Drawing from the exhibition depicting forced labour in agriculture

Dimitri’s story – quiz

Dimitri lives in a village with his family. An intermediary came to the village and promised him a well-paid job in another country. Dimitri agreed and borrowed money from his close family to pay his transport costs. When he started working, he was paid part of what he was owed, which was less than the minimum wage. But he decided to stay because he earns more than in his village.

He works long hours (more than the maximum allowed by international law, i.e. 60 hours) and develops health problems. After a year of work, he returns home and can return the money he borrowed from his family. He has some money left over, which he can put aside.

Based on ILO case studies

Good answer!

Dimitri's consent is not valid because he was recruited with misleading information. He was promised a well-paid job but these conditions did not materialise.

No, Dimitri's consent is not valid because Dimitri was recruited with misleading information. He was promised a well-paid job but these conditions did not materialise.

Good answer!

Dimitri was not threatened with disciplinary action that would have prevented him from leaving. Although his salary was lower than promised, there was no withholding of pay to force him to stay. Physical abuse is not the only type of sanction, but there is no evidence that other sanctions were applied, such as the obligation to remain in the company by withholding identity papers.

No, Dimitri was not threatened with disciplinary action that would have prevented him from leaving. Although his salary was lower than promised, there was no withholding of pay to force him to stay. Physical abuse is not the only type of sanction, but there is no evidence that other sanctions were applied, such as the obligation to remain in the company by withholding identity papers.

Good answer!

Dimitri was misled but there was, according to the information available, no evidence of any sanction or threat preventing him from leaving. This is therefore not forced labour but abusive labour with deception.

Forced labour requires a lack of consent but also a physical or psychological threat. The analysis would have been different if the intermediary and the employer had worked together to deceive Dimitri and place him in a vulnerable situation to force him to work (e.g. very large debts with a deduction from his salary to pay recruitment costs forcing the employee to work overtime).

In reality, Dimitri was deceived but there was, according to the information available, no evidence of any sanction or threat preventing him from leaving. This is therefore not forced labour but abusive labour with deception.

Forced labour requires a lack of consent but also a physical or psychological threat. The analysis would have been different if the intermediary and the employer had worked together to deceive Dimitri and place him in a vulnerable situation to force him to work (e.g. very large debts with a deduction from his salary to pay recruitment costs forcing the employee to work overtime).