Zimbabwe reaffirms its commitment to eradicate modern slavery

May 27, 2019

Zimbabwe gave a clear sign of its determination by becoming the 32nd country to ratify the ILO Protocol on Forced Labour.


On 22 May 2019, Zimbabwe ratified the ILO Protocol on Forced Labour, thereby demonstrating its firm commitment to combating forced labour in all its forms.

The Protocol requires countries to adopt effective measures to combat forced labour, including debt bondage or trafficking in persons, and to protect victims and ensure their access to remedies and compensation.

“We are proud to be among the first African countries that have ratified the Protocol”, said the Ambassador Taonga Mushayavanhu, Permanent Representative of Zimbabwe to the United Nations in Geneva. “Through the ratification of the Protocol, Zimbabwe reaffirms its commitment to eradicate forced labour, modern slavery and human trafficking. It is a very important step in light of the challenges associated with migration the country has been faced within the southern Africa region”.

“I am very pleased to receive this instrument of ratification which once again bears witness to Zimbabwe’s commitment to combat forced labour in all its forms”, welcomed Guy Ryder, Director-General of the International Labour Organization. “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. It also marks a crucial step towards the objective of 50 ratifications of the Protocol by the end of 2019. The ratification of the Protocol is of special meaning in the year the ILO celebrates its 100th Anniversary, as the Protocol is part of the ILO “One For All Centenary Ratification Campaign” launched by the International Labour Office”.

At the national level, Zimbabwe has been strengthening its legal and institutional framework to combat all forms of forced labour through, in particular, the 2014 Trafficking in Persons Act which encompasses sexual exploitation, debt bondage, forced labour, and other forms of servitude. It has also established an Anti-Trafficking Inter-Ministerial Committee.

According to 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.