ILO welcomes China’s move towards the ratification of two forced labour Conventions
21 April 2022
Once these ratifications take place, the total number of ILO Conventions ratified by China will rise to 28, including six of the eight Fundamental Conventions
The International Labour Organization (ILO) has welcomed the decision by the National People’s Congress of the People’s Republic of China to approve the ratification of the Forced Labour Convention, 1930 (No. 29) and the Abolition of Forced Labour Convention, 1957 (No. 105).
Ratification of these two instruments, which are classified as Fundamental Conventions, will bring the total number of ILO Conventions ratified by China to 28, including six of the eight Fundamental Conventions.
By approving these ratifications, China reinforces its commitment to eliminate all forms of forced labour within its jurisdiction, realize work in freedom for its 1.4 billion people, and respect the ILO’s fundamental principles and rights at work.
Convention No. 29 prohibits the use of forced labour in all its forms and requires State parties to make forced labour practices punishable as penal offences. This instrument is supplemented by Convention No. 105, which specifically calls for the immediate abolition of forced or compulsory labour in five specific circumstances listed in its article 1.. These Conventions will enter into force in China one year after their instruments of ratification are deposited with the ILO.
ILO Director-General Guy Ryder, said “I welcome the ratification by China of these two ILO Fundamental Conventions on forced labour. The move demonstrates China’s strong support for ILO values and reflects its commitment to protect any female or male workers from being trapped into forced labour practices, which have no place nor justification in today’s world. This is a milestone on the road towards universal ratification of the forced labour Conventions and the realization of Sustainable Development Goal 8, Target 7.”
“I expect theses ratifications to create renewed momentum and further efforts by the government and the social partners in China to support human-centred development and decent work in the second largest economy in the world, in line with the ILO Centenary Declaration on the Future of Work.”
The ILO stands ready to further its collaboration with China’s government and social partners for the full implementation of these two Conventions and the full realization of principles under the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work.
According to the latest global estimates, about 25 million people globally are forced to work under threat or coercion. Many other workers, who were hard hit by the economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, have become more vulnerable to being trapped into forced labour.
There are eight ILO Fundamental Conventions covering four core principles: forced labour, child labour, discrimination, and freedom of association and collective bargaining. All ILO Member States are expected to respect and promote these principles and rights, regardless of whether or not they have ratified the relevant Conventions.