The Differences And Similaritions Of Forced Labor And Slavery

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Freedom from slavery is a fundamental and absolute human right, which imposes an obligation on the state to prevent any forms of slavery, servitude and forced labour and to penalize and prosecute such acts if there are any . Unfortunately, despite the many conventions that have been put in place such as Article 4 of ECHR and Article 8 of ICCPR to abolish the forms of slavery, there are still many people living in countries where slavery and forced labour still exists as proven by the figures of the Walk Free’s Global Index.
Slavery is the ‘status or condition of a person over whom any or all of the powers attaching the to the right of ownership are exercised ’. Forced labour, refers to all ‘work or service, which is exacted from any person under the menace of any penalty and for which the said person has not offered himself voluntarily ’. In other words, for an act to amount to forced labour, there should be a lack of consent to work and a menace of a penalty . It is thus important to look at the similarities and differences of forced labour and slavery before looking at whether human rights have failed to prevent slavery.

We normally associate forced labour with slavery, therefore proving that there are certain similarities between the two in order for people to often link them. Considering the definitions given for slavery and forced labour, it is clear that both contains the same elements at their base, such as violence, ownership and freedom . However, what makes

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