Sweet Taste with Bitter Roots: Forced Labour and Chowdury and Others v Greece
(1) European Human Rights Law Review (2018)
19 Pages Posted: 26 Dec 2017 Last revised: 29 Jan 2018
Date Written: December 20, 2017
Chowdury and Others v Greece reveals the exploitation that migrant workers suffer at agricultural farms for production of strawberries whose sweet taste many of us enjoy. Greece was found in violation of Article 4 of the ECHR (the right not to be subjected to forced labour and human trafficking) for its failure to protect the migrants from the exploitation and to conduct effective investigation. The judgment will be laurelled as an important achievement in favour of the rights of undocumented migrant workers to fair working conditions. It sheds light on the application of the definition of forced labour to labour performed by undocumented migrants. It also contributes to the enhancement of states’ positive obligations under Article 4 ECHR. It suggests that the obligations imposed by the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings are of relevance not only to factual circumstances qualified as human trafficking, but to the whole gamut of abuses intended to be captured by Article 4 ECHR.
Keywords: migrant workers, forced labour, human trafficking, servitude, exploitation, positive obligations, Article 4 of the ECHR, Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings
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