Together Against Trafficking in Human Beings

Fundamental principles and rights at work: From commitment to action

Fundamental principles and rights at work: From commitment to action

International Labour Conference, 2012, 119 pages

This Global Report analyses the use of fundamental principles and rights (including elimination of forced labour) in trade agreements, the impact of ILO's standard-related work as well as promotional activities, the challenge of enforcement and gaps in the realization of fundamental rights at work.

The Report points it out that the trend towards more comprehensive legal coverage of forced labour and trafficking offences continues, with countries amending criminal codes or adopting special anti-trafficking or forced labour laws. The new Directive 2011/36/EU, criminalizing all forms of exploitation and establishing enhanced standards for the protection of victims, is a valid example of this trend.

However, despite the new legislation and growing international concern, the ILO Report notes that little progress has been made in the prosecution of forced labour offences. For example, many new laws do not provide much detail on specific forced labour offences. Anti-trafficking laws still tend to be used primarily to prosecute sex-related offences, while labour-related cases end up with lighter sanctions or no sanctions at all.