Jamaica takes the lead in the Caribbean in the fight against modern slavery

June 13, 2017

It ratifies the Forced Labour Protocol, during the International Labour Conference in Geneva, becoming the 14th country to do so worldwide.

Photo: Evo Flash


Jamaica has become the first country of the Caribbean Community, (CARICOM), to ratify the Forced Labour Protocol – the international treaty that aims to eradicate forced labour for good.

At a ceremony at the International Labour Conference in Geneva, Jamaica’s Minister of Labour and Social Security, Shahine Robinson, underlined the importance of the ratification for her country.

“The ratification of the Protocol to the Forced Labour Convention reflects Jamaica’s commitment to combat trafficking in persons and reject forced labour in all its forms.”

“Jamaica has a strong legal framework and a national taskforce that works to combat trafficking in persons. We will do our part in the renewed global effort to eradicate all forms of forced labour,” she added.

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Shahine Robinson, Minister of Labour and Social Security, Jamaica, and Guy Ryder, ILO Director-General

ILO Director-General, Guy Ryder, praised Jamaica’s decision to ratify the Protocol. “This ratification is a further testimony to Jamaica’s ongoing commitment to promote and implement decent work and fundamental rights at work,” he said. “It demonstrates its involvement in efforts to eradicate forced labour in the sub-region and brings us one step closer towards reaching the target of the 50forfreedom campaign – 50 ratifications by the end of 2018.”

A total of 21 million people are victims of forced labour around the world. The ILO estimates that this exploitation generates some US$150 billion a year in illicit profits.

The Forced Labour Protocol requires governments to adopt new measures designed to prevent all forms of forced labour, including trafficking in persons, to protect victims and guarantee them access to justice and compensation.