How might this right be relevant to my life?
- If you are forced to work for little or no money
- If you are forced to work and cannot leave or escape, for example, your employer has taken away your passport
- If you are unable to refuse to work because you are frightened and/or are being threatened. These threats might by physical or psychological.
- If you are forced to work to pay off a debt
Slavery and forced labour are often described as modern slavery and can include:
- Domestic slavery
- Sexual exploitation
- Forced labour in construction sites, farms, car washes, manufacturing etc
- Being forced into crime, for example, children and young adults being made to traffic drugs
It is important to note that this right does not apply to:
- work you have to do as part of a prison or community sentence
- work the government requires you to do in a state of emergency
- work that is part of normal civic obligations, e.g. jury service
Can my right to be free from slavery or forced labour be restricted by a public official?
No. This right is an absolute right, which means it cannot be restricted or interfered with by public officials under any circumstances. The government and public authorities have a duty to protect people from slavery, servitude and forced labour, through laws, investigations and practical help.