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Prison Labour and International Human Rights

Industrial Relations Research Association (IRRA)- New Orleans, January 2001

by Lee Swepston ©
Chief, Equality and Employment Branch and Human Rights Coordinator,
International Labor Office, Geneva

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All the ILO Conventions mentioned in this article may be found in the ILOLEX data base, on the ILO site: http://www.ilo.org


International law on this subject is not highly developed, nor has a great deal of attention been spent on it, with some precise exceptions. Nevertheless, the basic rules concerning prison labour are relatively clear and precise.

Even though most attention recently has focused on privatized prison labour, the present note will discuss the rules applying to all prison labour, both for pubic and for private benefit. Essentially, most of those discussing the issue do not care much about the situation of prisoners breaking rocks for punishment, and the rights of prisoners are uninteresting for most activists unless they are in competition with free labour, working for private enterprises.

What happens in practice?

With a few exceptions, prisoners work in almost every country. Until recently the major concern of ILO supervision was political prisoners being made to work - but now that is changing to focus on the consequences of privatized prison labour.

And in an increasing number of countries there is privatized prison labour, in one form or another. There is a limited number of countries where there are actually private companies running prisons as a commercial undertaking, and a much larger number of others where prisoners do work for private entities in various ways. More substantial information on these questions will shortly be available from the ILO. In its November-December 2000 session, the ILO's primary supervisory body (the Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations) carried out a detailed review of the application of ILO standards with regard to privatized prison labour; and in the next year or so we hope to be publishing information on the practice around the world on privatized prison labour.1 Any one who is interested can already obtain a great deal of information on this subject from the ILO's supervisory comments under the Forced Labour Convention, 1930 (No. 29), and there is presently a 'representation' under article 24 of the ILO Constitution pending against New Zealand on compliance with ILO standards in this regard, which should be decided in March 2001.

There are both non-binding and binding international standards on this question.

Guidelines

Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners

The first Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners were published by the League of Nations in 1930,2 and they were updated in 1957.3 While they are not binding, they do provide guidance, in particular addressing the work of sentenced prisoners in a section which is highly relevant to the interpretation of existing standards.

This section of the Rules recognizes that compulsory labour is a normal part of the prison experience, stating that 'all prisoners shall be required to work, subject to their physical and mental fitness'. They also represent an attempt to nudge the conditions under which prisoners work towards the conditions under which private employees work, with a preference stated for prisoners' being allowed to choose the type of work they wish to perform.4

The Rules pay particular attention to the rehabilitation and vocational aspects of prison labour, providing that 'organization and methods of work in the institutions shall resemble as closely as possible those of similar work outside the institutions, so as to prepare prisoners for the conditions of normal occupational life.' The interests of the prisoners and other vocational training are not to be subordinated to making a financial profit from an industry in the institution.5 They also provide for vocational training to be furnished for prisoners.

In less absolute terms than the way ILO Convention No. 29 has been interpreted on the same point (see below), the Standard Minimum Rules state that 'preferably institutional industries and farms should be operated directly by the administration and not by private contractors.' This is of course in direct contrast to the more recent developments in the United States and elsewhere, towards increased privatized prison labour.

As does Convention No. 29, the Rules provide for public supervision of prisoners' work: 'where prisoners are employed in work not controlled by the administration, they shall always be under the supervision of the institution's personnel.'

The question of remuneration and other conditions of work is a difficult one. The Rules take the approach that '[u]nless the work is for other departments of the government the full normal wages for such work shall be paid to the administration by the persons to whom the labour is supplied'. The Rules provide for 'a system of equitable remuneration of work of prisoners' under which prisoners are allowed to spend at least part of their earnings and to send a part to their family, while another part is set aside by the administration as a savings bond for the prisoner upon release. Rules applicable to 'free workmen' should guide the application of safety and health regulations, employment injury benefits and, less strictly, hours of work and rest.6

A more recent effort to elaborate on the Standard Minimum Rules consists of Making Standards Work, an international handbook on good prison practice, endorsed by the 1995 U.N. Crime Congress. The Handbook emphasizes the difficulty of providing all prisoners with full employment in prison, the usefulness of linking work to training, and the importance of giving the prisoner a choice of work and the choice of whether or not to work for private companies. The Handbook states in application of Rule 73:

'It is clear that there should be a clear contract concerning prisoners' work. The prison administration remains under an obligation to ensure that the terms of the contract are absolutely explicit and that the prisoner exercises free choice as to whether or not to undertake this work.'

