ILO Asian and Pacific Member States meet to discuss Practical Action against Forced and Compulsory Labour

Finding practical ways to combat forced and compulsory labour is a key theme of an ILO meeting bringing together 24 member States.

Press release | BANGKOK | 21 February 2002

BANGKOK (ILO News) Finding practical ways to combat forced and compulsory labour will be a key theme of a meeting bringing together 24 member States of the International Labour Organization, opening at 9.30am on Monday 25 February 2002, at the Montien Riverside Hotel, Bangkok, with a press conference following.

Freedom from forced labour is one of the four elements of the ILO’s Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work – the others are freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining, and the elimination of child labour, and of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation. The Declaration commits ILO member States to respect these principles – whether or not they have ratified the fundamental Conventions, and commits the ILO to support them in those efforts. Follow-up processes involve four-yearly reviews focusing on each of the four principles, linked with technical co-operation and assistance. This week’s meeting will examine strategies and programmes of action and co-operation to combat forced and compulsory labour in the region. According to the ILO’s global report on forced labour 1, the main forms that exist today include slavery and abduction, compulsory participation in agriculture and remote rural areas; domestic workers in forced labour situations; bonded labour; forced labour imposed by the military; forced labour in trafficking in persons; and some aspects of prison labour and rehabilitation through work.

ILO Executive Director for Labour Standards, Mr Kari Tapiola will join H.E. Ms. Ladawan Wongsriwong, Deputy Minister for Labour and Social Welfare, Thailand, at the opening of the meeting, held with support from the Governments of Japan and the United States. It groups representatives of governments, and employer and worker organizations from Australia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, Kiribati, Republic of Korea, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Mongolia, Nepal, New Zealand, Pakistan, the Philippines, Singapore, the Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Viet Nam, and Hong Kong, China - as well as donor representatives from Japan and the United States. The ILO is a global labour organization within the United Nations system dedicated to promoting decent work: securing employment, improved conditions of life and work, social protection and social dialogue.

Media participation

Media representatives are cordially invited to attend the meeting – all plenary sessions and a site visit will be open to the media.

An opening press conference is scheduled for 10:30am Monday 25 February 2002

A site visit to the Baan Kredtrakarn Protection and Occupational Development Centre is scheduled to depart the hotel at 8am on Wednesday 27 February, please contact ILO if interested.

The Meeting will take place at the Montien Riverside Hotel, Rama III Road, Bangkok (Telephone: (+662) 292 2888). 

Further information is available from the Public Information Office of the ILO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific:

Stopping Forced Labour:.  Global Report Under the Follow-up to the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work,"  Report of Director-General of the International Labour Office, International Labour Conference, 89th Session 2001, Report I (B), Geneva, June 2001