News on forced labour

October 2007

  1. Appointment of a Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery

    30 October 2007

    During its last session in September 2007, “deeply concerned that the minimum estimate of the number of people in slavery is over 12 million”, the Human Rights Council (HRC) decides to appoint, for a three-year period, a Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery, including its causes and its consequences. The Special Rapporteur shall examine and report on all contemporary forms of slavery and slavery-like practices, focus principally on aspects of contemporary forms of slavery which are not covered by existing mandates of the Human Rights Council; promote the effective application of relevant international norms and standards on slavery; request, receive and exchange information on contemporary forms of slavery, and recommend actions and measures applicable at the national, regional and international levels to eliminate slavery practices wherever they occur. The new Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery is expected to be appointed by the HRC during its 7th session in March 2008. The Consultative Groups will submit the short list of candidates to the President by the beginning of February 2008 and will consult the public list of candidates in the weeks before. All relevant stakeholders are thus invited to submit their candidates at their earliest convenience.

  2. Council of Europe Convention against Trafficking in Human Beings will enter into force

    29 October 2007

    The Council of Europe Convention against Trafficking in Human Beings (CETS n° 197) will enter into force on 1 February 2008, following the ratification by Cyprus as the tenth country to ratify it. On this occasion Terry Davis, the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, made the following statement: “The Convention is deliberately hard on traffickers and makes a clear difference for the victims of this crime. These victims will be offered comprehensive assistance and protection of their human rights. Europe is finally going to use this new and far-reaching instrument to fight this modern form of slavery." The main features of the new Convention include: · compulsory assistance measures and a recovery and reflection period of at least 30 days for the victims of trafficking, · the possibility to deliver residence permits to victims not only on the basis of cooperation with the law enforcement authorities, but also on humanitarian grounds; · the possibility to criminalise “the clients”; · a non-punishment clause for the victims of trafficking; · a strengthened international cooperation system and an independent monitoring mechanism, GRETA, which will monitor the proper implementation of the Convention by the Parties.

  3. New initiative (ILO-UNDP-Government of Japan-EC) to prevent human trafficking and promote effective migration governance in Tajikistan

    17 October 2007

    The International Labour Organization (Office), in cooperation with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), has launched a new project of sustainable community development in Tajikistan in order to prevent trafficking in human beings. The Government of Japan, through the UN Trust Fund of Human Security, funds the two-year project with over 1 Million US$.

  4. Trafficking For Forced Labour: ILO Approaches by Roger Plant, U.S. Congress, Washington, 11 October 2007

    11 October 2007

    Testimony to the U.S. Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, hearing on “Combating Trafficking for Forced Labour Purposes in the OSCE Region”, U.S. Congress, Washington, 11 October 2007

September 2007

  1. Human Trafficking: How best to stem the flow?

    The Conference dealt with the most effective immigration, policing, and judicial strategies to reduce human trafficking, the international cooperation, aid and technical assistance, the links to forced labour, the border measures needed, the prosecution of criminal gangs, the retrafficking cycle, and the support to victims of trafficking.

  2. International Labour Standards for Judges, Lawyers and Legal Educators

    The main objective of the seminar is to equip law professionals with the instruments enabling them to use international labour law elements at national level, including the relevance of ILS on the elimination of forced labour.

August 2007

  1. Decent Work Indicators: Towards better Statistics on Forced Labour and Human Trafficking

    20 August 2007

    Statistics are the ideas and techniques that can be used to convert numbers into useful information. Statistics on forced labour and human trafficking are essential for at least two reasons. First, they provide more objective information. Humans cannot, with their own eyes and ears, perceive more than a small, unrandom sample of any human state of affairs. Secondly, and even more importantly, good statistics are needed to formulate good policies and monitor progress towards the objective of decent work for all.

  2. Mauritanian MPs pass slavery law (BBC News)

    09 August 2007

    Mauritania's parliament has unanimously passed legislation making the practice of slavery punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

  3. ILO/ITUC Inter-Regional Conference on Trade Union Action and Strategies on Forced Labour and Trafficking

    The inter-regional conference will be discussing an international trade union strategy in the fight against forced labour and trafficking. The objectives are to give to all participants a clear view on all aspects of different forms of forced labour and trafficking, their adverse effects on the labour market and the role of the trade union movement in fighting the phenomenon, defining what the main means of action of trade unions are on a (sectoral) local, national, regional and international level.

July 2007

  1. Tbilisi, Georgia: Launch of the regional project "Development of comprehensive anti-trafficking response in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia"

    12 July 2007

    This regional ILO project, implemented in partnership with the OSCE and ICMPD, will be launched on the 19 July 2007 in Tbilisi, Georgia. The project offers measures leading to a long-term perspective against trafficking in human beings in the Southern Caucasus by contributing to and enhancing National Action Plans and the legal framework against THB in all three countries, and by fostering regional and international cooperation. It aims at awareness raising among stakeholders and potential victims. The project will involve labour market institutions in preventive action and improve identification, protection and assistance of victims trafficked for the purpose of sexual and labour exploitation. Since human trafficking mainly occurs in the context of irregular migration, the project proposes a range of measures that aim at promoting legal migration. It will contribute to increased dialogue and cooperation among government agencies, social partners and NGOs in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia as well as major destination countries. The project is funded under the European Commission’s TACIS Programme, which provides grant-financed technical assistance to countries of Eastern Europe and Central Asia. It will be implemented over a period of two years. Additional co-funding will be provided by ILO and partner organisations.