Directing the Legal Radar at Forced Labour—Under Special Consideration of Male Victims in Norway
3. Novelty and Results
4. Modern Slavery, Human Trafficking, Forced Labour
4.1. Definitional Confusion and Incomplete Protection
4.2. Modern Slavery
4.3. Human Trafficking
recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs.6
4.4. Forced Labour
5. The Vulnerability of the Men
6. Disadvantageous Competing Legal Regimes
7. Forced Labour in the Jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights
7.2. Art. 4 ECHR: A Definitional Quagmire
7.3. Case Law on Forced Labour until 2017
7.4. Zoletic and Others v. Azerbaijan (2021)
7.5. Summing Up
Institutional Review Board Statement
Informed Consent Statement
Conflicts of Interest
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This paper is aware of discussions and controversies surrounding victimhood, especially the presuppositions of passivity and lack of agency. The paper acknowledges but does not further discuss these matters.
NSD notification form number 715904, approval 29 May 2019.
European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), Rantsev v. Cyprus and Russia, Application No. 25965/04 (10 May 2010), para. 282; Chowdury and Others v. Greece, Application No. 21884/15, Judgment (30 June 2017), para. 93.
Another man confirmed: ‘I did not expect to find such conditions in Norway’.
ILO (2019). Address by H.E. Ms Erna Solberg, former Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Norway (2019), timestamp 9:46–9:56, available at: https://ilo.cetc.stream/2019/06/10/address-by-h-e-ms-erna-solberg-prime-minister-of-the-kingdom-of-norway/ (accessed on 19 April 2022).
UNODC, United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and the Protocols Thereto, available at: https://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/organized-crime/intro/UNTOC.html (accessed on 19 April 2022).
Confirmed by the ECtHR: ‘exploitation through work is one of the forms of exploitation covered by the definition of human trafficking, and this highlights the intrinsic relationship between forced or compulsory labour and human trafficking (Chowdury and Others v. Greece, Application No. 21884/15, Judgment (30 June 2017), para. 93.
United Nations Treaty Collection, Chapter XVIII, Penal Matters, available at: https://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=XVIII-12-a&chapter=18 (accessed on 19 April 2022).
The Norwegian Penal Act prohibits human trafficking in § 275.
For a discussion of forced labour under the European Convention of Human Rights, see Section 7.3.
In her study, Andrees uses the key question ‘Were you free to leave your employment at any given point in time?’ to differentiate between successful migrants and victims of trafficking (Andrees 2009, p. 91). This question alone is, however, not able to capture victims of trafficking who are at liberty to leave their employment but would only be able to do so under major economic, social, or personal losses. Andrees therefore adds the important element of ‘free to leave without being faced by threats or the loss of any rights or privileges (e.g., nonpayment of wages or threat of violence against them or family members)’ (Andrees 2009, p. 91.).
For a detailed analysis of global drivers, see: Maria Ravik, The Fight against Human Trafficking: Drivers and Spoilers (Ravik 2020, pp. 49–76).
Statement by the men’s legal counsel.
One man fell ill and did not have health insurance. He decided to return home for treatment. Later, he came back to Norway and the same car wash. Arguably, he was at liberty to leave his employment and not return to Norway and/or the same employer. This might therefore not be a clear-cut case of forced labour, despite other elements of vulnerability and coercion.
The police will likely only initiate an investigation following a complaint from a victim. Yet, victims for reasons of intimidation or worry about repercussions are rarely willing to make complaints against traffickers. See: (Gallagher 2010, p. 124; Hulting 2012, pp. 147–48; Obokata 2006, p. 158). The lack of evidence was also an issue in a case before the European Court of Human Rights: CN v. UK, Application No. 4239/08, Judgment (13 November 2012).
Confirmed by several independent sources.
Chowdury and Others v. Greece, Application No. 21884/15, Judgment (30 June 2017), para. 82.
S.M. v. Croatia, Application No. 60561/14, Grand Chamber Judgment (25 June 2020), para. 290.
These figures do not cohere with the ones provided for by the (European Commission 2016, p. 14), which mentions that the majority (75%) of all victims of trafficking registered with recognized authorities are female, while 26% of the registered victims of labour exploitation are female. This discrepancy can be owed to different geographical focus (global vs. Europe) or that sexual exploitation, where women represent 96% of all registered victims is more readily discovered, recorded, and investigated.
Rantsev v. Cyprus and Russia Application No. 25965/04, Judgment (7 January 2010), para. 279.
The court found that the totality of the applicants’ arguments and submissions made both before the domestic courts in their civil claim and before the court (concerning excessively long work shifts, lack of proper nutrition and medical care, physical and other forms of punishments, retention of documents and restriction of movement) constituted an “arguable claim” that the applicants had been subjected to human trafficking and forced labour. The court stated that even though the applicants’ claims concerning the alleged forced labour and human trafficking had been sufficiently and repeatedly drawn to the attention of the relevant domestic authorities in various ways, no effective investigation had taken place and, therefore, Azerbaijan had failed to comply with its procedural obligation under Article 4, paragraph 2, of the Convention. Each applicant was awarded compensation for nonpecuniary damage in the amount of 5000 euros.
In its decision, the court referred to the findings of GRETA’s 2014 report on Azerbaijan, in particular to the fact that law-enforcement officials in Azerbaijan had a tendency to see potential cases of human trafficking for labour exploitation as mere labour disputes between the worker and the employer, and that there seemed to be a confusion between cases of human trafficking for labour exploitation and disputes concerning salaries and other aspects of working conditions.
A total of 32 cases have been litigated under Art. 4 ECHR.
Siliadin v. France, Application No. 73316/01, Judgment (26 October 2005), para. 117. On the ILO standards, see above in Section 4.4.
Siliadin v. France, Application No. 73316/01, Judgment (26 October 2005), para. 118.
C.N. and V. v. France, Application No. 67724/09, Judgment (11 October 2012), para. 71.
Chowdury and Others v. Greece, Application No. 21884/15, Judgment (30 June 2016).
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Lingaas, C. Directing the Legal Radar at Forced Labour—Under Special Consideration of Male Victims in Norway. Laws 2022, 11, 39. https://doi.org/10.3390/laws11030039
Lingaas C. Directing the Legal Radar at Forced Labour—Under Special Consideration of Male Victims in Norway. Laws. 2022; 11(3):39. https://doi.org/10.3390/laws11030039Chicago/Turabian Style
Lingaas, Carola. 2022. "Directing the Legal Radar at Forced Labour—Under Special Consideration of Male Victims in Norway" Laws 11, no. 3: 39. https://doi.org/10.3390/laws11030039