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Argentina steps up fight against forced labour

November 9, 2016

Argentina has ratified the Forced Labour Protocol in the lead-up to hosting the Global Conference on Child Labour and Forced Labour in 2017.

Los Glaciares National Park, Argentina

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Argentina has strengthened its commitment to ending modern slavery by becoming the 9th country to ratify the Forced Labour Protocol. The ratification occurred on 9th November, the same day the Protocol entered into force.

The Director-General of the International Labour Organization, Guy Ryder, said that he “welcomes this ratification, which is further testimony to Argentina’s ongoing commitment to promoting and implementing fundamental rights at work.”

Depositing the ratification instrument, Mr. Ernesto Legizamón, Head of Cabinet at the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security of Argentina, said:

“Argentina has a long-standing commitment to combating forced labour, having played an active role in the adoption of Convention No. 29 and in the development of best practices for banishing this abhorrent form of exploitation. The ratification of the Protocol of 2014 to Convention No. 29 reaffirms this commitment towards a fairer and more inclusive world.”

Argentina ratificationFrom left to right: José Manuel Salazar-Xirinachs – ILO Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, Gerardo Martínez – Workers representative (Argentina) and ILO GB Regular Member (Workers), Ernesto G. Leguizamón – Head of Cabinet, Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security (Argentina), Guy Ryder – ILO Director-General, Marcelo Cima – Ambassador, Permanent Mission of Argentina to the International Organizations in Geneva

Argentina has steadily strengthened its legislative and institutional framework to combat all forms of forced labour. In 2012, it adopted the law on the prevention and punishment of trafficking in persons and assistance to victims and in 2013, the Executive Committee to Combat Trafficking in Persons and Exploitation and to Protect and Assist Victims was set up. Also of importance is the work done by the Prosecutor office of Trafficking in Persons and Exploitation (PROTEX) in order to combat impunity of perpetrators.

Aligning with Target 8.7 of the Sustainable Development Goals, governments and social partners have welcomed Argentina’s proposal to broaden the scope of the next Global Conference on Child Labour to include forced labour. The conference will be hosted by the Argentinian Government and will take place in November 2017 in Buenos Aires.

In Target 8.7, leaders committed to “take immediate and effective measures to eradicate forced labour, end modern slavery and human trafficking and secure the prohibition and elimination of the worst form of child labour, including recruitment and use of child soldiers, and by 2025 end child labour in all its forms.” Alliance 8.7, the global partnership to achieve Target 8.7, was launched earlier this year.

The Forced Labour Protocol is a legally-binding treaty that requires governments to adopt new measures designed to prevent forced labour, protect its victims and guarantee them access to justice and compensation.