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Call for Input: The Nexus between Forced Displacement and Contemporary Forms of Slavery

The below questionnaire addressed to Member States and other stakeholders is meant to assist the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery, including its causes and consequences to elaborate a comprehensive report on the situation of displaced persons1, including stateless persons with regard to contemporary forms of slavery. The report will be presented to the Human Rights Council in September 2021.

Deadline
15 March 2021
Issued by
The Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery, including its causes and consequences
Purpose
To inform the Special Rapporteur’s forthcoming report to the 48th session of the Human Rights Council

Objectives

Through examining current practices and trends, the Special Rapporteur wishes to assess the experiences of persons who were displaced within their countries or across international borders with regard to contemporary forms of slavery. Concretely, he wishes to assess to what extent, in which forms and sectors these groups are affected by contemporary forms of slavery. Based on his assessment, the Special Rapporteur will also provide recommendations to States on how to better protect displaced persons from contemporary forms of slavery. At the occasion of the International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour and taking into consideration SDG target 8.7 a particular focus will be set on displaced/stateless children being subjected to the worst forms of child labour which is considered a form of slavery. Reference may also be made to how pre-existing concerns have been exacerbated by COVID-19.

Key questions and types of input sought

Displaced persons

  • Is information/evidence available regarding displaced persons such as asylum seekers, refugees, internally displaced persons (IDPs) and stateless persons being subjected to contemporary forms of slavery in your country?
    • If so, what is the country of origin of the affected persons?
    • What is their migration status, if any?
    • Which contemporary forms of slavery are they subjected to (e.g. bonded labour, forced labour, forced marriage, sexual slavery, domestic servitude or other forms of exploitation)?
    • Are particular industries more likely to be involved in the exploitation of displaced persons?
    • Are displaced persons housed in settlements/camps/refugee centers/detention centers or similar settings? Does the exploitation happen in the same setting or in a different context? Please provide any available details, including (disaggregated) data.
    • What measures are in place to prevent slavery/exploitation in camp/refugee centre settings?
    • How does the exploitation of displaced persons differ (in prevalence or extent) from the exploitation of nationals in the country?
  • Is there a gender dimension to exploitation and if so, in what way?
  • Are other sub-groups within displaced persons (e.g. stateless persons, LGBT, disabled persons, younger/older persons, affected by different forms of slavery and if yes, in what way?
  • Is there any indication/evidence that domestic rules and/or legislation related to the regulation of displaced persons contribute to an increased vulnerability of displaced persons to exploitation?
  • Are the same labour standards applicable to all categories of displaced persons, including IDPs? Are these standards the same as those applicable to (other) nationals of the country?
  • For States which are parties to the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees 1951 and the Convention Relating to the Status of Stateless Persons 1954, are refugees and Stateless persons granted the same treatment in relation to, for example, remuneration, hours of work, overtime arrangements, annual leave, collective bargaining and social security benefits in accordance with common Article 24?  If not, why not?  
  • What arrangements (in law, policy and practice) are there for protection of the labour rights of displaced persons for States not parties to these instruments?
  • Are there mechanisms for ensuring that displaced persons victimised in contemporary forms of slavery can report such treatment without endangering their status or stay in the country?
  • Do displaced persons victimised by contemporary forms of slavery have effective access to justice, remedies and compensation? What barriers are encountered in practice?  Are such remedies available even if/after the individual has returned to their country of origin?
  • What mechanisms are in place to hold businesses, employers and criminals who engage in exploitation of displaced persons accountable in your country? 
  • Are mechanisms in place to protect exploited workers from prosecution for violations of labour/immigration laws in the country?
  • What are wider challenges in preventing contemporary forms of slavery among displaced persons and in protecting victims? 

Worst Forms of Child Labour as affecting displaced children

  • Please indicate if displaced children in your country are affected by any of the following practices stipulated in the Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, 1999 (No. 182):

(a) forms of slavery or practices similar to slavery, such as the sale and trafficking of children, debt bondage and serfdom and forced or compulsory labour, including forced or compulsory recruitment of children for use in armed conflict;
(b) the use, procuring or offering of a child for prostitution, for the production of pornography or for pornographic performances;
(c) the use, procuring or offering of a child for illicit activities, in particular for the production and trafficking of drugs as defined in the relevant international treaties;
(d) work which, by its nature or the circumstances in which it is carried out, is likely to harm the health, safety or morals of children.
If so, please provide details on the context (e-g. humanitarian/camp setting or not) and disaggregated data to the extent available.
Is there any further information that you would like to share with the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery?

The Special Rapporteur would be grateful for submissions from Member States, civil society organisations, academia, United Nations agencies and other International Organizations, NHRIs and other stakeholders.

How and where to submit inputs
Inputs may be sent via e-mail by 15 March 2021
E-mail address
E-mail subject line
Submission for HRC report 2021
Word limit
File formats
Word, PDF

Treatment of inputs/comments received

Please note that all submissions will be published on this webpage by default unless confidentiality is expressly requested.

Submissions

States

  1. Algeria
  2. Australia
  3. Azerbaijan
  4. Bolivia
  5. Chile - complementary submissions: I, II
  6. Croatia
  7. El Salvador
  8. Guatemala 1-2
  9. Iraq
  10. Lebanon
  11. Malta
  12. Mexico
  13. Mozambique
  14. Namibia
  15. Russian Federation
  16. Saudi Arabia
  17. Slovenia
  18. Sri Lanka
  19. Togo

NHRI

  1. NHRI Argentina
  2. NHRI Denmark
  3. NHRI Mexico

Civil Society Organisations

  1. Anti-Slavery International
  2. ARC
  3. Arise
  4. CHRI
  5. Different & Equal
  6. Observa la Trata, capítulo Perú
  7. Shambros Advocates and Solicitors, India (Annex)
  8. Submission Reprieve WORD
  9. Vatra Psycho-Social Center Albania
  10. Walk Free

Academia

  1. Delta 8.7
  2. Rights Lab
  3. SSSIS India

UN Agencies

  1. UN Women

Other stakeholders

  1. Sovereign Order of Malta

1. The following definition of “displaced persons” is used for the purposes of this call for inputs: “Persons or groups of persons who have been forced or obliged to flee or to leave their homes or places of habitual residence, either across an international border or within a State, in particular as a result of or in order to avoid the effects of armed conflict, situations of generalized violence, violations of human rights or natural or human-made disasters” (IOM Glossary of Migration Terms 2019)


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Contact Us

Mr. Tomoya Obokata
Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery, including its causes and consequences
c/o Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
United Nations at Geneva
8-14 avenue de la Paix
CH-1211 Geneva 10
Switzerland
Fax: (+41) 22 917 90 06

E-mail: srslavery@ohchr.org or
urgent-action@ohchr.org