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Norway has signed up to end modern slavery

November 9, 2015

Norway has become the second country, after Niger, to ratify the ILO Forced Labour Protocol. It’s a significant milestone for the 50 for Freedom campaign because the Protocol needed two ratifications to come into force, which will happen on 9 November 2016.

Image: Geirangerfjord, Norway

Credit: Andreas Trepte

©lisakristine.com

“Norway’s ratification will help millions of children, women and men reclaim their freedom and dignity,” said ILO Director-General, Guy Ryder.

“It represents a strong call to other member States to renew their commitment to end forced labour wherever it occurs,” he added.

The process of ratification varies from country to country, however, by ratifying the Protocol, a country agrees to:

• accept it as a legally binding instrument;
• make a formal commitment to implement the obligations;
• accept the ILO’s system of monitoring how countries implement the treaties they sign. This process is particularly important as it requires countries to regularly report on how they implement the different obligations of the Protocol, and also because employers’ and workers’ organizations have a voice in this process.

This is essential because the Forced Labour Protocol requires countries to take specific measures to prevent modern slavery and to protect, rehabilitate and provide compensation to victims.

Calling on other countries to follow suit, Steffen Kongstad, Norway’s Ambassador to the United Nations and other international organizations said, “It must be a top priority on their agendas to eradicate modern slavery once and for all.”

In 1932, Norway ratified the Forced Labour Convention; in 1957, it ratified the Convention to Suppress the Slave Trade and Slavery; in 1958 it ratified the Abolition of Forced Labour Convention, and in 2003, it ratified the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime.