Forced labour is the very antithesis of decent work. Eliminating contemporary forms of slavery is a rights-based issue and a moral imperative for the union movement. Estimates show there are more than 21 million modern slaves worldwideForced labour in the private economy generates US$ 150 billion in illegal profits per year. Domestic work, agriculture, construction, manufacturing and entertainment are among the sectors most concerned. Migrant workers and indigenous people are particularly vulnerable to forced labour.
The model of slavery in Qatar is now a global scandal, but it will not be broken if we don’t escalate the demands of all nations to eliminate slavery and end forced labour; the kafala system and other policies that facilitate the worst form of exploitation must be overturned.
The Protocol to the ILO Forced Labour Convention (No. 29) has given renewed focus and energy to the determination to eliminate forced labour. We will organise for the ratification of the ILO Forced Labour Protocol in 50 countries by 2018 with relevant labour law reforms.