ILO - International Labour Organization, Geneva

ILO's mandate is to protect the interests of workers when employed in countries other than their own, noting that labour is not a commodity. The Conventions adopted by ILO that are of most relevance to human trafficking are those on forced labour, child labour and migrant workers. Other relevant ILO Conventions include those on gender equality and discrimination, employment policy, employment agencies, labour inspection, safety and health at work.

Case example from ILO

Panlop recounts her painful ordeal of being tricked into slave-like work abroad after dropping out of school in a remote village in northern Thailand. Now that she has returned home, she is determined to help other girls and young women avoid making the same terrible mistake. By speaking out publicly and discussing her experience with at-risk youth, she helps them stand up for themselves and make their needs known to local government administrators.

Improving the understanding and awareness of the mechanisms behind trafficking that ensnare girls like Panlop empowers and mobilizes young people and their communities. It helps better target preventive efforts: children at high risk take up scholarships, enroll in school, undergo training, and benefit from job counseling and placement when they reach the minimum working age.

Some young people participate in peer education programmes or mobile theatre groups, others volunteer to campaign door to door against human trafficking. In conjunction with outreach efforts through local partners, ILO assists governments improve enforcement of laws and monitor recruitment practices, ensuring that services benefit poor families at risk.

Roger Plant, head of the Special Action Programme to Combat Forced Labour at the ILO, talks about the organization's role in fighting human trafficking.

ILO information on forced labour