To ensure that work conditions in prison are on a par with those in the community, the Handbook suggests that 'it would be desirable to extend to prisons the remit of local officials charged with inspecting work conditions in the community, as increasingly occurs in some countries.' In addressing the insufficiency of prisoners' wages, the Handbook suggests that alternative measures of support to families and upon release be considered.

Binding international standards

While these guidelines are useful, they are not binding on any country. There are, however, several international Conventions that have a bearing on the question.7

We must start with the fact that forced and compulsory labour is prohibited under international law. The Slavery Convention adopted by the League of Nations in 1926 was followed closely by the ILO's Forced Labour Convention, No. 29 of 1930, which was adopted explicitly to develop the labour-related aspects of the Slavery Convention. Of course, the international regulation of forced labour and slavery was the first international human rights subject, going back to the anti-slavery campaign of the mid- and late-19th century.

Apart from the forced labour aspect of the problem, general human rights protections do apply to prisoners, though there is only one reference in international texts to prison labour, apart from ILO standards.

The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights reiterates the prohibition on slavery and the slave trade, as well as servitude, and forced or compulsory labour. The Covenant excludes prison labour, including 'hard labour in virtue of a sentence to punishment by a competent court', from its definition of forced or compulsory labour. The Covenant also prohibits torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. Persons deprived of their liberty are to be treated with humanity and with respect for the inherent dignity of the human person; the essential aim of the treatment of prisoners is to be 'reformation and social rehabilitation.' This concept is not developed in the supervisory work of the United Nations Human Rights Committee, created to supervise the implementation of the Covenant.

The essential international source is therefore the ILO's two Conventions on forced and compulsory labour, which of course have a great deal of supervisory work underpinning their interpretation.

Since the late 1920s there have been consistent ideas in ILO standards about the human rights rules that should apply to prison labour. The Forced Labour Convention, 1930 (No. 29) prohibits forced or compulsory labour, but excludes several kinds of actions from the definition of this concept, of which:

any work or service exacted from any person as a consequence of a conviction in a court of law, provided that the said work or service is carried out under the supervision and control of a public authority and that the said person is not hired to or placed at the disposal of private individuals, companies or associations (Article 2, paragraph 2(c)).

The Abolition of Forced Labour Convention, 1957 (No. 105) was adopted in the aftermath of World War II and in light of the policies of Nazi Germany and of the Soviet Union, to restrict further the use of compulsory labour by defining conduct which could not be punished by forced or compulsory labour, even if the person concerned was convicted in a court of law. These included:

(a) as a means of political coercion or education or as a punishment for holding or expressing political views or views ideologically opposed to the established political, social or economic system;

(b) as a method of mobilising and using labour for purposes of economic development;

(c) as a means of labour discipline;

(d) as a punishment for having participated in strikes;

(e) as a means of racial, social, national or religious discrimination.

(Article 1, para. 1)

Most countries in the world have ratified these standards.8 The two major exceptions, both for reasons more or less closely connected with prison labour, are China and the United States.9

It flows from the definition in Article 2 of Convention No. 29, and from Convention No.105, that:

  • compulsory labour is an accepted and normal consequence of going to prison;
  • this is an accepted exception to the general prohibition of forced and compulsory labour;
  • but this exception is subject to restrictions, essentially under ILO Conventions Nos. 29 and 105;
  • the exception does not apply to detainees, so only persons who have been convicted in a court of law can be compelled to work in prison (except minor work to maintain the cell, etc.);
  • the work carried out must at all times be subject to the supervision of a public authority; and
  • prisoners may not be 'hired to or placed at the disposal of private individuals, companies or associations', which means that if prison labour is envisaged for private entities if may be only with the agreement or consent of the prisoner.

These consequences all arise as inevitable conclusions of the text of the two Conventions, and not simply as matters of interpretation. They have nevertheless, been developed through the ILO's supervisory work, and most notably in the General Survey of 1979 and the Committee of Experts' comments on the application of the Conventions over the years, reviewed in its general report of its 1998 and 2000 sessions.10 Convention No. 29 does not include textually the kinds of preferences concerning work contracts, labour inspection and government-controlled work which are stated in the Standard Minimum Rules, but the ILO supervisory bodies have had to consider some of the consequences of prison work and have arrived at many of the same conclusions. For instance, the Committee of Experts has endorsed the rehabilitation of prisoners through work release programmes before the end of a sentence, as a good idea if prisoners do work.

