Trade Unions and Civil Society Organizations Addressing the Issue of Fighting Human Trafficking and Compulsory Labor
On World Day against Trafficking in Human Beings, July 30, the laborers’ Economic and Social Rights masar (path), in collaboration with the Labor Solidarity Center, organized a training workshop at the Iraqi Social Forum for trade unions and civil society organizations on legal frameworks to fight human trafficking and prevent compulsory labor in Iraq.
The workshop, which lasted for two days (30-31 July 2018), dealt with the legal frameworks to fight human trafficking in Iraq in accordance with law No. 28 of 2012 and the fight against compulsory labor as stipulated in Labor Law No. 37 of 2015, where signs to compulsory labor were studied along with the ways to observe and follow-up by trade unions and civil society organizations as well as to address cases of human trafficking that were observed during the period.
The participants agreed on forming a national team to follow the issues of compulsory labor and the mechanisms of disclosure of such cases and to raise workers’ awareness on the indicators of compulsory labor and ways to address them either through the labor inspection system or through the competent labor courts. On the International Day of Human Trafficking, participants addressed a number of messages to the society, government, trade unions and civil society organizations, stressing the importance of giving priority to this issue and contributing to the development of appropriate solutions in society and the labor market, of which children, women and migrant workers constitute the largest proportion.
The participants discussed the crimes committed by Daesh against the women in the areas occupied by them and the trafficking of children and women from all parts of these regions, especially the Yezidis. The participants called on government agencies to intensify efforts to find out the fate of those kidnapped and trafficked, offer all kinds of support to their families, and rehabilitate and integrate them into society. The participants also stressed the solidarity of trade unions and civil society organizations in Iraq with victims of human trafficking around the world.
It is noteworthy that the masar (path) of economic rights is one of the masarat (paths) of the Iraqi Social Forum, represented by the Working Group on Social Justice and Employment, which works to protect the rights of workers and give greater importance to the work of trade unions within the sectors operating in the country. The new national team will continue to work in the coming months and coordinate with relevant government agencies and civil society organizations and trade unions to unite ffforts and develop a long-term action plan on fighting human trafficking and compulsory labor.