Madagascar steps up action against modern slavery

June 21, 2019

On June 2019, Madagascar ratified the ILO Protocol on Forced labour, which requires countries to take effective measures on to prevent forced labour, protect its victims and ensure their access to justice, including compensations.

Photo: Aurore Antoine


Madagascar ratified the 2014 Protocol on Forced Labour, becoming the 34th country in doing so. Madagascar has marked its continued commitment to the ILO and the decent work agenda through sustained efforts to promote international labour standards.

“Madagascar ratified the Protocol of 2014 to the Forced Labour Convention, 1930, (no. 29) in order to move forward in a more efficient manner with respect to the fundamental principles and rights at work”, declared His Excellency, Andry Rajoelina, President of Madagascar.

On the same day, Madagascar ratified five other ILO conventions, thus marking the ILO’s 100th anniversary. Some touch upon issues related to forced labour, in terms of prevention or protection of vulnerable groups, in particular the conventions on Migrant Workers, on Collective Bargaining, on Private employment agencies and on Domestic workers.

“I am very pleased to receive these six instruments of ratification which certainly demonstrate Madagascar’s strong commitment in favour of international labour standards”, said Guy Ryder, Director-General of the International Labour Organization. “These ratifications are particularly important and welcomed as they represent a significant contribution to the ILO’s One For All Centenary Ratification Campaign .

Madagascar amended its penal code in 2008, on action to combat trafficking and sexual tourism, and further adapted its legal framework in 2015 by adopting an act that enabled the prosecution for trafficking in all its forms including provisions on compensation of prejudice and protection of witnesses and victims. Acts involving forced labour and practices similar to slavery can be sanctioned with prison sentences up to five years, and ten years in case of sale of persons. The act also established a National Bureau to Combat Human Trafficking, and a National Plan to Combat Trafficking was validated in 2015.

In fact, Madagascar is a pathfinder country to achieve Target 8.7 to eradicate forced labour, modern slavery, trafficking in persons and child labour. Following a strategic workshop held in Antananarivo in October 2018, national stakeholders identified priorities for action and agreed on a roadmap.