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The ILO and victims of forced labour and human trafficking Caroline OReilly ILO Special Action Programme to Combat Forced Labour.

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Presentation on theme: "The ILO and victims of forced labour and human trafficking Caroline OReilly ILO Special Action Programme to Combat Forced Labour."— Presentation transcript:

1 The ILO and victims of forced labour and human trafficking Caroline OReilly ILO Special Action Programme to Combat Forced Labour

2 1.What is forced labour 2.Number of victims of forced labour – who is most vulnerable 3.The role of workers organizations 4.The role of the private sector and business

3 The labour exploitation continuum Decent Work = Work in freedom, equity, security and human dignity Trafficking in human beings Forced labour Decent work Labour exploitation

4 What is forced labour? ILO Forced Labour Convention, 1930 (No. 29) « All work or service that is exacted from any person under the menace of any penalty and for which the said person has not offered himself voluntarily »

5 Indicators of forced labour and trafficking Recruitment Coercion in employment Debt-induced forced labour Forced labour in prisons Withholding or non-payment of wages Retention of identity documents or other valuables Compulsory overtime Threats of violence, harassment, intimidation Restricted freedom of movement or changing employer Excessive costs of transport, accommodation, food Manipulation of a debt (through loan or wage advance) Unjustified wage deductions Involuntary work performed by prisoners for the benefit of a private undertaking Excessive recruitment fees Deception about type, location or conditions of work Compulsory deposit Substitution of contracts

6 Vulnerability factors Social and economic factors : poverty, disability, discrimination (gender or racial), debt, lack of education Isolation factors : Migrant workers, not speaking the language of the place of destination; illegal status (residence and/or work); remote locations Psychological factors: fear of deportation, pressure from family or community members

7 Who is most vulnerable? Sectors at risk Agriculture and fisheries Construction Forestry & logging Garments & textiles Cleaning & security services Transport (incl. seafarers) Domestic workers Groups at risk Informal economy workers Indigenous & tribal peoples Low caste groups and minorities Migrant workers, especially with irregular status Women, youth and children 80% of all forced labour occurs in the private economy

8 ILO research in Eastern Europe

9 ILO Global Estimate

10 The ILO Global Estimate

11 What can trade unions do? Information dissemination and advocacy Awareness raising: both individual worker and public opinion Legal assistance and helplines Outreach to organize/support workers in vulnerable groups and sectors Social dialogue: address forced labour and trafficking in bipartite and tripartite negotiations and agreements - Collective Bargaining Agreements, International Framework agreements, Codes of conduct Identification, documentation and public exposure of forced labour cases

12 Awareness-raising Audience: trade union members; officials (World Cup 2006) Targeted public awareness campaigns –Deceptive recruitment practices, risk of exploitation SBSI, Indonesia –Labour rights DEOK, Cyprus UGT, Spain –Produce advocacy materials ICTU, Ireland

13 Outreach and direct support Organise! –Informal workers –Unprotected workers –Migrant workers Recruit foreign staff members Exchanges of staff between unions in sending/receiving countries –Target high risk sectors (GUFs) Construction Textiles and garments Agriculture - horticulture Ship-breaking Fisheries Domestic workers

14 Targeted TU action The UK TUC launched a Polish website to support the increasing number of Polish workers in the UK, in partnership with Citizens Advice and Solidarnosc. It explains the rights workers can expect, from the minimum wage and working time to holiday entitlement and sick pay; gives information about social issues such as housing and health; and guidance about living and working in the UK.

15 Challenges encountered by trade unions Legal barriers (un)documented migrant workers informal sector workers Practical barriers Language Distrust of trade unions and climate of fear Temporary/seasonal work Hidden or inaccessible workplaces, and private homes

16 Context of globalization – race to the bottom Risk management in supply chains Commercial impact - marketing/ image Rapid spread of information – nowhere to hide! Advocacy for human rights / core labour standards –Growing awareness of consumers and buyers –Ethical business practices and CSR movement, including investors –NGO vigilance Why should employers be concerned?

17 Challenges for the private sector Hard to identify what is and is not forced labour: grey zone How far should a companys liability extend? Modern supply chains are very complex –Monitoring the first tier is not enough –But very difficult to monitor the whole supply chain –How to monitor and control whats happening in the informal economy?

18 Risks in employment relations Hiring and recruitment practices Wage payments & calculations Hours of work & overtime Training conditions Disciplinary practices & sanctions Housing arrangements Termination of employment Risks in business relations Sub-contractors Other service providers (e.g. janitors, security guards, drivers) Recruitment agencies and labour brokers Location of risks for business

19 A Business Alliance against Forced labour Awareness-raising Policy development (codes of conduct) 10 Principles for Employers Training, capacity-building Tools and guidelines –Handbook for employers (including case studies) –Guide on private employment agencies

20 ILO 10 Principles for business to combat forced labour and trafficking Have a clear and transparent company policy (enterprises + supply chains); Train staff (auditors, HR, buyers, compliance officers) to identify forced labour in practice and seek appropriate remedies; Provide regular information to shareholders and potential investors, attracting them to ethical business practices; Promote agreements and codes of conduct by sector and take appropriate remedial measures; Treat migrant workers fairly. Monitor carefully the recruitment agencies, especially across border; Ensure that all workers have written contracts, in language that they can easily understand, specifying their rights (wages, overtime, identity documents, …); Encourage dissemination of good practices and the identification of at-risk sectors; Contribute to prevention and rehabilitation programmes for victims (eg vocational training, job placements) either directly or through NGO partners Build bridges between governments, workers, law enforcement agencies and labour inspectorates, promoting cooperation against forced labour and trafficking; Find innovative means to reward good practice, in conjunction with the media.

21 Handbook for employers and business Introduction and overview Employers FAQ Guiding principles Checklist for assessing compliance Guide for taking action Practical tips for taking action Good practice case studies

22 For further information, please consult: Or email us at Thank-you

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