Forced Labour Convention

Pakistan moving closer to ratifying Protocol 29 to ILO’s Forced Labour Convention

Consultations agree on the important benefits that ratification of the ILO instrument would bring to the lives of Pakistani workers.

Press release | Islamabad, Pakistan | 07 September 2023
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (ILO News) – The ratification by Pakistan of the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) Protocol of 2014 to the Forced Labour Convention, 1930 would be a major victory in the fight against forced labour.

The Protocol was adopted in 2014 as a means to bringing up to date the ILO Forced Labour Convention, 1930 (No. 29), which Pakistan ratified in 1957.

Supported by ILO, a technical consultation was organized by the Ministry of Overseas Pakistani and Human Resource Development on 7 September 2023. The consultation was attended by officials from federal and provincial government departments and representatives of employers’ and workers’ organizations.

The process of consultation started with a gap assessment in 2021 and culminated in a national consultation and way forward for the ratification of Protocol 29.

The Protocol is an important international instrument that aims to strengthen the fight against forced labour. It does this by providing a definition of forced labour that is more comprehensive than the one from 1930, and by setting out a number of measures that countries must take to prevent and eliminate forced labour.

Muhammad Wishaq, Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development urged participants to remember that the endeavour of ratifying Protocol 29 is not only a legal or procedural step, but a moral imperative. “It is about the lives and well-being of countless individuals who deserve to live and work free from coercion and exploitation,” he added.

“Pakistan is a proud member of the ILO Governing Body. The Government of Pakistan’s decision to ratify Protocol 29 is highly commendable and would send a strong message to the world that Pakistan is committed to protecting the rights of workers and to eliminating forced labour in all its forms,” said Geir Tonstol, ILO’s Country Director for Pakistan.

This move reinforces Pakistan's position as a responsible global trading partner,” he added.

For further information please contact:

Muhammad Numan
Communication Officer
Mobile: +92 303 5000041