http://www.guardian.co.uk/global-development-professionals-network/2013/apr/03/slavery-forced-labour-law - See Full Article Below.


Invest in long-term prevention of forced labour to truly end slavery. Integrating law enforcement with empowerment strategies could prevent slavery in the form of forced labour that millions endure.





State of California USA Transparency In Supply Chains Act:





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From: WUNRN ListServe

To: WUNRN ListServe

Sent: Saturday, December 29, 2012 12:28 PM

Subject: ILO - Women & Girls Are Greater Share of Forced Labour Victims





ILO - International Labour Organization





ILO Global Estimate of Forced Labour: 20.9 million victims


A shocking 20.9 million women, men and children are trapped in jobs into which they were coerced or deceived and which they cannot leave.


ILO captures the full realm of forced labour and human trafficking for labour and sexual exploitation, or what some call “modern-day slavery”. The figure means that, at any given point in time, around three out of every 1,000 persons worldwide are suffering in forced labour.

The new estimate updates the one ILO produced seven years ago, in 2005. Though using the same basic statistical approach as in 2005, the methodology has since been revised and improved, which has given us a more robust figure this time.

Some highlights of the results:

18.7 million (90%) people are in forced labour in the private economy, exploited by individuals or enterprises. Out of these, 4.5 million (22%) are in forced sexual exploitation, and 14.2 million (68%) in forced labour exploitation in activities such as agriculture, construction, domestic work and manufacturing.

Women and girls represent the greater share of forced labour victims – 11.4 million (55%), as compared to 9.5 million (45%) men and boys.

Adults are more affected than children – 74% (15.4 million) of victims fall in the age group of 18 years and above, whereas children are 26% of the total (or 5.5 million child victims).

2.2 million (10%) work in state-imposed forms of forced labour, for example in prisons under conditions which violate ILO standards, or in work imposed by the state military or by rebel armed forces.

We are pleased to let you know that today we are also releasing a new revised edition of our guidelines on surveys to estimate forced labour at national level, entitled “Hard to see, harder to count”. This represents one step towards helping countries gather better data on which to base their national policy responses.

We have prepared a range of documents which will provide you with useful information about the new estimate, how it was produced and what it means. They can be accessed by clicking on the links below.

A technical report, which contains the results of the global estimate and a detailed presentation of the methodology used to obtain them.

An executive summary of the report.

A Q&A presenting answers to common questions about the figures and about forced labour.

A global factsheet giving an easy-to-use graphic presentation of the main results, including the regional breakdown of absolute numbers and of prevalence (number of victims per 1000 inhabitants)

“Hard to see, harder to count” Survey guidelines to estimate forced labour of adults and children”. Detailed “how-to” guidance on implementing national surveys to gather quantitative data on forced labour. ____________________________________________________


Invest in long-term prevention of forced labour to truly end slavery. Integrating law enforcement with empowerment strategies could prevent slavery in the form of forced labour that millions endure.


Beate Andrees - 3 April 2013


Conservative estimates by International Labour Organisation suggest a shocking 21 million people remain in forced labour.


Slavery has haunted mankind throughout history. Even though its legal abolishment began over 200 years ago, according to the ILO's most recent count, there are almost 21 million women, men and children in forced labour. The stark fact is that it could well be that this recent estimate, which is based on a conservative estimation methodology, reflects the lower end of the scale.

Slavery and related practices such as forced labour, trafficking in persons and servitude are defined in different international conventions. Yet national estimates on forced labour hardly exist and the lack of reliable data makes it very difficult to monitor trends, to develop effective policies and to identify victims.

Through my work at the ILO I have asked myself why it is that we have data on so many global ills but not on slavery – one of the worst human rights abuses we are faced with today.

At the root is a lack of awareness – or a refusal to acknowledge – that slavery or forced labour still exists under many different disguises. The way people are coerced into work today is very different from the slave trade of 200 years ago. It is often invisible and subtle. Workers themselves often don't realise that what they have to endure is unacceptable and violates their basic rights. And even if they do, they have no voice. Where there is no voice, there is no or limited political support.

Do we in the anti-slavery movement have the potential to challenge this status quo?

The movement is currently made up of a plethora of old and new organisations, both at international and national levels.

Given the historic evolution of international law, various UN agencies have a specific mandate to address slavery, forced labour or human trafficking. But collaboration between these agencies is hampered by diverging views on how best to combat slavery.

Much of the attention has focused on trafficking in persons in recent years, without addressing the broader dimensions of labour exploitation and coercion as well as their root causes. This has often led to a piecemeal approach where one set of measures is privileged over another. There is broad consensus among experts that prevention measures should receive greater attention, but there is less agreement on what these measures should entail.

There are also competing agendas among civil society organisations. The collective voice of workers is potentially very powerful and trade unions have become more prominently involved in the struggle against forced labour, including the International Trade Union Confederation. But many of these initiatives and organisations operate on a shoestring budget.

Yet despite these challenges, there are reasons to be positive. On a global scale dramatic changes have occurred within the last decade. Brazil's government was one of the first to publically denounce slave labour in 1995. In 2011, EU member states adopted new legislation that guarantees greater rights for trafficked victims; an issue that had been fiercely contested in previous years.

Last year, the government of Burma, which had been sanctioned and isolated internationally for its use of forced labour, signed an agreement with the ILO to stop all forms of forced labour by 2015.

In the Middle East, some governments are now publicly discussing alternatives to the "kafeel system", which ties migrant workers to their "sponsors" and accords disproportionate power to employers.

Business and employers organisations are also becoming more aware of the issue. The California Transparency in Supply Chain Act, which took effect in January 2012, requires companies to disclose information with regards to human trafficking. It has sparked a lot of debate within the business community. In 2010, the International Organisation of Employers issued a paper that highlighted the risks of forced labour and called on employers to take action.

But it is not enough to call for an end of these intolerable forms of exploitation; we also need to think of how to do it.

We still know very little about the long-term impact of anti-forced labour initiatives. There is a need to critically assess what has been achieved so far through measures that have largely focused on criminalisation and prosecution.

So far the results of this strategy have been disappointing. Every year, we record just a few thousand prosecuted cases. Millions of victims remain unidentified and continue toiling away in private homes, on plantations, fishing boats, or in illegal sweatshops. Thousands of women and girls are forced into prostitution every day, and many victims who have been rescued end up in a similar situation shortly after. We therefore need a paradigmatic shift in thinking: criminal law enforcement needs to be much better integrated with long-term prevention and empowerment strategies.

There are some inspiring examples of best practice to be found in the sector. On a recent trip to Cuiabá, Brazil, I visited a major construction site where a new stadium was being built for the 2014 World Cup. There I learnt about a new initiative to prevent modern forms of slavery. It combined interventions and quality vocational training to workers who have fallen prey to or are vulnerable to exploitative forms of labour with heavy fines for unscrupulous employers, a partnership with local businesses that forms the financial and economic backbone of the project and strong leadership from the ministry of labour and, against all the odds, a non-corruptible labour prosecutor.

When I returned from Brazil, I couldn't stop thinking that what had happened in Cuiabá should be possible elsewhere too. It's important to share the lessons learned from these initiatives and to remind governments of their obligation to invest in the long-term prevention of forced labour.

With the right strategy in place, preventive measures are more cost-effective than curing symptoms. And the hope they bring to workers like the one I met in Cuiabá values more than money. We must all now seize the opportunity to make this potential into a reality for millions around the world.

Beate Andrews is head of the Special Action Programme to combat Forced Labour at the International Labour Organisation