Finland pledges to combat forced labour

January 27, 2017

Finland has given a clear sign of its commitment to combat forced labour by becoming the eleventh country to ratify the 2014 Forced Labour Protocol.

Photo: Birch tree forest, Finland (SeppVei)


It is the sixth European country to ratify the Protocol, after  Czech Republic, France, Estonia, Norway and the United Kingdom.

On receiving the instrument of ratification at the headquarters of the International Labour Organization in Geneva, ILO Director-General, Guy Ryder said,

“Finland has signalled its determination to join the global drive to end this scourge once and for all.”

_CSJ9328_MCTerhi Hakala,  Ambassador, Permanent Mission of Finland to the International Organizations in Geneva and Guy Ryder, ILO Director-General
© International Labour Organization/Marcel Crozet

Finland’s Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva, Ambassador Terhi Hakala, described forced labour as, “a severe violation of the human rights of workers.”

“It is urgent to strengthen the ILO work as well as the commitment of its constituents to prevent forced labour, to protect the victims and to provide access to remedy for them,” she added.

Ambassador Hakala also underlined the importance of the Forced Labour Protocol in fighting forced labour, which affects nearly 21 million people worldwide.

“The Forced Labour Protocol supports action to protect the most vulnerable victims of modern slavery worldwide. The Protocol requires governments to take measures to better protect workers, in particular migrant workers, from fraudulent and abusive recruitment practices. It also stresses the role of employers and workers in the fight against forced labour. Finland is committed to global cooperation and national action in this respect.“

Finland was among the first countries to ratify the Forced Labour Convention, 1930 (No. 29), in 1936, and the Abolition of Forced Labour Convention, 1957 (No. 105), in 1960. It has developed a strong legal and institutional framework to combat trafficking in persons, which has been a criminal offence in Finland since 2004. A first National Strategy to Combat Trafficking in Human Beings was adopted in 2005. More recently, a National Rapporteur on Trafficking in Human Beings was appointed.