LA.2.a. Forced and compulsory labour

Does the company take all necessary measures to ensure that it does not participate in any form of forced or bonded labour?


Where there is a risk of forced or bonded labour practices, the company should ensure that it does not use or contribute to the use of such practices. Forced or bonded labour is work performed involuntarily under threat of penalty. Certain employment practices may lead to a situation of bonded labour. This includes for example compelled overtime, human trafficking, lack of free movement, debt bondage or retention of personal documents. The company should make sure that such practices are prevented and that fair and transparent employment contracts are issued for all employees. When using third party staff agencies, the company should ensure that such agencies are not engaged in bonded labour practices. Particular care should also be taken when employing migrant workers.


The question applies to workers directly engaged by the company and workers engaged through third parties to perform work related to core business processes for a substantial duration (contracted workers operating within company premises).


This question relates to the right to freedom from forced labour and servitude, right to an adequate standard of living and freedom of movement. The question is based on general principles contained in the following: Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), Article 4; International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966), Article 8; International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1966), Article 7 (b); Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Worker and Members of Their Families (1990), Article 11 (2); ILO Forced Labour and Servitude Convention (C29, 1930), Articles 2.2.C, 12 and 13; ILO Abolition of Forced Labour Convention (C105, 1957); ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work (1998), Article 2(b), Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (1979), Article 6]. IFC Performance Standard 2: Labor and Working Conditions.


First answer the following indicators (step 1) and then the main question (step 2).

Step 1. Answer the following indicators:

Workers can give notice and leave employment within a reasonable length of time. This is clearly communicated to workers prior to starting employment.

The company (or its recruitment agencies) ensures that it does not withhold wages or bonuses and that it pays them in a timely and regular manner.

The company ensures it does not make deductions from wages for disciplinary measures or other deductions not authorised by national law.

Within normal working hours workers are able to earn a living wage sufficient to meet the basic needs of themselves and their closest dependents.

Overtime work is paid, voluntary and not compelled through threat of pay deductions, termination or other sanctions.

The company (or its recruitment agencies) ensures that it does not retain identity cards, passports, travel documents or other personal items without which workers cannot leave employment. If letters of release or other documents are needed for the worker to leave employment, such letters are issued without delay.

All workers are allowed to leave company premises during breaks and at the end of their shifts, and workers in company housing may freely enter and exit their accommodation at any time.

The company (or its recruiting agencies) ensures that it does not require workers to pay recruitment fees or lodge money deposits.

Loans or salary advancements to workers are based on fair terms that are clearly explained to the worker, are not granted to cover basic living expenses, are limited in size, and do not require the worker to remain with the company until repayment is completed.

If the company uses prison labour it ensures that all prison workers have been convicted by a court of law, and that the work is voluntary and supervised by a public authority.

The company ensures that it does not use labour from agencies or firms involved in human trafficking or other forms of bonded labour.

Step 2. Answer the main question:

Does the company take all necessary measures to ensure that it does not participate in any form of forced or bonded labour?

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