The standards themselves are therefore minimal, but an extensive discussion has arisen concerning them, especially concerning privatized prison labour.

One question has been of primary importance: consent. Convention No. 29's requirement that prisoners may not be hired to or placed at the disposal of private individuals or companies, leads to the conclusion that if prisoners are to work for the private sector they may do so only if they agree to do so - and of course if the other conditions are respected.

Privatized prison labour

The area of privatized prison labour is a kind of exception to the exception. As seen, it is an aspiration of the Standard Minimum Rules that work be done under the supervision of public authorities, and that industries be operated by the State itself.

But this is not what is happening in a certain number of countries.

And in the last few years, there has been some questioning of the Committee of Experts' insistence that Convention No. 29 contains standards directly relevant to the increasing privatization of prison labour. In its November-December 2000 session, the Committee returned to the questions that had been raised, referring in particular to points made in discussing the application of the Convention in the ILO Conference Committee on the Application of Standards in 1999 and 2000.

What the Committee of Experts did in this session was to respond to the criticisms raised in the last two sessions of the Conference, and in governments' reports. The report it adopted is not yet a final answer, and does not cover all the points that have been raised, but it does fill out the picture. Among other things, the Committee had asked all ratifying countries - and that is almost every country - to explain what their standards and practice are on privatized prison labour, in its various forms. This information has not yet been received in full, but we hope to be able to publish a survey of it next year.

The questions raised

Certain members of the ILO Conference Committee on the Application of Standards had questioned the relevance of Convention No. 29 to the use of prison labour by private companies, on several grounds. In particular, the idea had been expressed that the privatization of prison labour was a new practice, and that a Convention adopted in 1930 could not be taken to provide adequate standards for a phenomenon that had arisen only in recent years. In addition, the restrictions imposed by the Convention were taken by some to be contrary to the economic and social interests being addressed through privatization of prison labour. Some members of the Conference Committee, and some governments in their regular reports, expressed the view that at the time of the elaboration of the Convention, the obligation for prisoners to work was considered as part of the punishment imposed, while at present work by prisoners was seen as an important element in the process of rehabilitation. The Employer members had stated that development and training provided the best long-term results when tied to 'real work situations', that prison labour only made sense when it involved productive work in a market context, and that in their view such productive work could only be performed with the assistance of private firms.

Others, however, considered that there was a risk that this might result in situations of exploitation under the cover of the rehabilitative function of prison labour. The Worker members had stated that in a growing number of countries private companies could exploit prison labour by legally employing prisoners at wages far below the minimum wage. Convention No. 29, they stated, was a fundamental Convention which applied to all. Its importance tended to increase as systems of private prisons were developing. It was thus inappropriate to maintain that this Convention was obsolete and of relevance only in the context of the 1930s.

There are many circumstances in which prison labour may be connected with private entities. They include:

(a) Prisoners working with a private entity as part of an education or training scheme to obtain qualifications.

(b) Prisoners may work in workshops within the prison to produce goods which are sold to private entities in the open market. This sale may be achieved direct by the prisoners or through the agency of another private entity which may be the same entity which runs the prison. This may or may not be part or a pre-release scheme.

(c) Prisoners may work outside prison for a private entity as part of a pre-release scheme.

(d) Prisoners may provide labour within prisons which contribute to the running of prisons run by private entities.

There can also be combinations and variations of these arrangements made between public authorities and private entities and which include prison labour. They may involve triangular relationships between public authorities, private entities and prisoner as have previously been referred to by the Committee,11 joint ventures or a series of other arrangements.

Meaning of 'hiring to or placing at the disposal of'

One of the views expressed by those questioning the present-day relevance of Convention No. 29 was that a prisoner could only be considered to be hired to or placed at the disposal of a private company in cases where the prisoner was employed by the private company, which might be either the prison operator or a third party, or where the prisoner was placed in a position of servitude in relation to the private company, but not where the performance of work was 'merely one of the conditions of imprisonment imposed by the State'. An Employer member stated that contractual arrangements were not comparable to what would normally be regarded as a hiring arrangement in cases where it was not the private company which was paying the public authority as providers of the prisoners' services, since the roles had been reversed. Also, prisoners should not be considered to be placed at the disposal of private companies where the companies did not have absolute discretion over the type of work that they could request the prisoner to do, but were limited by the rules set by the public authority.

