Update: 19.08.2011

Forced labour / Slavery

On this page you will find legal guarantees and other regulations from the Swiss Federal Constitution, the European and international human rights treaties and further documents under international law. This list is not intended to be exhaustive, as regulations from other regional treaties and topically similar safeguarding provisions of international humanitarian law are not included.

European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms

Article 4 (Prohibition of slavery and forced labour): (1) No one shall be held in slavery or servitude.
(2) No one shall be required to perform forced or compulsory labour
(3) For the purpose of this Article the term «forced or compulsory labour» shall not include:
(3.a) any work required to be done in the ordinary course of detention imposed according to the provisions of Article 5 of this Convention or during conditional release from such detention;
(3.b) any service of a military character or, in case of conscientious objectors in countries where they are recognised, service exacted instead of compulsory military service;
(3.c) any service exacted in case of an emergency or calamity threatening the life or well-being of the community;
(3.d) any work or service which forms part of normal civic obligations.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Article 4: No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms. 

International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

Article 8: (1) No one shall be held in slavery; slavery and the slave-trade in all their forms shall be prohibited.
(2) No one shall be held in servitude.
(3.a) No one shall be required to perform forced or compulsory labour;
(3.b) Paragraph 3 (a) shall not be held to preclude, in countries where imprisonment with hard labour may be imposed as a punishment for a crime, the performance of hard labour in pursuance of a sentence to such punishment by a competent court;
(3.c) For the purpose of this paragraph the term «forced or compulsory labour» shall not include:
(3.c.i) Any work or service, not referred to in subparagraph (b), normally required of a person who is under detention in consequence of a lawful order of a court, or of a person during conditional release from such detention;
(3.c.ii) Any service of a military character and, in countries where conscientious objection is recognized, any national service required by law of conscientious objectors;
(3.c.iii) Any service exacted in cases of emergency or calamity threatening the life or well-being of the community;
(3.c.iv) Any work or service which forms part of normal civil obligations. 

International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families 

Article 11: (1) No migrant worker or member of his or her family shall be held in slavery or servitude.
(2) No migrant worker or member of his or her family shall be required to perform forced or compulsory labour.
(3) Paragraph 2 of the present article shall not be held to preclude, in States where imprisonment with hard labour may be imposed as a punishment for a crime, the performance of hard labour in pursuance of a sentence to such punishment by a competent court.
(4) For the purpose of the present article the term «forced or compulsory labour» shall not include:
(a) Any work or service not referred to in paragraph 3 of the present article normally required of a person who is under detention in consequence of a lawful order of a court or of a person during conditional release from such detention;
(b) Any service exacted in cases of emergency or clamity threatening the life or well-being of the community;
(c) Any work or service that forms part of normal civil obligations so far as it is imposed also on citizens of the State concerned.

(This Convention has not been ratified by Switzerland.)

Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Article 27 (Work and employment): (1) [...]
(2) States Parties shall ensure that persons with disabilities are not held in slavery or in servitude, and are protected, on an equal basis with others, from forced or compulsory labour. 

(This Convention has not been ratified by Switzerland.)

Sources:

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