Anti-slavery fight is bolstered by French ratification

June 7, 2016

France has become the latest country to ratify the Forced Labour Protocol – the third European country to do so.

Photo: Mont Blanc, France (Matthieu Riegler)


Following in the footsteps of Niger, the United Kingdom, Norway, Mauritania and Mali, it became the sixth country to commit to eradicating forced labour by ratifying the Protocol.

“It is a great honour and an immense pleasure for me today to deposit the instrument of ratification of the Protocol of 2014 to the Forced Labour Convention, 1930. The commitment to this ratification was made in this very place by the President of the Republic one year ago,” said Ms Myriam El Khomri, French Minister for Labour, Employment, Vocational Training and Social Dialogue.

“As the sixth State to ratify the Protocol, just two years after its adoption by the ILO, France is demonstrating its desire to be in the front line of the fight to eradicate forced labour, particularly in its most modern forms. We cannot remain mere spectators when faced with these practices which were thought to be a thing of the past but actually affect over 20 million people across the world.”

The ratification occured just one year after the visit of President François Hollande to the International Labour Conference, when the French Head of State personally signed the 50 for Freedom signature panel.

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ILO Director-General Guy Ryder said: “I welcome this ratification, which is further testimony to France’s ongoing commitment to promoting and implementing fundamental rights at work. This commitment is also visible in the support that France has been providing since 2000 for the Programme supporting the implementation of the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work (PAMODEC).”

“At the national level, France has constantly reinforced its legislative and institutional apparatus to combat all forms of forced labour. In 2013, France adopted a National Plan for combating trafficking in persons and amended the Penal Code with the adoption of provisions to criminalize, in addition to forced labour and trafficking in persons, the enslavement of persons and the subjection of vulnerable persons to working conditions that are an affront to human dignity.”