The Bridge Project – Phase I

From Protocol to Practice: A Bridge to Global Action on Forced Labour - Bridge Project (Phase I)

This project aims to support global and national efforts to combat forced labour under the 2014 ILO Protocol and Recommendation on Forced Labour.


The ILO estimates that about 24.9 million men, women and children are in forced labour – trafficked, held in debt bondage, or working under slavery-like conditions. The vast majority of these forced labourers – almost 20.8 million – are exploited in the private economy, by individuals or enterprises. Another 4.1 million (17 percent) are in state-imposed forms of forced labour, including forced labour imposed by paramilitary forces.

Addressing the issue of forced labour is a growing international concern. In June 2014, governments, employers, and workers overwhelmingly supported the adoption, during the ILO International Labour Conference, of the new ILO Protocol of 2014 to the Forced Labour Convention, 1930 (henceforth the Protocol) and the Recommendation on supplementary measures for the effective suppression of forced labour (henceforth the Recommendation). If widely ratified and implemented by ILO member countries, the Protocol and Recommendation promise to act as a catalyst for achieving the vision of a world without forced labour.

Countries covered

  • Dominican Republic
  • Malaysia
  • Mauritania
  • Nepal
  • Niger
  • Peru
  • Uzbekistan


The project aims to effectively eliminate traditional and state-imposed forced labour systems and to significantly reduce contemporary forms of forced labour, which are often linked to human trafficking. This will be done through:
  1. increased knowledge, awareness, and implementation of the 2014 ILO Protocol and Recommendation;
  2. improved evidence-based and responsive national policies and action plans on forced labour, with strong implementation, monitoring, and enforcement mechanisms;
  3. enhanced efforts to collect reliable national statistics in order to carry out research and share knowledge across institutions at national, regional, and global levels;
  4. strengthened workers’ and employers’ organizations to support the fight against forced labour in partnership with other interested parties; and
  5. strengthened awareness and livelihoods programs to prevent forced labour and to provide victims with access to remedies.

Implementing partners

The project will be implemented through partnerships with national and local governments, workers’ and employers’ organizations and civil society organizations (including NGOs) at the local level, national level, as well as the global level. It will liaise with relevant UN agencies in order to prevent duplication and ensure the sustainability of its activities.