When many of us think of Labor Day - celebrated in the US on the first Monday in September - we often think of barbecues, mattress sales, and summer's last hurrah. This day is more than that. It commemorates the fight of workers for humane working conditions. The existence of things many of us take for granted such as weekends, paid leave, and the 40 hour workweek are thanks to these brave people and the unions they formed.

Unfortunately, many around the world do not have these guarantees. Forced labor, the most common type of modern-day enslavement, is the reality for many workers around the globe. The International Labor Organization (ILO) fights for these people. One of their initiatives, 50 for Freedom, is a legally binding international treaty that would "require governments to take new measures to tackle forced labor." The goal is to have 50 countries sign on to it by the end of 2018. 

While the protocol will not eradicate modern-day enslavement on its own, it is a critical step in that direction. It can restore hope and freedom to many of those trapped in forced labor. Perhaps one day these people will have their own day of celebration.

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Forms of Abolition:
Policy Making, Awareness, Empowerment

Forms of Slavery:
Forced Labor