268 | PRACTITIONERS GUIDE No. 6• any work or service exacted in cases of public emergency or calamitythreatening the life or well-being of the community. 1120b) State obligations to prevent and investigate forced labourThe European Court of Human Rights, in particular, has emphasised thatStates have obligations not only to refrain from, but also to criminaliseforced and compulsory labour practices and to effectively investigate,prosecute and sanction those who carry out such practices. 1121 TheEuropean Court has posited the principles of an effective investigation inthese cases:“The requirement to investigate does not depend on a complaint fromthe victim or next-of-kin: once the matter has come to the attentionof the authorities they must act of their own motion. For an investigationto be effective, it must be independent from those implicatedin the events. It must also be capable of leading to the identificationand punishment of individuals responsible, an obligation not of resultbut of means. A requirement of promptness and reasonable expeditionis implicit in all cases but where the possibility of removing the individualfrom the harmful situation is available, the investigation mustbe undertaken as a matter of urgency. The victim or the next-of-kinmust be involved in the procedure to the extent necessary to safeguardtheir legitimate interests. [. . .] In addition to the obligation to conducta domestic investigation into events occurring on their own territories,Member States are also subject to a duty in cross-border traffickingcases to cooperate effectively with the relevant authorities of otherStates concerned in the investigation of events which occurred outsidetheir territories.” 1122Box 16. A case of servitude and forced labourThe European Court of Human Rights considered the case of agirl who had arrived in France from Togo at the age of 15 yearsand 7 months with a person who had agreed with her fatherthat she would work until her air ticket had been reimbursed,1120 See, Article 2, Forced Labour Convention (C29), ILO; Article 8.3(b) and (c) ICCPR; Article6.2-3 ACHR; Article 11.3–4 ICRMW; Article 4.3 ECHR. Article 10 ArCHR provides for no exception,making thus the prohibition of forced labour absolute. As illustrated by Article 11.4ICRMW, the first duty will not apply to migrant workers, while the work due as “civil obligations”might concern migrant workers and their families as long as it is imposed also oncitizens.1121 See, Siliadin v. France, ECtHR, op. cit., fn. 1108, paras. 89 and 112. See also, ConcludingObservations on Republic of Korea, CESCR, op. cit., fn. 244, para. 23; Concluding Observationson Poland, CESCR, UN Doc. E/C.12/POL/CO/5, 20 November 2009, para. 23; Principles1 and 12-17, OHCHR Trafficking Principles, op. cit., fn. 244.1122 Rantsev v. Cyprus and Russia, ECtHR, op. cit., fn. 236, para. 288–289; C.N. v. the UnitedKingdom, ECtHR, Application No. 4239/08, Judgment of 13 November 2012, para. 69.
MIGRATION AND INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS LAW | 269that her immigration status would be regularised and that shewould be sent to school. In reality, the girl’s work was quickly“lent” to a couple. She worked in their house without respite forapproximately fifteen hours per day, with no day off, for severalyears, without ever receiving wages or being sent to school,without identity papers and without her immigration statusbeing regularised. She was accommodated in their home andslept in the children’s bedroom. The European Court of HumanRights found that this situation did not amount to slavery, sinceit had not been demonstrated that the couple “exercised a genuineright of legal ownership” 1123 over the girl. Nevertheless,the Court found that this situation constituted servitude, sinceit amounted to “an obligation to provide one’s services that isimposed by the use of coercion”, 1124 and forced labour.c) Access to a remedy against forced labourThe right of victims of forced labour to a remedy for the violation of thisright is established under all of the human rights treaties that prohibitforced labour. This right exists notwithstanding the legal status of a personin a country. For example the UN Committee for the Elimination ofAll Forms of Discrimination Against Women has emphasised the need foraccess to effective legal remedies for undocumented women migrantworkers coerced into forced labour. 1125Box 17. Human trafficking, forced labour and theEuropean CourtWhile, under the UN and Council of Europe trafficking conventions,forced labour is one of the forms of exploitation whichcharacterise human trafficking, 1126 in international humanrights law the European Court of Human Rights has consideredthat human trafficking in itself falls within the prohibitionof slavery, servitude or forced or compulsory labour. 1127 It has1123 Siliadin v. France, ECtHR, op. cit., fn. 1108, para. 122.1124 Ibid., para. 124.1125 See also, Concluding Observations on Saudi Arabia, CEDAW, UN Doc. CEDAW/C/SAU/CO/2,8 April 2008, para. 24.1126 Article 3, UN Trafficking Protocol; Article 4, Council of Europe Trafficking Convention.1127 Rantsev v. Cyprus and Russia, ECtHR, op. cit., fn. 236, para. 282. The Human Rights Committeefinds that human trafficking is a violation of Article 3 (gender equality), Article 8 (forcedlabour) and Article 24 (children rights): see, Concluding Observations on Greece, CCPR, op. cit.,fn. 240, para. 10. The Committee against Torture finds that “human trafficking for the purposeof sexual and labour exploitation” falls under the practices prohibited by Article 16 CAT (cruel,inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment): see, Concluding Observations on Spain, CAT,op. cit., fn. 240, para. 28. See also, Conclusion No. 90, UNHCR, op. cit., fn. 240, para. (s).