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Servitude and forced labour in the 21st century: The human rights of domestic workers

By Virginia Mantouvalou


Organisations and scholars have recently drawn attention to what they call a modern form of slavery, ‘domestic slavery’. Domestic workers in Europe and elsewhere live and work in appalling conditions and are vulnerable to abuse. This article describes the problem, presents the relevant legal instruments and analyses a decision of the European Court of Human Rights, Siliadin v France, where France was found in breach of the prohibition of slavery, servitude, forced and compulsory labour under the European Convention on Human Rights. The paper examines the growing interaction between international labour law and international human rights law. It argues that the decision in Siliadin and its legal implications constitute a positive first step towards addressing the problem of the coercion and vulnerability of migrant domestic workers

Publisher: Oxford University Press (OUP) for Industrial Law Society
Year: 2006
DOI identifier: 10.1093/indlaw
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