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Human Rights Law Directions

Human Rights Law Directions (5th edn)

Howard Davis
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date: 30 March 2023

p. 21610. Article 4: prohibition of slavery and forced labourlocked

p. 21610. Article 4: prohibition of slavery and forced labourlocked

  • Howard DavisHoward DavisReader in Public Law, Bournemouth University


Without assuming prior legal knowledge, books in the Directions series introduce and guide readers through key points of law and legal debate. It discusses European Convention law and relates it to domestic law under the HRA. Questions, discussion points, and thinking points help readers to engage fully with each subject and check their understanding as they progress and knowledge can be tested by self-test questions and exam questions at the chapter end. This chapter discusses slavery and forced labour, and the ban on these imposed by the European Convention on Human Rights. ‘Slavery’ and ‘servitude’ are defined as the ownership or total control of one person by another. A slave has no freedom or autonomy and so is denied the minimum dignity that is essential for any human being. ‘Forced labour’, on the other hand, is defined as being forced to work for another under threat of punishment or death. The application of these terms in the context of current practice and, in particular, to ‘modern slavery’ is discussed.

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