ILC adopts new Protocol to help eliminate forced labour

The International Labour Conference has voted 437 to 8 to adopt a new protocol on forced labour. Delegates have hailed the move as a major step in the fight against contemporary forms of forced labour.

Audio | 11 June 2014
Voice of the president of the 103rd International Labour Conference

"In favour: 437. Against: 8. Abstentions: 27. Quorum: 305 Then, the protocol was adopted…" Applause…

Applause as the full session of the International Labour Conference overwhelmingly votes to adopt a protocol to supplement the forced labour convention of 1930.

It's a significant addition to one of the 8 fundamental conventions of the International Labour Organisation, the prohibition of forced labour. ILO Forced Labour expert and advisor to the committee Beate Andrees explains some of the key changes:

"Well first of all there is a clear link now between forced labour and trafficking but then in addition and more importantly we have these provisions now on protection prevention and remedy which apply to all victims of forced labour whether they have been trafficked or not and which we believe can really make a difference in terms of suppressing and eliminating force labour in the future"

Shortly after the vote, Forced Labour Committee vice chair and workers representative Yves Veyrier said the scale of the positive vote will help the fight against forced labour.

"We have this very very large endorsement. This is very important because now we don't want only a protocol: we want to eliminate forced labour. So, this very large endorsement will give us, all governments, but for the ILO the dynamic to implement it effectively."

Chair of the Forced Labour Committee David Garner also hailed the result as a starting point for government action.

"Governments will now have the opportunity to take on board the measure es outlined in the protocol and to work collectively across a range of different forums, including the ILO to address this important issue".

Member governments of the ILO will now be obliged to consider the protocol and report back on their plans to implement its requirements.

Reporting for ILO radio, this is Pete Forster