Chile ratifies Protocol to Convention No. 29, reaffirming its commitment to fight against forced labour

On 19 January 2021, Chile ratified the ILO Protocol of 2014 to the Forced Labour Convention, 1930. With the culmination of this process, Chile becomes the second country in South America to take on the challenge of moving forward to become a country free of forced labour.

The ceremony, held virtually, was attended by the ILO Director General Guy Ryder; the Director of the ILO Office for the Southern Cone of Latin America, Fabio Bertranou; the Under-secretary of Labour of Chile, Fernando Arab; the Ambassador of Chile to the United Nations and other international organizations in Geneva,Frank Tressler; therepresentative of the CUT, Julia Requena;and the CPC representative, Pablo Bobic.

At the meeting, the ILO Director-General welcomed “the deposit of the instrument of ratification of the Protocol of 2014 to the Forced Labour Convention, 1930,” and said that “this ratification demonstrates once again Chile’s strong commitment to combating forced labour and ensuring the application of fundamental principles and rights at work”. He further noted that “with this ratification, Chile is actively contributing to the achievement of decent work and to the attainment of the United Nations sustainable development goals for 2030”.

The Under-Secretary of Labour stressed the importance of this moment, saying that: “this ratification confirms our commitment to work on a national policy to eliminate this type of practice that violates the rights of the individuals. It also reinforces the responsibility assumed by Chile as a pioneer country in the 8.7 Alliance for a World Free of Child Labour and Forced Labour. This is a joint challenge that must be addressed in a tripartite manner by the State, workers and employers, where social dialogue plays a very important role”.

In order to fulfil the obligations that Chile is assuming with the ratification of this instrument, and within the framework of its participation in the 8.7 Alliance, the Undersecretariat of Labour will set up a “Technical Advisory Body for the implementation of the Protocol “, committing itself to generating, in a context of social dialogue, the necessary and immediate actions and initiatives to eradicate child labour, end trafficking in persons and forced labour in general. It is hoped that this instance will establish the basis for the design, implementation and monitoring of the implementation of the Protocol.

In this respect, Ambassador Tressler said: “It is an honour for me to comply, together with Undersecretary Fernando Arab, with this relevant milestone that will allow us to continue strengthening the labour institutions in our country, and it is a demonstration of our commitment to the ILO; the only multilateral organization that generates labour standards in a tripartite manner”.

States that ratify the Protocol commit themselves to adopting effective measures to prevent and eliminate such practices, providing victims with protection and access to appropriate and effective remedies, such as compensation, and applying sanctions to the perpetrators of forced or compulsory labour.

At the conclusion of the ceremony, the ILO Director-General “thanked the Government of Chile in the person of its President, Mr. Sebastián Piñera, and the workers and employers of the country for their commitment to the fundamental rights and principles of working men and women as set out in ILO Conventions and especially in this Protocol to the Forced Labour Convention “.

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