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Asia Pacific Forced Labour Network
Filtered by these criterions March 2015

Exploitation vs. forced labour -- What can we learn from international labour standards?

created Mar 03, 2015 09:47 AM

By Tim De Meyer, Director, ILO Country Office for China and Mongolia, 2 March 2015

I spent some 12 years promoting international labour standards in East and South East Asia.  On many occasions, I was asked whether forced labour and exploitation are the same and, if not, what the difference is between the two concepts. The question is a pertinent one.  It arises, for example, from the definition of “trafficking in persons” in the UNTOC Palermo Protocol, which suggests that exploitation encompasses many more situations than only forced labour: “Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs”.[1]

One may begin to understand exploitation by accepting that, to a degree, exploitation is a legitimate part of any market economy trading goods and services – including labour.  Market economies can ...

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