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The strength of tripartism: ratifying the Forced Labour Protocol

November 8, 2017

Only 21 countries have ratified the ILO Forced Labour Protocol since it was overwhelmingly adopted in 2014. Ed Potter and Yves Veyrier, who were respectively vice chairs  of the Employer and Worker group in the Committee which led to its adoption, are worried about the slow pace of ratification. Today, they call on all  countries to ratify the Forced Labour Protocol.

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Joint Statement on the Forced Labour Protocol

By Ed Potter and Yves Veyrier

Forced labour is unacceptable. It is an abhorrent practice and a severe human rights violation which still afflicts 25 million men, women and children.

In 2014, after an extraordinary 1-year standard setting process, governments, workers and employers from the 187 ILO member States overwhelmingly adopted a Protocol and a Recommendation, which require States to take effective measures in application of Convention 29 (1930), to prevent forced labour, protect its victims and provide access to justice, with the aim of eliminating forced labour for good.

These instruments go beyond pious words. They represent a call to action. However, their impact will only be realized if there is a rapid and universal ratification of the ILO Forced Labour Protocol, along with its effective implementation.

To date, only 21 countries have ratified the Protocol. This very slow pace of ratification is falling far short of our 2014 commitment.

In the framework of the 50 for Freedom campaign and in light of the ILO centenary, today we launch a call to all ILO constituents to show their collective determination to end forced labour, including trafficking and slave-like practices, so that:

The minimum target of 50 ratifications of the ILO Forced Labour Protocol by the end of 2018 is reached.
The level of ratifications keeps increasing rapidly, to give a very strong signal as we move towards the ILO centenary

Together, let’s demonstrate the strength of tripartism when motivated by social justice and human rights.

Ed Potter and Yves Veyrier

Respectively Employer and Worker Vice Chairs of the Committee on Forced Labour which led to the adoption of the ILO Forced Labour Protocol