How a landmark treaty on forced labour got passed

Dennis Zulu Chief Program Officer

Beate Andrees is Head of ILO’s Special Action Programme to Combat Forced Labour.

At the International Labour Conference in June this year, governments, workers and employers adopted a new Protocol against forced labour, supplemented by a Recommendation, which has been hailed around the world as a landmark treaty to protect human rights. The new instruments received overwhelming support from governments, workers and employers with 437 votes in favour, and only a handful of abstentions or votes against.

The Protocol builds on one of the oldest and widely ratified ILO conventions, the Forced Labour Convention (No. 29), which was passed in 1930. The initial aim of Convention 29 was to progressively abolish forced labour in colonial territories. As a result, it allowed for a transition period during which states could still make limited use of forced labour.

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Political will creates new ground for indigenous peoples’ rights

On a recent mission to the Republic of Congo, Morse Flores, ILO staff member and officer for the UN Indigenous Peoples Partnership (UNIPP) recorded his impressions of a joint UN project to help raise awareness of indigenous peoples’ rights. The purpose of Morse’s mission was to meet with key partners of UNIPP and see first hand the reality on the ground with a view to developing the joint UN project further. In 2011, the government of the Republic of Congo adopted Law No. 5-2011 on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Indigenous Populations, becoming the first African country to adopt a specific law on indigenous peoples. Continue reading

5 reasons you should consider an apprenticeship

Dennis Zulu Chief Program Officer

Michael Axmann, Senior Expert in Skills Development Systems at ILO

“You will get the right skills with an apprenticeship!”

Those were my mother’s words when, at the age of 18, I came home with a two-year contract in my pocket for an apprenticeship at a local bank. I’d decided not to go to college right away, because I wanted to get some work experience and start earning some money. Even though I eventually did get my university degree, I still look back on that decision as one of the best career moves I ever made.

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