Training course

Identifying and investigating cases of forced labour and trafficking

This course will train participants to better identify and investigate cases of forced labour, including trafficking in human beings for labour exploitation. It will introduce forced labour indicators and will address different stages of the investigative process, such as victim interviews and gathering evidence, with a focus on the pre-trial phase. Participants will be introduced to the new Protocol and Recommendation supplementing the Forced Labour Convention, 1930 (No.29) including provisions pertaining to the protection of workers from abuses arising during the recruitment process.


Most ILO member States criminalize forced labour, either as a stand-alone offence or through related offences such as trafficking in persons, abuse of vulnerability and working and living conditions contrary to human dignity. The number of prosecutions and convictions remains low, however, for reasons that include difficulties in identifying victims and obtaining relevant evidence, unfamiliarity with applicable laws and a lack of co-operation between different law enforcement agencies and other governmental and non-governmental actors. There is an urgent need to improve identification as well as the enforcement of existing criminal and labour law provisions in order to combat forced labour effectively.

“Front-line” law enforcement offi cials, including labour inspectors and police offi cers, are instrumental in identifying forced labour. They need to be able to recognize the first signs of a potential situation of forced labour when speaking with a witness, or during a labour inspection or police raid.

In addition, more attention needs to be paid to the rights and needs of victims, requiring cooperation with entities such as trade unions and NGOs. There is a growing recognition that victims must receive effective protection and assistance in order to prosecute offenders successfully and avoid leaving workers in vulnerable positions where they may be at risk of revictimisation.

The course aims to:
  1. Familiarize participants with forced labour, explaining its conceptual and legal framework including the main provisions of the new Protocol and Recommendation which supplement the Forced Labour Convention, 1930 (No.29)
  2. Enhance participants’ knowledge of global trends and challenges in the enforcement of laws prohibiting forced labour, trafficking in persons and related offences;
  3. Increase participants’ understanding of forced labour and its practical manifestations, and help them distinguish it from other forms of exploitation;
  4. Introduce participants to concrete indicators and how these can be utilized to identify forced labour;
  5. Promote participants’ use of a victim-centred approach throughout the investigation; and
  6. Enhance cooperation between labour inspectors, police officers and other relevant practitioners by identifying effective models of cooperation.

Target audience

This course is intended for law enforcement actors, including labour inspectors, police officers and prosecutors, as well as other professionals who are likely to encounter forced labour and trafficking in the course of their work, such as trade union and NGO representatives or health and safety inspectors.

To participate meaningfully and contribute to discussions from an informed position, participants should have a relevant professional experience and background.

More information

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Deadline for application: 22 April 2017