Forced Labour Convention
|Convention concerning Forced or Compulsory Labour|
Member States (green) of the Convention. ILO members that did not ratify are shown in red.
|Signed||28 June 1930|
|Effective||1 May 1932|
|Depositary||Director-General of the International Labour Office|
|Languages||French and English|
The Forced Labour Convention, the full title of which is the Convention Concerning Forced or Compulsory Labour, 1930 (No.29), is one of 8 ILO fundamental conventions of the International Labour Organization. The Convention commits parties to prohibit the use of forced labour, admitting only five exceptions to it. Its object and purpose is to suppress the use of forced labour in all its forms irrespective of the nature of the work or the sector of activity in which it may be performed. The Convention defines forced labour as "all work or service which is exacted from any person under the menace of any penalty and for which the said person has not offered himself voluntarily".
The Convention was adoption in Geneva 28 June 1930 and came into force on 1 May 1932. Portugal, under the rule of António de Oliveira Salazar, was an important absentee from the original signatories. The continued pursuit of forced labour policies in the Portuguese colonies of Angola and Mozambique meant it was unable to ratify the treaty.
The Convention was supplemented by the Abolition of Forced Labour Convention, 1957 which canceled a number of exceptions to abolishment in the 1930 Convention, such as punishment for strikes and as a punishment for holding certain political views.
Exceptions to Convention
The Convention excepts from the term "forced or compulsory labour" the following:
- any work or service exacted in virtue of compulsory military service laws for work of a purely military character;
- any work or service which forms part of the normal civic obligations of the citizens of a fully self-governing country;
- any work or service exacted from any person as a consequence of a conviction in a court of law, provided that the said work or service is carried out under the supervision and control of a public authority and that the said person is not hired to or placed at the disposal of private individuals, companies or associations;
- any work or service exacted in cases of emergency, that is to say, in the event of war, of a calamity or threatened calamity, such as fire, flood, famine, earthquake, violent epidemic or epizootic diseases, invasion by: animal, insect or vegetable pests, and in general any circumstance that would endanger the existence or the well-being of the whole or part of the population;
- minor communal services of a kind which, being performed by the members of the community in the direct interest of the said community, can therefore be considered as normal civic obligations incumbent upon the members of the community, provided that the members of the community or their direct representatives shall have the right to be consulted in regard to the need for such services.
In 2014, a protocol was adopted by the International Labour Conference: P29, Protocol of 2014 to the Forced Labour Convention, 1930. The Protocol was adopted with 437 votes in favour, 8 agains and 27 abstentions (there are 3 votes per member state: one for the Government, one for employees, and one for employers). The Government of Thailand was the only country to vote against adoption
- "Ratifications of the Convention". International Labour Organization. 26 May 2011. Retrieved 30 May 2011.
- "Conventions and recommendations". International Labour Organization. 27 May 2011.
- Article 2.
- "Members who have not ratified". International Labour Organization. 26 May 2011. Retrieved 30 May 2011.