In this case, the Committee reiterated its previous conclusion that this did not hold water. Whether a prisoner was 'hired to or placed at the disposal of' private employers was not affected by the form of the contract. Whether the prisoner is employed by the private company, or is simply assigned as a condition of imprisonment to work for the company, does not affect this question.

Present-day relevance of the Convention

The Committee noted that the 'Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners', the draft of which was adopted by the International Prison Commission (the 'Berne Commission') in 1929, were transmitted by a resolution of 30 December 1930 of the Eleventh Assembly of the League of Nations for examination and report to the International Labour Office, which replied by a Memorandum of 1931 'on such of the problems of prison administration as are within its competence, i.e. those relating to prison labour'.12 This memorandum throws some light on the conceptual and factual frame of reference prevailing as regards prison labour at the time the ILO adopted the forced labour Convention.

Rehabilitation: A recent concept?

Some had been saying that while at present work by prisoners was seen as an important element in the process of rehabilitation, at the time of the elaboration of the Convention the obligation for prisoners to work was considered as part of the punishment. However, the Committee noted in its 2000 comments that in the ILO Memorandum of 1931, the Office recalled that the principle of retaliation had long been abandoned by the time of the adoption of the Convention, when the process called 'rehabilitation' was 'precisely the aim of modern penal systems'. It is also apparent from the Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners drawn up under the auspices of the League of Nations in 192913 that this was the prevailing view at the time of the elaboration of the Forced Labour Convention.

The privatization of prison labour: A new phenomenon?

The view had been expressed in the recent discussions in the Conference Committee that the privatization of prison labour was a new practice and that the Convention, adopted in 1930, could not be taken to set standards for a phenomenon that had arisen only recently.

This view was contradicted by the Experts in an extensive examination of the work done by the ILO at the time of adoption of Convention No. 29, particularly in the Memorandum of 1931. Without going into detail here, it can be noted that in 1931 the Office surveyed the evolution of the various systems of prison labour and concluded that some forms of each of them were still prevalent, and constituted extensive use of privatized prison labour in 1930. And it concluded that the Conference had had these systems very precisely in mind when it adopted C. 29, and that the privatization of prison labour is not a new phenomenon but is a rather old one which was known and described in some detail at the time of the adoption of the Convention.

Requirements of Article 2, paragraph 2(c), of Convention No. 29

The starting point of any analysis of the situation of prisoners performing labour during their term of imprisonment in the context of the Forced Labour Convention, 1930 (No. 29), must begin with Article 1, paragraph 1, which requires each Member to ' suppress the use of forced of compulsory labour in all its forms'.

Article 2, paragraph 1, then defines 'forced or compulsory labour' as meaning:

all service which is exacted from any person under the menace of any penalty and for which the said person has not offered himself voluntarily.

In respect of Article 2, paragraph 1, it has previously been noted by the Committee of Experts in its General Survey conducted in 197914 that the 'penalty' referred to need not be in the form of penal sanctions but might take the form also of the loss of rights or privileges.15

The benefits of exempting prison labour under the Convention were in the interests of society in general. This interest may be direct, when the labour of prisoners is deployed on public activities such as the construction and maintenance of prisons, roads, public parks and other public works.16 In addition there were indirect societal benefits as well as personal benefits to prisoners themselves as described in the ILO Memorandum in the following terms:

The best method of maintaining a prisoner's working capacity is to employ him on useful work. The idea that work for prisoners is in all circumstances an evil is a survival from the days when the object of the sentence was to extirpate the criminal from society. Not until it is understood that work is a beneficial distraction for the prisoner will the right to work be recognized. The recognition of this right is an urgent social necessity.17

The particular circumstances of the exemption specified that it was on the proviso that:

the said work or service is carried out under the supervision and control of a public authority and that the person is not hired to or placed at the disposal of private individuals, companies or associations.

It is the interpretation of these words in the context of the Convention that requires guidance and clarification, in particular where private entities are involved with the exaction of prisoner labour as organizers, supervisors or beneficiaries of the product.

Freely given consent

A primary concern is whether prisoners can ever be in a situation in which it could be said that their labour is truly voluntary because of their captive circumstances. The 1931 ILO Memorandum recognized that voluntary prison labour was possible. The Committee of Experts also acknowledged in the 1979 General Survey that prison labour may not always be compulsory:

The Convention does not of course prevent work from being made available to such prisoners at their own request, to be performed on a purely voluntary basis.18

If in privately run prisons the prisoners are given a genuine option to either perform or not perform work with no penalty or loss of rights or privileges if they refused, then there is no need to consider the exemption. To be sure of this voluntariness, however, is not easy to achieve as the option to perform work must be a true option and not one in which the alternative to the provision of work is a detriment, for example remaining in confined cells, having no alternative to relieve boredom, or being disadvantaged in any early release programme because of failure to undertake work.

