The incorporation of the 2014 International Labour Organization (ILO) updated protocols replace the original 1930 Forced Labour Convention, to which Switzerland became a signatory in 1940, according to a statement (German) released by the Swiss government.
At least 24.9 million people were working in forced labour conditions in the world in 2016, according to ILO data. Four million of these were in forced labour imposed by state authorities.
“Forced labor is a violation of human rights, one of the main causes of poverty and jeopardizes sustainable development,” said the Swiss government in its statement (French). “The elimination of forced labour remains one of the major challenges of the twenty-first century.”
Switzerland became the 20th country to ratify the convention, according to the ILO, which hopes 50 nations will adopt the measures by the end of 2018.
An estimated 100,000 children were subjected to forced labour in Switzerland and coerced to work on farms during the 19th and 20th centuries, according to The New York Times. The abusive system was apparently only eradicated in 1981.
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