UK ratifies landmark ILO protocol to combat forced labour, slavery & trafficking

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Article
22 January 2016

ETI welcomes UK leadership in ratifying the ILO forced labour protocol

Author: Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI)

ETI’s Head of Knowledge and learning Cindy Berman said ratifying the ILO protocol demonstrates “impressive leadership” and added, “the UK is sending a clear message that it is serious about walking the talk on tackling modern slavery. She said: “All credit should go to the CBI and the TUC in working with government to get this new protocol approved. It’s a great example of collaboration in driving forward an agenda in which all parties feel equally passionate and committed to tackling an abhorrent crime."...According to Cindy Berman, ETI member companies and unions are keen to demonstrate the protocol in action.“Our corporate members, in partnership with trade unions and NGOs, want to set the pace for change on transparency, due diligence and access to remedy. They can offer models of good practice that others can follow.  “Core to tackling modern slavery is freedom of association. Where workers can negotiate their own terms and conditions of work, they are unlikely to be victims of forced labour. This is one of the critical building blocks of effective due diligence."

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Article
22 January 2016

FLEX: UK commitment to end forced labour welcome, but greater resources are needed to tackle exploitation

Author: FLEX (Focus on Labour Exploitation)

Responding to news that the UK today becomes the third country to ratify the International Labour Organisation’s Protocol on Forced Labour, Focus on Labour Exploitation (FLEX) recognised this important step forward in the fight against labour exploitation.  However, in order to meet such high aims, FLEX called for greater resources to be invested in labour inspection to prevent forced labour in the UK. The UK Immigration Bill, currently being debated in the Houses of Parliament, proposes a much broader role for UK labour inspection agencies. However, the Government has so far failed to respond to demands for extra resources to match the proposed increases to inspection activity. Claire Falconer, Legal Director at FLEX commented: “In ratifying this important treaty, the UK Government has committed to preventing labour exploitation and protecting exploited workers, including by strengthening labour inspection. She added We hope that the resources to achieve the excellent aims of this treaty will now be committed to ensure that key UK labour inspection agencies are able to play their full part in the fight against forced labour ”  

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Article
22 January 2016

United Kingdom joins renewed fight to end forced labour

Author: ILO

The United Kingdom has ratified a landmark ILO agreement to combat forced labour, people trafficking and other forms of modern slavery. The Protocol of 2014 to the Forced Labour Convention, 1930  aims to prevent forced labour and provide support for its victims. The UK now joins Niger and Norway as one of the first nations to sign the Protocol. “This is a significant and welcome development in the fight against forced labour,” said ILO Director-General Guy Ryder, “The United Kingdom’s ratification is a clear sign that global momentum is building in the fight against these abhorrent practices that demean and enslave millions around the world.”...UK Minister for Preventing Abuse and Exploitation Karen Bradley said: “Sadly, forced labour can take place in any industry, but the UK Government will not stand by while criminals profit from this trade in human misery..."....The Protocol and Recommendation , adopted at the International Labour Conference in 2014, added new measures to the Forced Labour Convention of 1930. It requires member States to take steps to prevent forced labour, as well as to provide victims with protection and access to effective remedies. It also requires due diligence in both the public and private sectors to prevent and respond to risks of forced labour.

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