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Issue No:68
  • :0973–1121
  • :August
  • :2014

With a View of the Sea

October, and the sea this morning
rests its cheek against the quays;
the pattering upon the awning’s
seeds of the acacia trees,
keeping a beat. The blazing sun
is hoisting up out of the sea
a piercing stare that doesn’t burn,
just as the rowers sculling by
pierce the water, gazing up
at one far snowy mountaintop.

—from With a View of the Sea by Joseph Brodsky,
translated from the Russian
by Glyn Maxwell and Zakhar Ishov

REPORT / LABOUR

A Human-rights Moment

A newly adopted International Labour Organization Protocol should help combat forced labour and human trafficking of fishers at sea


This article is by Jean-Marie Kagabo (kagabo@ilo.org), Programme Officer, Special Action Programme to Combat Forced Labour, International Labour Organization, Geneva, Switzerland


It was around 12 a.m. on 11 June 2014 when the plenary of the International Labour Conference of the International Labour Organization (ILO) overwhelmingly adopted a new legally binding Protocol to tackle modern forms of forced labour.

The Protocol, supported by a Recommendation, was adopted by government, employer and worker delegates, with 437 votes for, 27 abstentions and eight against.

The new Protocol brings the existing ILO Convention 29 on Forced Labour, adopted in 1930, into the modern era to strengthen protection against forced labour, particularly as found in the private economy. The accompanying Recommendation provides technical guidance on the implementation of both the Convention and the new Protocol.

In the words of Beate Andrees, Head of the ILO Special Action Programme to combat Forced Labour: "This is a truly historic moment, because delegates in this room have now modernized effectively Convention 29,...

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