With regard to the last example, the Committee has previously considered the case where the law makes prison labour voluntary but also provides that employment activities are taken into account in assessing a convict's good behaviour, which is a criterion for reduction of sentence. The Committee requested that the government concerned indicate the measures taken to ensure that the prisoner's consent cannot be vitiated by the fact that a favourable assessment implies assiduousness at work. The Committee observed that in private prisons there are two inter-related forms of constraint: first, the private enterprise operating a prison includes prison labour in its profit calculations and, second, the private enterprise is not only a user of prison labour, but also exercises, in law or in practice, an important part of the authority which belongs to the prison administration. Furthermore, prison labour is captive labour in the full sense of the term, namely, it has no access in law and in practice to employment other than under the conditions set unilaterally by the prison administration. The Committee therefore concluded that in the absence of an employment contract and outside the scope of the labour law, it seems difficult or even impossible, particularly in the prison context, to reconstitute the conditions of a free working relationship.19

If the system under which private prisons are run offers prisoners true options so that they can consent to perform work or reject it without penalty as described; if there are assurances that there is no penalty as described for refusal to work at all levels, such as by the public authority, the private entity, any parole board and also within the prison itself; and if the prisoners formally consent to the performance of labour, then one vital aspect of the indicia of voluntariness would be satisfied.

In assessing whether prison labour in a privatized prison is voluntary, a number of indicia may be considered. They include the formal consent of the prisoner and its terms in the circumstances referred to above. However, the most reliable and overt indicator of voluntariness can be gleaned from the circumstances and conditions under which the labour is performed and whether those conditions approximate a free employment relationship.

The Committee of Experts has always emphasized the close connection between 'conditions approximating a free employment relationship' and the requirement of consent found in Article 2(2)(c) of the Convention.20 The Committee recalled in its 2000 general report the statements made by the Employer members in the general discussion in the Conference Committee in 199821 that development and training provided the best long-term results when tied to 'real work situations', that prison labour only made sense when it involved productive labour in a market context, and that in such cases normal labour law would apply.

The difficult question which arises is how closely conditions are required to approximate a free labour relationship. If 'normal' labour law were to apply, this might imply that all conditions of work, including wages, social security, safety and health and labour inspection comparable to those prevailing on the free labour market would be required. This leaves aside those principles which the ILO considers to be fundamental to all workers - protection from discrimination and child labour as well as freedom of association and collective bargaining. In practice prisoners have usually been excluded from all the attributes of normal labour protections which operate in the free labour market, whether working exclusively for the public authority or engaged in productive work with private entities in one of the various schemes now in force around the world.

Exclusions from attributes of free employment are sometimes said to be justified on the basis that there is lower productivity of prison labour; or that because they do not in fact receive wages and benefits like other workers, they carry out work at much lower cost which would otherwise not be economically feasible. It cannot be simply taken for granted, however, that the productivity of a captive labour force is always significantly lower than that of free labour, or even so low as to justify conditions of work, wages and other protections at a far lower level than those available to free workers, such that they could be considered to be exploitative.

In considering how closely the conditions should resemble a free labour relationship, it needs to be remembered that in the free labour market, wages may, in the words of Articles 8 and 10 of the ILO's Protection of Wages Convention, 1949 (No. 95), be subject to deductions and "be attached or assigned" under conditions and within limits prescribed by national laws or regulations; in conformity with Article 10, paragraph 2, of that Convention, they are in many countries 'protected against attachment or assignment to the extent deemed necessary for the maintenance of the worker and his family'. For prisoners employed by private enterprises, or who are assigned to work for them, this implies that their wages also may 'be attached or assigned', so as to satisfy compensation claims of victims as well as alimony or other obligations of the prisoners, both of which would be illusory if exploitative wage rates prevailed. Deductions may also be made from prisoners' remuneration for the board and lodging provided or their remuneration lowered to take account of these expenses.

