It is not widely known that, even as we enter the 21st century, millions of people around the world are subject to forced labour.
Forced labour itself is such a serious human rights violation that it is recognised as an international criminal offence irrespective of whether a government has ratified the relevant conventions prohibiting it. Furthermore, where forced labour is used, a range of associated human rights abuses frequently take place, including slavery, rape, torture and murder.
The aim of this booklet is to raise awareness of these facts and to seek to encourage trade unions, non-governmental organisations, policy makers and members of the public to contribute in whatever way is most appropriate to eliminating this practice.
The booklet highlights some of the main ways in which forced labour manifests itself internationally, including through slavery, bonded labour, trafficking and child labour. References are made to some of the most relevant human rights standards in order to explain in what conditions exploitative labour practices can be described as forced labour.
Case studies are provided throughout the booklet. These illustrate the circumstances in which forced labour occurs in various countries and give examples of failures by governments to take effective action as well as indicating what measures could be taken to stop the use of forced labour.
We hope that this book will assist individuals and organisations in identifying cases of forced labour and utilising international standards and monitoring mechanisms which can increase pressure on governments to take the decisive action which is needed to bring about the total elimination of forced labour.
To read the full report, please click here.
Anti-Slavery International is the world’s oldest international human rights organisation, and bases its work on the United Nations treaties against slavery campaigning for freedom from slavery for everyone, everywhere.