ILO discusses international labour standards with China - Forced Labour Convention Seminar successfully held in Kunming under EU supported project

Government agencies and representatives of Employers and Workers engaged in discussion on ratification of the ILO Forced Labour Convention 1930 (No. 29) at a seminar in Kunming under EU-supported project

Press release | 23 November 2017
On 23 November 2017 in Kunming, a national seminar was jointly organized by the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security (MOHRSS) under the EU-China Dialogue on Migration and Mobility Support Project, funded by the European Union (EU) and jointly implemented by the ILO and the International Organization for Migration (IOM). The seminar aims to support the decision for China to endorse the ratification of the ILO Forced Labour Convention 1930 (No. 29) by providing an international exchange platform for government officials, social partners and other stakeholders working on forced labour issues in China to exchange ideas with international experts for recommendations to reduce the obstacles for China’s ratification and develop sound national policies and practices to eliminate forced labour.

“Labour performed under coercion or threat rather than on the basis of an agreement that brings clear benefits to both employer and worker is economically unproductive, socially unsustainable and ultimately disrespectful of human dignity... Nearly one of every four victims of forced labour was exploited outside their country of residence. In many parts of the world, irregular migrants as well as many labour migrants working in low skilled sectors still lack access to necessary legal protection required in order to protect them from becoming victims of trafficking, exploitation, and forced labour. National policies provide the framework for actions to prevent forced labour. The ILO standards as well as technical assistance and cooperation have provided important guidance to member States in developing a comprehensive policy response.” said Tim De Meyer, Director of ILO Country Office for China and Mongolia.

Lv Yulin, Deputy Director-General of the International Cooperation Department of the MOHRSS, pointed out that “It is of historical and practical significance to supress and completely stop unacceptable forms of labor. Through this seminar, we look forward to continuing to clarify the problems facing China's ratification, listen to the views of the ILO and communicate with representatives of other countries on the work against forced labor and modern slavery.”

The seminar elaborated the ILO labour standards and methodologies against forced labour and human trafficking; introduced the ILO Fair Recruitment Principles and Operational Guidelines and its role in forced-labour conscious migration management; reviewed China’s law and practice on eliminating forced labour; presented international good practices on preventing forced labour and “Modern Slavery” in global supply chains; and discussed the complementary roles of the labour inspectorate, law enforcement authorities and state prosecution in ensuring compliance with forced labour standards.

The seminar enhanced the participants’ understanding of the international labour standards and practices against forced labour, supported China’s endeavours to combat forced labour by better preparing the national authorities for the endorsement of the ratification of the Forced Labour Convention, and further strengthened the joint efforts of China, the ILO and international partners represented by the EU to eliminate forced labour in all possible forms.

Around 40 participants from ILO, MOHRSS, State Council Legal Affairs Bureau, National People’s Congress Legal Affairs Committee, All-China Federation of Trade Unions (ACFTU), China Enterprise Confederation (CEC), and State Administration of Work Safety (SAWS) attended the seminar.