In summary on this aspect, the Committee reaffirmed in 2000 its earlier conclusion that conditions approximating a free labour relationship are the most reliable indicator of the voluntariness of labour. Such conditions would not have to emulate all of the conditions which are applicable to a free market but in the areas of wages, social security, safety and health and labour inspection, the circumstances in which the prison labour is performed should not be so disproportionately lower than the free market that it could be characterized as exploitative. These factors will need to be weighed together with the circumstances under which formal consent has been given in order to ascertain whether the Convention is being respected when private entities are involved with prison labour.

In concluding its examination of this question, the Committee of Experts noted that there is a trend in some countries towards increased use of privatized prison labour, often based on a perceived need for the governments to generate income to cover the costs of a growing prison population, or in a sincere attempt to provide skills for the purposes of rehabilitation, or even to provide sources of income for prisoners from which family expenses of prisoners or restitution for victims can be drawn. As outlined above, the general context in which this is taking place may not be exactly the same as that in the late 1920s when Convention No. 29 was drafted, but it does share many of the characteristics of that time. It cannot be said the drafters did not take account of well-developed systems of privatized prison labour when drawing up that instrument.

It is fully possible for countries to apply Convention No. 29 when designing or implementing a system of privatized labour, but they must do so on the understanding that such involvement carries with it additional requirements and the need for a thorough analysis. There is the need to protect a captive workforce who are increasingly working in direct competition with a free labour market, and of the need to avoid unfair competition with free workers. Clearly, the fact that they have been convicted of crimes does not mean that prisoners should not have rights otherwise available to citizens, even less so when they are employed in productive work for private employers. Issues of voluntariness, including consent and conditions which approximate free labour, will continue to be matters which require careful consideration by States in attempting to reconcile the different imperatives in their own particular context. It will also be a concern for this Committee in examining how the Convention is being applied in such situations.

Freedom from the imposition of forced or compulsory labour, as provided for in Convention No. 29, is a fundamental principle of the ILO. It is a standard which, if compromised, would weaken or negate other core Conventions of the Organization. While the questions raised in applying this principle to prison labour, and in particular to privatized prison labour, are tricky they can be resolved. However, there is no doubt in the mind of the author of the present note, that a re-examination of the question in a standard-setting exercise would be preferable to trying to deduce the applicability of Conventions by a long process of analysis.

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Footnotes: Clicking on the footnote number will take you back to your place in the report.

1Report of the ILO Committee of Experts, Report III (Part IA), International Labour Conference, 87th Session, 2001.

2Series League of Nations Publications IV, Social, 1930, IV, 10.

3Series League of Nations Publications IV, Social, 1930, IV, 10.

4Rule 71(1). Contrast the requirement of ILO Convention No. 105 that prisoners convicted of political offenses should not be required to work as part of their punishment.

5Rule 72(2).

6Rules 74 and 75.

7Only universal conventions are being considered here, and regional standards are not noted even though some of them do have relevant provisions. In particular, the definition and limitations on the definition of forced and compulsory labour tend to be consistent with the provisions of universal standards described here.

8As of 31 January 2001, Convention No. 29 has been ratified by 155 countries, and Convention No. 105 by 151.

9ILO Governing Body

10 The ILO has a detailed and comprehensive supervisory system, which will not be described here. See in particular the ILO's web site under 'ILOLEX' for a detailed explanation; or Bartolomei, von Potobsky and Swepston: The International Labor Organisation: The International Standards System and Basic Human Rights (Westview, 1995).

11See, e.g., International Labour Conference (ILC), 86th Session, 1998 Report III (Part 1A), General Report, para. 118; ILC, 83rd Session, 1996, Report III (Part IA), observation concerning France, pp. 81-82.

12The essential parts of the Memorandum were published under the title 'Prison labour' in the International Labour Review, Vol. XXV, Nos. 3 and 4 (Mar. and Apr. 1932), pp. 311-331 and 499-524.

13See, in particular, rule 4.

14ILC, 65th Session, 1979, Report III (Part 4B), General Survey of the reports relating to the Forced Labour Convention, 1930 (No. 29), and the Abolition of Forced Labour Convention, 1957 (No. 105), para. 21.

15ILC, 14th Session, Geneva, 1930, Record of Proceedings, p. 691.

16ibid., p. 324.

17ibid., p. 503.

18ILO, General Survey of 1979 on the abolition of forced labour, para. 90.

19ILC, 83rd Session, 1996, Report III (Part 4A), pp. 80-82.

20ILC, 86th Session, 1998, Report III (Part 1A), General Report, para. 125.

21See ILC, 86th Session, Geneva, 1998, Part One: General Report, paras. 93 and 98.


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