ILO/ITUC Inter-Regional Conference on Trade Union Action and Strategies on Forced Labour and Trafficking

The inter-regional conference will be discussing an international trade union strategy in the fight against forced labour and trafficking. The objectives are to give to all participants a clear view on all aspects of different forms of forced labour and trafficking, their adverse effects on the labour market and the role of the trade union movement in fighting the phenomenon, defining what the main means of action of trade unions are on a (sectoral) local, national, regional and international level.

Trade unions being the main instrument to denounce and act against abuse and exploitation of any worker have an essential role to play in the abolition of forced labour put forward by the Director General of the ILO. A global trade union approach in consultation with ILO-ACTRAV and the GUF’s to address this worldwide phenomenon is urgent, addressing specific characteristics of forced labour forms and according to the geographical region.
Throughout the entire meeting there should be comments from representatives of the construction, textile and transport industry as well as the agricultural sector.

Preliminary research has shown that most trade union organisations already have policies, strategies and action plans related to child labour, migrant workers, domestic workers and/or trafficking for sexual exploitation. Nevertheless the link between these issues and forced labour remains unclear. An introduction to understanding the different terms and issues concerned is essential to clarify how forced labour could form a consistent pillar of different policies and strategies of trade unions in the future.

9 September: Introduction to the concepts of forced labour and trafficking and how ILO approaches these issues, the ILO’s Conventions and their implementation and monitoring mechanisms.

10 September: Presentation of the ITUC draft strategy, followed by a round table local experiences and good practices from national trade union organisations from different regions. Special attention will be given to Burma.

11 September: Discussions on how the different priorities could be transposed in specific actions and projects focusing on: organising, campaigning, cross country-networking, advocacy, monitoring, capacity building, direct victim support, etc. A realistic plan of action should be designed for the years 2008-2009 as well as the identification of two pilot implementation projects in priority areas.

9-11 September 2007


Hotel Armada

Lorong Utara C,

Section 52,

Petaling Jaya, Selangor, W. Malaysia.

Tel:  603-79546888

Fax:  603-79585593

9 September: Introduction on Forced Labour and trafficking, a global Trade Union Perspective

Objective: a clear view on the scope of both forced labour and trafficking and on how to identify victims.

9:00-9:30: Registration

9:30-10:15: Welcome, introduction and opening remarks

Rajasekaran, General Secretary, Malaysian Trade Union Congress

Jaap Wienen, Deputy General Secretary, International Trade Union Confederation

Roger Plant, Head, Special Action Programme against Forced Labour, International Labour Organisation

Objectives and expected outcomes, participants’ expectations

Jeroen Beirnaert, Project Coordinator Forced Labour and Trafficking, International Trade Union Confederation

10.15-10.30: Coffee/tea

10:30-12:00: Presentation: The Role of Trade Unions within a Global Alliance against Forced Labour

Definitions and concepts, ILO standards and implementation mechanisms

Roger Plant, Head Special Action Programme against Forced Labour, International Labour Organisation

12.00-12.30: Q&A

12:30-14:00: Lunch

14:00-15:00: Presentation: Global trends in forced labour and trafficking

Typology, gender and regional distribution

Mike Kaye, Communications Manager, Anti-Slavery International

15.00-15.30: Q&A

15:30-15.45: Coffee/tea

15.45-17:30: Roundtable: Global Unions’ action against forced labour and trafficking

Neil Kearney, General Secretary, International Textile Garment and Leather Workers’ Federation (moderator)

17:30 Conclusions