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Together Against Trafficking in Human Beings

Chowdury and Others v. Greece

30 March 2017 The applicants – 42 Bangladeshi nationals – were recruited in Athens and other parts of Greece between the end of 2012 and early 2013, without a Greek work permit, to work at the main strawberry farm in Manolada. Their employers failed to pay the applicants’ wages and obliged them to work in difficult physical conditions under the supervision of armed guards. The applicants alleged that they had been subjected to forced or compulsory labour. They further submitted that the State was under an obligation to prevent their being subjected to human trafficking, to adopt preventive measures for that purpose and to punish the employers. The Court held that there had been a violation of Article 4 § 2 (prohibition of forced labour) of the Convention, finding that the applicants had not received effective protection from the Greek State. The Court noted, in particular, that the applicants’ situation was one of human trafficking and forced labour, and specified that exploitation through labour was one aspect of trafficking in human beings. The Court also found that the State had failed in its obligations to prevent the situation of human trafficking, to protect the victims, to conduct an effective investigation into the offences committed and to punish those responsible for the trafficking. Read Full Case Law: Chowdury and Others v. Greece

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