2016 08/06

The Committee on the norms and standards of the International Labour Organization (ILO) drew the attention of the Belarusian authorities to the need to bring national legislation into conformity with the requirements of the ILO Convention № 29, which stated prohibition of forced labor.

This conclusion was made by the Committee following the results of consideration of the Belarusian issue at 105th session of the International Labour Conference, which took place on June 6 in Geneva.

On June 2 the official governmental delegation of Belarus submitted a country report to the Committee, which has denied the information that forced labour was practiced in the country.

However, in the conclusions of the Committee on the norms and standards of the ILO it is noted that it:

“Examined with the interest the explanation of the measures taken to abolish the Government Decree of the President № 9 “On additional measures for the development of the wood industry” of December 7, 2012 regulated by the Presidential Decree № 182. However, the Committee noted with a deep concern the possible use of forced labor, including charges of the unemployed by other laws and decrees of the President”.

Among other things, the Committee urged the Government of Belarus to “ensure that the decrees and national laws were in full conformity with the Convention № 29, including:

  • Presidential Decree № 3 of April 2, 2015 “On the prevention of social dependency”;
  • The law № 104-3 of 4 January 2010, “On the procedure and order of putting citizens to medical-labor dispensaries and the conditions within”;
  • Presidential Decree № 5 “On strengthening the requirements for leading cadres and workers in organizations”;
  • Presidential Decree № 18 of November 24, 2006 “On additional measures of state protection of children from “problem families”.

It is important to note that the ILO’s decision to some extent was influenced by human rights defenders of the FIDH and the Human Rights Centre “Viasna”, which presented their joint report “The widespread violation of labor rights and forced labor in Belarus” to the norms and standards Committee.
Moreover, the same report was submitted to the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which, in its turn, in November 2013, largely based on the findings of human rights defenders has recommended Belarus to abandon the use of forced labor and to ensure adequate protection of the rights of workers.


International Labour Organization (ILO) is a specialized UN agency that aims to promote the principles of social justice and internationally recognized human rights and labor rights. It was established in 1919 and now formulates international labor standards in the form of Conventions and Recommendations setting minimum standards of basic labor rights.

  • The Republic of Belarus has been a member of ILO since 1954 and has ratified 48 its conventions, including 8 fundamental.

Quoting spring96.org
Prepared by Ales LETA,
Belarusian Legal Portal

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