ILO Campaign against forced labour

The writing is on the wall: End modern slavery now!

Nobel Laureate Kailash Satyarthi has unveiled the 50 for Freedom signature panel in support of the global campaign to end forced labour.

News | 12 June 2015
Left to Right: ILO Director-General, Guy Ryder ; Ms Jacqueline Mugo, Member of the ILO Governing Body and Executive Director, Federation of Kenyan Employers ; Mr Kailash Satyarthi, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate 2014 and President of the Global March Against Child Labour ; H. E. Lorena Castillo de Varela, First Lady of the Republic of Panama ; Ms Sharan Burrow, General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation ; Mr Salissou Ada, Niger’s Minister of Employment, Labour and Social Security ; Mr Alfonso Navarrete Prida, Minister of Labour and Social Welfare, Mexico.
GENEVA – Nobel Peace Prize winner Kailash Satyarthi has launched the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) new global campaign to eradicate forced labour - 50 for Freedom.

In the United Nations’ Human Rights Council room, Satyarthi unveiled a wall of signatures collected in support of the campaign. “Slavery and civilization cannot coexist – it’s intolerable, it’s unacceptable and it’s not negotiable. We have to act now, we have to do it now” stated the Nobel Laureate.

The ILO estimates that 21 million people are victims of forced labour around the world, generating approximately US$150 billion a year in illicit profits.

In 2014, government, employer and worker delegates at the International Labour Conference (ILC) voted overwhelmingly to adopt a Protocol and Recommendation which supplement the Forced Labour Convention, 1930 (No. 29), and include measures regarding prevention, protection and remedy.

50 for Freedom will promote ratification and implementation of the Forced Labour Protocol, with the aim of the first 50 member States ratifying by 2018.

During this year’s ILC, more than a thousand delegates, UN staff, and visitors added their signatures to a six metre-long panel to show their support for the campaign to end modern slavery. They included the ILO Director-General Guy Ryder, Satyarthi and the Presidents of France and Panama.

Niger was the first country to ratify the Protocol to the Forced Labour Convention with Mr. Salissou Ada, Niger’s Minister of Employment, Labour and Social Security, depositing the ratification instruments with the ILO during the International Labour Conference.

To support the 50 for Freedom campaign, please visit and share with the hashtag #50FF.