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call for input | Special Procedures

Call for input on the role of workers’ organisations in preventing and addressing contemporary forms of slavery

Issued by

Special Procedures

Deadline

31 March 2024

Purpose: To inform the report of the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery, including its causes and consequences, to the 79th session of the General Assembly
Objective of the report

The Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery wishes to focus his next thematic report to the General Assembly on “the role of workers’ organisations in preventing and addressing contemporary forms of slavery” 1. For the purposes of the report, he will engage with such entities worldwide as well as with those whom they have assisted to avoid or overcome contemporary forms of slavery.


1 The mandate on contemporary forms of slavery includes but is not limited to traditional slavery, forced labour, debt bondage, serfdom, children working in slavery or slavery-like conditions, domestic servitude, sexual slavery, and servile forms of marriage.


Key questions and types of input sought
  1. Are trade union rights, as protected by ILO Conventions Nos. 87 (Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise) and 98 (Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining), recognized in domestic legislative frameworks in your country? If so, please provide details including provision for remedies in case of breaches.
  2. Have workers’ organisations in your country played a role in preventing workers from being subjected to contemporary forms of slavery, or helping victims to move out of exploitative situations? If so, please provide details, which may include, but are not limited to:
    1. Promotion of trade union rights for workers who may face a heightened risk of being exploited in contemporary forms of slavery, including women, young people, persons with disabilities, indigenous peoples, minorities, migrants, older persons, informal workers and LGBTQI+ individuals, who may or may not be unionised.
    2. Promotion of ratification and national implementation of relevant ILO standards by Member States, including Conventions No. 29 (Forced Labour) and its Protocol of 2014, 87 (Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise), 98 (Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining), 105 (Abolition of Forced Labour), 138 (Minimum Age), 182 (Worst Forms of Child Labour) and 189 (Domestic Workers);
    3. Adoption and implementation of specific strategies/guidance on contemporary forms of slavery within their organisations;
    4. Inspection of workplace and accommodations where these are provided by employers;
    5. Facilitation of access to education, vocational skills training, as well as financial and essential public services;
    6. Facilitation of access to justice and remedies (including legal, financial, immigration, subsistence or other forms of assistance) for workers exploited in contemporary forms of slavery.
  3. Please provide any positive examples of collaboration or coordination with the following entities in preventing contemporary forms of slavery and protecting vulnerable workers and victims:
    1. Public authorities
    2. Businesses/employers’ organisations
    3. Anti-slavery actors, human rights defenders and/or other civil society organisations
    4. Other actors such as financial institutions, service providers, academia, media and regional/international organisations (e.g. ILO)
  4. Are there workers’ organisations dedicated to organizing and defending the rights of workers in certain sectors with higher risks of labour and/or sexual exploitation (e.g. agriculture, fishing, construction, services including hospitality, manufacturing, domestic work, and non-standard forms of employment) or at-risk populations (e.g. indigenous peoples, migrants and refugees, minorities, older workers, workers with disabilities and informal workers) in your country? If so, please provide details, including tailored prevention or protection activities.
  5. If any, please describe challenges or limitations experienced by workers’ organisations in your country to prevent contemporary forms of slavery and protect victims, which may include:
    1. Non-recognition of trade unions/workers’ organizations or trade union rights in law and in practice;
    2.  Limitations on the rights to organize and take collective actions, including bargaining;
    3.  Union-busting and other forms of harassment and anti-union discrimination;
    4.  Lack of cooperation/coordination from various State/non-State actors;
    5. Limitations/challenges specific to certain employment sectors or groups of workers, including lack of representation for collective bargaining;
    6. Limited access to workplaces and accommodations provided by employers;
    7. Other practical difficulties such as lack of resources, expertise and membership, or reluctance/fear among workers to engage.
  6. What practical recommendations would you make to concerned stakeholders (including Governments, businesses/employers’ organisations, anti-slavery and civil society actors, international organisations and others) to enable workers’ organizations (including centres and federations) to more effectively prevent and address contemporary forms of slavery?
How inputs will be used

Submissions will be published on the website of the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery (OHCHR | Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery, including its causes and consequences), unless confidentiality is requested for particular submissions.

Next Steps

Input may be sent via e-mail by 31 March 2024

E-mail address: [email protected]

E-mail subject line: Input for report of the SR on slavery to the 79th session of the GA

Word limit: 2000 words

File format: Word, PDF

Accepted languages: English, French, Spanish

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