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Côte d’Ivoire renews it commitment to international labour standards

December 5, 2019

On 1st November 2019, the Government of Côte d’Ivoire ratified the ILO Forced Labour Protocol, bringing the total number of ratifications to 41.

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“Ratification of the Protocol shows that improving living and working conditions is one of the Government’s priorities,” said Mr Pascal Kouakou Abinan, Minister for Employment and Social Protection.

ILO Director-General Guy Ryder welcomed the move: “In ratifying the Forced Labour Protocol, Côte d’Ivoire has strengthened its formal commitment to promote and implement fundamental labour rights and eradicate forced labour once and for all.”

By ratifying the Protocol, Côte d’Ivoire has again demonstrated that it is firmly committed to taking effective and lasting action against any form of forced or compulsory labour, including human trafficking.

According to ILO global estimates, nearly 25 million people are victims of forced labour worldwide, almost 14 per cent of them in Africa. In other words, in Africa, 2.8 people out of every 1,000 are being forced to work.

To date, 41 countries have ratified the Protocol, including 10 in Africa. Under the Protocol, governments must take effective measures to prevent forced labour and provide the victims with protection and access to appropriate remedies and compensation.

In 2016, Côte d’Ivoire enacted legislation on human trafficking comprising preventive measures, penalties for traffickers and protection and assistance for the victims. The legislation contains detailed definitions of what constitutes the crime of trafficking in persons for the purposes of sexual exploitation and forced labour. It served to establish a national anti-trafficking committee in April 2017. Côte d’Ivoire has also drawn up a national anti-trafficking strategy and a related national action plan for 2016–2020.

Côte d’Ivoire’s ratification attests to a renewed commitment to international labour standards. It comes as the ILO marks the centenary of its founding. It also advances achievement of target 8.7 of the Sustainable Development Goals, on the eradication of forced labour, modern slavery, human trafficking and child labour.