction, mining etc. Can be trafficked or non- trafficked. Mostly in the rural and informal economy

11 International Labour Office What is not (necessarily) forced labour? Super-exploitation, long hours, low pay… Very bad or hazardous working conditions Non-payment or delayed payment of wages Lack of job alternatives, so person is « forced » to work in order to survive (solely economic coercion) These may be indicators of possible forced labour, but do not alone and necessarily prove its existence Key question: « Can you, in theory at least, walk away from this work? »

12 International Labour Office Some challenges in tackling forced labour Generating political will to acknowledge and attack the problem Creating public awareness that it exists and a public demand to fight it Understanding and measuring forced labour Getting the right law and policies in place Identifying and freeing forced labourers (men, women, children) Building capacity to address FL in government, law enforcement, judiciary, workers and employers organisations, NGOs and strengthening coordination Having viable and sustainable alternatives in place Prevention is better than cure…

13 International Labour Office What the ILO does Standards supervision Law and policy advice to governments Research, awareness-raising and advocacy Capacity-building esp. with ILO constituents Field-based activities for prevention of FL/trafficking, and identification, release and rehabilitation of victims (working with local partners) Documentation and development of practical tools and training materials

14 International Labour Office Examples of project activities Brazil: abolition of « slave labour » China: reform of RETL and trafficking issues South Asia: preventing and eliminating bonded labour W. Africa: combating internal and external trafficking SE Asia: preventing exploitation of migrant domestic workers Europe and C. Asia: anti-trafficking, regulation of recruitment agencies Bolivia: stopping FL in Amazon region and plantation agriculture

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