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IOE Contact

Matthias Thorns

Direct line: +41 22 929 00 19

Forced Labour

Forced Labour is universally condemned, banned and the subject of widely ratified international instruments. In the private sector, many codes, agreements and initiatives refer to the prohibition of forced labour, largely as a result of the inclusion of the elimination of all forms of forced or compulsory labour as a fundamental principle of the ILO’s 1998 Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work.

The issue of forced labour, including human trafficking, in business operations is fast evolving and becoming a significant risk for employers, not only for small enterprises on the margins of the formal economy in developing countries, but also for multinational enterprises with complex supply chains and outsourcing operations.

Today more than ever it is important to better understand and identify the different forms that forced labour may take in the modern global economy and the effective action that can be taken by business and employers' organisations at different levels of their operations.

The IOE continues to focus on advocacy among its members around the world - sharing knowledge, guidance, good practices and intercultural understanding of the efforts, challenges and opportunities that the business community faces, as well as providing access to facilitate global and meaningful platforms for business to effectively engage and respond.

The IOE is part of SDG Alliance 8.7, a global, multi-stakeholder alliance committed to eradicating forced labour, modern slavery, human trafficking and child labour, and achieving Target 8.7 of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

The IOE supported the adoption in 2014 of the ILO Protocol to the Forced Labour Convention, 1930 and is a main partner in the ILO 50 for Freedom Campaign. Click here to view ILO interview with IOE Secretary-General Linda Kromjong on the 50 for Freedom Campaign.

The IOE is a partner of the Alliance Against Trafficking in Persons, a broad international platform for co-operation initiated by OSCE to promoting a human rights-based and holistic approach to the prevention of trafficking, protection of victims' rights and the prosecution of offenders.


Guidance Material    

Updated ILO Handbook for Employers and Business (June 2015)

IOE-ILO Guidance Note on the 2014 Protocol to the Forced Labour Convention, 1930 (November 2014)

Fact Sheet for Business: Forced Labour in Fisheries (December 2013)

Fact sheet for Business: Human Trafficking (August 2012)

IOE Guide on Forced Labour - Why it is an issue for employers (September 2010)