Many victims enter forced labor situations initially of their own accord

Decree 135/2004/ND-CP, June 10, 2004, art. 32 states “Individuals being taken into rehab centers must comply with the labor policy and working hours stipulated by the Labor Law” [translation by Human Rights Watch]. See also Decree 94/2009/ND-CP, October 26, of 2009, art 34(2).

The International Covenant on Civil and  tiep bong da k+ Political Rights (art. 8) and the regional human rights conventions—the European Convention on Human Rights (art. 4.2), the American Convention on Human Rights (art. 6.2), the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights (art. 15), prohibit forced or compulsory labor. ILO Convention No. 29 concerning Forced Labour (adopted June 28, 1930, entered into force May 1, 1932) and the ILO Convention No. 105 concerning the Abolition of Forced Labour (adopted June 25, 1957—entered into force January 17, 1959) prohibit the practice, and in 1998 the ILO adopted the Declaration on Fundamental Principles (adopted by the International Labour Conference at its eighty-sixth session, Geneva, June 18, 1998) which declares that all ILO members—of which Vietnam is one—even if they have not ratified either of the above conventions are obliged to respect, promote, and realize the elimination of all forms of forced or compulsory labor (art.2).

ILO Convention No. 29 concerning Forced or Compulsory Labor , art. 2, ratified by Vietnam on March 5, 2007.

For example, the ILO’s Special Youth Schemes Recommendation 1970 (1970) indicates that obligatory schemes of education and training may be compatible with the forced labor conventions, but limits such schemes to those involving the obligatory enrolment of unemployed young people for a definite period, and clarifies that any schemes involving an obligation to serve require prior consent (paras. 7(1) and (2)(a) and (b)).

See, for example, International Labour Conference, General Survey concerning the Forced Labour Convention, 1930 (No. 29), and the Abolition of Forced Labour Convention, 1957 (No. 105) (Geneva: ILO, 2007), para. 36.

The ILO states that workers have the right to revoke freely-given consent, noting “many victims enter forced labor situations initially of their own accord … only to discover later that they are not free to withdraw their labor. They are subsequently unable to leave their work owing to legal, physical or psychological coercion.” See International Labour Organization, A Global Alliance Against Forced Labor: Global Report under the Follow-up to the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights of Work (Geneva: ILO, 2005), p. 6.

The Vietnamese labor law establishes that “all forms of forced labor are prohibited.” See Vietnam Labor Code, June 23, 1994, art. 5.

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