Forced labour

Suriname renews commitment to combat forced labour

Suriname has ratified the Protocol of 2014 to the Forced Labour Convention becoming the 33rd ILO Member State to do so.

News | 10 June 2019
On 3 June 2019, the Government of Suriname deposited with the International Labour Office the instrument of ratification of the Protocol of 2014 to the Forced Labour Convention, 1930, thereby becoming the thirty-third country worldwide to ratify the Protocol.

Through the ratification of the Protocol, Suriname marks the ILO’s Centenary by expressing a strong commitment to tackle all forms of forced labour, including trafficking in persons. This ratification is also a crucial step towards the objective of 50 ratifications by the end of 2019.

The Forced Labour Protocol requires governments to adopt new measures designed to prevent all forms of forced labour, including trafficking in persons, to protect victims and guarantee them access to justice and compensation. According to the ILO, a total of 24.9 million people are victims of forced labour around the world and the ILO estimates that this exploitation generates some US$150 billion a year in illicit profits. Victims are exploited in various sectors of the economy, such as agriculture, fishing, domestic work, construction, industry and mining. Forced labour takes different forms, including sexual exploitation, debt bondage and even trafficking in persons and slavery.

At the country level, Suriname has made significant efforts to combat trafficking in persons, by setting up a specialized Anti-Trafficking Unit responsible for investigating cases. This unit has already provided training courses on awareness, identification, and management of trafficking cases for several stakeholders in different regions of the country; it has also trained other specialized police units on the links between trafficking and other crimes. Moreover, the Criminal Code has criminalized trafficking in persons and has prescribed penalties of up to nine years imprisonment.

By ratifying the Protocol, Suriname marks a crucial step towards the achievement of decent work and the delivering of the 2030 UN Sustainable Development Goals, in particular SDG target 8.7.