After the UN, the ILO and US State Department now call on Belarus to abolish forced labour

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(Paris, Minsk, 21 July 2016). The US State departement and the International Labour Organisation (ILO) are the latest in line to condemn Belarus, joining FIDH in its call for a thorough reform of state policies to end all forms of forced labour, including repealing abusive laws and presidential decrees.

FIDH and its member organisation in Belarus, Human Rights Center Viasna, have long and actively campaigned for the abolition of forced labour. In 2013, they presented their investigative report into forced labour before the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, whose conclusions reiterated FIDH’s recommendations to abolish forced labour. In 2015, the UN further condemned ongoing violations of human rights and forced labour in Belarus. Pursuing their advocacy, FIDH and Viasna presented their findings to the ILO, which explicitly recalled them in its own conclusions, highlighting violations of human and labour rights and forced labour imposed by national legislation on certain categories of workers and persons, namely workers in the wood processing industry, persons in socially vulnerable situations, persons interned in “medical labour centres” and parents whose children have been removed. The ILO, recalling recommendations by the UN special rapporteur on Belarus, the European Parliament and FIDH, urges Belarus to take all necessary measures to repeal or amend laws which lead to forced labour.

Watch the interview with Valiantsin Stefanovic of Human Rights Center "Viasna".

Visit our dedicated page: Belarus, a dictartorship at the gates of the European Union

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