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Modern slavery
Modern slavery

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4 Modern slavery and forced labour

Forced labour is an important aspect of modern day slavery. The term ‘forced labour’f describes work or services that a person is forced to do against their will or under the threat of punishment. Forced labour primarily contravenes national labour laws and international labour standards set out by the ILO. However, in some circumstances, it can also be viewed as a human rights violation. It is an inherent part of many forms of modern slavery, such as THB or bonded labour.

In this section you will consider three different examples of forced labour being a part of slavery-like practices. The examples refer to three different situations:

  • bonded labour (also known as debt bondage), which entails the imposition of forced labour on one individual by another person
  • forced labour imposed by businesses, in order to produce or obtain certain products (e.g. cotton and cocoa)
  • Magdalene laundries in Ireland, which illustrate the use of forced labour by the Catholic Church.