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International Labour Organisation (ILO)

Europe urges member states to implement an international protocol to prevent forced labour

The European Commission proposed to the EU´s Council of Ministers EU Member States should be authorised to ratify the International Labour Organisation (ILO) new Protocol to the Forced Labour Convention. The Protocol, together with a complementary Recommendation, was adopted by the 103rd session of the International Labour Conference in June.

Countries ratifying the International Labour Organisation ILO Protocol agree to prevent the use of forced labour, in particular in the context of trafficking in human beings, to improve the protection of victims, and to provide access to compensation. It also enhances international cooperation in the fight against forced or compulsory labour.

States ratifying the ILO Convention are required to develop a national policy and plan of action for the suppression of forced labour, in consultation with workers and employers’ organisations. They must take measures to prevent forced labour, including by informing vulnerable people and protecting them from possible fraudulent recruitment practices.

As regards the victims of forced labour, the Convention introduces an obligation to ensure their identification, release, protection, recovery and rehabilitation. Further clauses require ratifying States to provide access to remedies, including compensation, to all victims and to ensure that competent authorities are entitled not to prosecute them for unlawful activities which they have been compelled to commit.

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