Forced Labor and Slavery

March 21, 1956

Report Outline
New Drive on Forced Labor and Slavery
Extent of Forced Labor and Slavery Today
United States Policy on Human Rights Pacts

New Drive on Forced Labor and Slavery

Renewed efforts to raise effective legal barriers to systems of forced labor, and to wipe out remnants of human servitude still found in parts of the world today, are to be made this spring by organs of the United Nations. Since 1949 the Economic and Social Council and the International Labor Organization have been conducting inquiries into the extent of forced labor and slavery and adopting resolutions condemning such institutions as violative of fundamental human rights. This year the member governments will be asked to support stronger measures, including two proposed conventions, designed to eliminate forced or slave labor and all traces of traffic in slaves.

The Economic and Social Council has completed the first draft of a new convention on abolition of slavery, and institutions similar to slavery, for consideration at a session opening Apr. 17 at U.N. headquarters in New York City. Meanwhile, the International Labor Organization has queried its members on whether they would support a similar convention to bar use of forced labor for political or economic purposes; the question will be fully discussed at the I.L.O.'s annual conference at Geneva in June.

A majority of the governments belonging to I.L.O. already have sent affirmative replies. Thirty-eight of the member governments have signified their intention to support some form of international agreement dealing with forced labor; 34 of them, including the Soviet Union, have come out for a new treaty or convention. The only major industrial country not on record as favoring such a pact is the United States.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Human Rights
Nov. 01, 2013  Religious Repression
May 17, 2013  Assisted Suicide
Oct. 16, 2012  Human Trafficking and Slavery
Sep. 20, 2011  Saving Indigenous Peoples
Oct. 30, 2009  Human Rights Issues
Jul. 25, 2008  Human Rights in China
Mar. 26, 2004  Human Trafficking and Slavery
Apr. 30, 1999  Women and Human Rights
Nov. 13, 1998  Human Rights
Jul. 19, 1985  Human Rights in the 1980s
May 18, 1979  Human Rights Policy
Apr. 03, 1968  Human Rights Protection
Mar. 21, 1956  Forced Labor and Slavery
Apr. 27, 1949  Forced Labor
Jan. 25, 1945  Bills of Rights
Global Issues
Outsourcing and Immigration
United Nations