Issue date
22 Jan 2016

22 January 2016

Commenting on the announcement today (Friday) that the UK government has ratified a landmark international agreement to outlaw forced labour and modern slavery, TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said:

“We welcome the Home Office’s move to ratify the ILO Forced Labour Protocol. It is a clear message that the UK has joined the fight to end forced labour, people trafficking and other forms of modern day slavery.

“They are abhorrent practices that demean and enslave 21 million people around the world and we must make it clear that they have no place in the workplaces of the 21st century.

“Unions and employers have worked hard to come up with a modernised approach to drive forced labour out of the global supply chains that stock our high street shops and supermarkets.”

NOTES TO EDITORS:

- Taking part in the ratification today were the TUC and CBI, who both took part in the drafting of the ILO Forced Labour Protocol, and Anooshah Farakish from Unite Equalities, who took part in the drafting committee at the 2014 International Labour Conference in Geneva.

- The TUC and CBI jointly called on the Government to ratify the Protocol in a letter dated 9 December 2015 (available at www.tuc.org.uk/flp2014).

- The ratification took place at an event in the House of Commons at 12 noon on Friday 22 January, with Home Office Minister Karen Bradley MP signing on behalf of the Government in the presence of ILO Director General Guy Ryder, TUC and CBI representatives and anti-slavery campaigners.

- The ILO Forced Labour Protocol and Recommendation adds new measures to the Forced Labour Convention of 1930. They require governments to take steps to prevent forced labour as well as to provide victims with protection and access to effective remedies.  They also require due diligence in both the public and private sectors to prevent and respond to risks of forced labour. See www.ilo.org/global/about-the-ilo/media-centre/press-releases/WCMS_246549/lang--en/index.htm

- Further details are at www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/---ed_norm/---declaration/documents/publication/wcms_321414.pdf

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