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World – Ciett welcomes adoption of ILO Protocol to fight forced labour

12 June 2014

The International Confederation of Private Employment Agencies (Ciett) has welcomed the adoption of the ILO Protocol and Recommendation to fight forced labour. The Protocol recognises ILO Convention on Private Employment Agencies, 1997 (No. 181) as one of the key international labour standards relevant to the eradication of forced labour.

At the 103rd session of the International Labour Conference, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) adopted a protocol to supplement the Forced Labour Convention, 1930 (No. 29) to strengthen the fight against forced labour.

Adopted with 437 votes in favour, 8 against, and 27 abstentions, the Protocol strengthens and updates the Forced Labour Convention and creates new obligations to prevent forced labour, to protect victims and to provide them with access to remedy in case of material and physical harm. Along with the Protocol, the International Labour Organisation adopted an accompanying Recommendation that gives technical guidance on its implementation.  

The Protocol, among other things, sets forth measures to better protect workers, especially migrant workers, who are recruited through rogue operators and mala-fide agencies.

Ciett stated that it fully supports the Protocol and the Recommendation and welcomes the renewed effort of the ILO, governments, workers, and employers to get rid of abusive traders that damage the reputation of ethical recruiters.

Ciett particularly welcomes the recognition in the Protocol of ILO Convention on Private Employment Agencies, 1997 (No. 181) as one of the key international labour standards relevant to the eradication of forced labour. 

Establishing appropriate regulation on recruitment and employment agencies through the ratification of Convention No. 181 is a positive step towards eliminating abuses perpetrated by rogue traders that take advantage of lack of a regulatory level playing field to make profit at the expenses of workers’ rights and of ethical recruiters.

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