Namibia to ratify ILO protocol against forced labour

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Staff Reporter

Windhoek-The Ministry of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment Creation last week submitted the instrument of ratification of the forced labour protocol in Gevena, Switzerland.

The protocol gives hope to the global fight against all forms of forced labour, including trafficking in persons and slavery-like practices.

According to a statement issued by the ministry’s acting permanent secretary Vilbard Usiku, if the protocol is ratified it becomes a legally binding instrument that requires member states to take measures that supress forced labour. “It establishes the obligation to prevent forced labour, protect victims and provide them with access to remedies,” he said.

The regulatory supervisory machinery of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) will only come into force 12 months from the date of notification of the ratification.

The forced labour protocol was adopted in 2014 by the international labour conference in order to address the gaps in the implementation of the forced labour convention.

Usiku explained that Namibia has to develop a national policy and plan of action in consultation with employers and workers’ organisations and other groups concerned, such as civil society organisations.

He added that the policy and plan of action will show the roadmap for implementing the protocol and it should include effective measures that will assist in suppressing forced labour.

“This protocol will require other state agencies to join hands in combating forced labour in Namibia,” he said.

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