KATHMANDU (ILO news) – On 16 August, the Legislative Parliament of Nepal approved the ratification of the Abolition of Forced Labour Convention (No.105) adopted by the ILO in 1957. Nepal thus becomes the 170th of the 181 ILO member States to ratify this fundamental human rights convention.
Transport Management and Labour Minister Mr Ramesh Lekhak submitted the ratification to the ILO, bringing the total number of ratifications of ILO conventions by Nepal to ten.
The Convention guarantees that nobody can be punished in Nepal with forced labour for strikes, holding and expressing political views against the established political system, for economic development such as the construction of roads and dams. The Convention prohibits anyone to use forced labour as a measure to discriminate against citizens on the basis of race, nationality, religion or social background, including caste.
This Convention complements the ILO Forced Labour Convention, 1930 (No. 29), ratified by Nepal in January 2002, which calls for the general prohibition of forced labour, subject to certain exceptions, such as work required in cases of national disasters and emergencies or compulsory military service. Convention No. 29 contains the definition of forced labour, referring to involuntary work exacted under the menace of any penalty, which is also valid for Convention No. 105.
Nepal has now ratified seven of the eight ILO fundamental Conventions, including the two Conventions on forced labour, two on child labour, and two on discrimination. Nepal also ratified ILO Convention No.98 on the Right to Organize and Collective Bargaining, prohibiting unfair labour practices. The only remaining ILO core labour standard, Convention No. 87 on Freedom of Association, is currently under Cabinet review for ratification.
The ratification and implementation of ILO fundamental Conventions are an essential contribution to achieving the UN Millennium Development Goals. What’s more, the ratification of ILO Convention No.105 will contribute to the fight against bonded labour, which is the most common form of forced labour in Nepal and is already targeted under Convention No. 29.
“It is hoped that the ratification of this Convention will improve the lives of bonded labourers in agriculture such as the Haliya and Kamaya. It should also help to normalize the relationship between employers and workers in brick kilns and other industrial sectors prone to bonded labour practices,” said Shengjie Li, Director of the ILO Office in Nepal.
For more information please contact:
Ms Sita Devi Gurung
ILO Office in Nepal
Tel: +977 1 5555777, 5550691 Ext 115