Modern Slavery: Is it happening next door to you?

October 18, 2017

They could be your neighbours, they could be the construction workers down the street. Modern slavery happens everywhere, including in Europe.


“He said if I talked to anyone I would disappear and that if I tried to get back to Lithuania they would find my family and kill them,” said  Jonas, rescued from a factory in the UK.

For Henriette, a domestic worker in France, life became unbearable: “I ended up spending almost five years working in that house, eating the children’s leftovers, sleeping on the floor, denied the right to rest, to have time off, to get an education, to see a doctor, to leave.”

To mark the European Union Anti-trafficking Day on 18 October, we would like to recognise the 11 European Union countries that have ratified the ILO international treaty, which aims to end forced labour for good.

They are: Spain, Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden,  Poland, Cyprus, Finland, Estonia, Czech Republic, France, and the UK.

Three non-EU countries have also ratified: Switzerland, Iceland and Norway

In November 2015, the EU Council encouraged member States to ratify the Protocol “as soon as possible”.

So far, globally, 20 countries have ratified. If your country is not on the list you can contact your local government representative, telling them why you think your government should ratify.

Learn what else you can do to help end modern slavery.