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Forced Labour (Ilo Report)

Volume 530: debated on Monday 19 July 1954

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, in view of the report by the United Nations International Labour Organisation Committee on Forced Labour, what proposals Her Majesty's Government intend to make to the United Nations in respect of these disclosures.

The Report of the ad hoc Committee on Forced Labour, appointed jointly by the United Nations and the International Labour Organisation, has been considered by the governing body of the International Labour Organisation, which supported the Committee's recommendation that an appeal be made to Governments to abolish forced labour practices.

The governing body also urged Governments which had not already ratified the relevant international labour conventions to give prompt consideration to doing so, and will consider at its autumn meeting proposals with a view to the possible formulation of fresh international standards.

The United Nations Economic and Social Council, in April, adopted, on the initiative of the United Kingdom delegation, a resolution welcoming the action of the International Labour Organisation and inviting them to pursue the problem. This resolution also appeals to Governments to reconsider their laws and practice, and calls for a joint progress report by the Secretary-General of the United Nations and the Director-General of the International Labour Organisation.

The General Assembly will, at its session this autumn, consider the action already taken on the ad hoc Committee's Report. This action has Her Majesty's Government's support.

I thank the Minister for that reply. Can he say what countries have not so ratified this convention?