Full text: Forced labour in Africa

Boag 504 wistme 28 1. 57 
suggestions that had so far been received from the Platte- 
land and that any further suggestions that were put for- 
ward would receive the same sympathetic attention if 
they appeared to be of real practical help for the solution 
of the Native labour question.’ 
Article 5 of the Slavery Convention is the one dealing 
with compulsory labour. It reads as follows: 
“ The High Contracting Parties recognize that recourse 
to compulsory or forced labour may have grave conse- 
quences and undertake, each in respect of the territories 
placed under its sovereignty, jurisdiction, protection, 
suzerainty or tutelage, to take all necessary measures to 
prevent compulsory or forced labour from developing 
into conditions analogous to slavery. 
It is agreed that : 
(1) Subject to the transitional provisions laid down in 
paragraph (2) below, compulsory or forced labour may 
only be exacted for public purposes. 
(2) In territories in which compulsory or forced labour 
for other than public purposes still survives, the High 
Contracting Parties shall endeavour progressively and as 
soon as possible to put an end to the practice. 
So long as such forced or compulsory labour exists, 
this labour shall invariably be of an exceptional character, 
shall always receive adequate remuneration, and shall not 
involve the removal of the labourers from their usual 
place of residence. 
(3) In all cases the responsibility for any recourse to 
compulsory or forced labour shall rest with the compe- 
tent central authorities of the territory concerned.” 
The Article is somewhat vaguely expressed but two 
points are clear, first that where compulsory labour 
for private profit already exists it must be put an end to, 
and, second, that where it does not exist it must not be 
begun. Is the Minister of Justice forgetting that South 
Africa has ratified the Slavery Convention ? 

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