Lithuania renews commitment to combat forced labour
March 5, 2020
Lithuania has ratified the ILO Protocol on Forced Labour, becoming the 45th country worldwide and the 18th from the European Union, hence making a strong commitment to eradicate forced labour.
Photo: Sventoji, Lithuania (©Ula Peiciute)
On 5 March 2020, Lithuania ratified the ILO Protocol on Forced Labour, becoming the 45th country worldwide in making this strong commitment.
Through this ratification, Lithuania is demonstrating its firm commitment to combating forced labour in all its forms.
H.E. Ambassador Andrius Krivas (left) and Mr. Guy Rider (right).
“Lithuania has ratified all the fundamental ILO Conventions, including the Forced Labour Convention, 1930 (No. 29)”, declared H.E. Ambassador Andrius Krivas, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Lithuania to the UN Office and Other International Organizations in Geneva. “The centenary of the ILO was a good opportunity for us to speed up the ratification of the Forced Labour Protocol that supplements this important Convention, as Lithuania has committed to the consistent fight against forced labour and human trafficking.”
In November 2017, during the IV Global Conference on child labour and forced labour in Buenos Aires, the European Union pledged to “promote actively swift ratification of the Forced Labour Protocol among EU members”. Lithuania is the 18th European Union country to ratify the ILO Protocol on Forced Labour.
Lithuania has made significant efforts to combat trafficking in persons, as illustrated by the adoption of an Action Plan against Trafficking in Human Beings for the period of 2017–19, providing for measures of monitoring, prevention, prosecution and victim protection, with a focus on the cooperation between stakeholders at different levels. Additionally, the high-level Commission for Coordination of the Fight against Trafficking in Human Beings was set up in 2016 in order to coordinate the efforts of all actors and to ensure the effective implementation of the planned activities and actions.
“I am pleased to receive this instrument of ratification, which bears witness to the commitment of Lithuania to combat trafficking in persons and forced labour in all its forms”, said ILO Director General Guy Ryder. “This ratification is all the more important since the ILO’s global estimates show the urgency of adopting immediate and effective measures to eradicate forced labour and trafficking. By ratifying the Protocol, Lithuania is moving ahead towards the achievement of decent work and the delivering at the country-level of the 2030 UN Sustainable Development Goals, in particular SDG target 8.7”.
The Protocol requests countries to adopt effective measures to prevent forced labour, and to protect victims and ensure their access to effective remedies, including compensation. Forced labour takes different forms, including sexual exploitation, debt bondage and trafficking in persons. According to ILO global estimates, there are 24.9 million victims of forced labour throughout the world, of whom 4.8 million are victims of sexual exploitation. In the private sector, forced labour generates USD 150 billion in illegal profits every year. Several economic sectors are affected, including domestic work, construction, manufacturing, agriculture and fishing.