«Call it forced labour, modern slavery, human trafficking or debt bondage, it affects women, men and children the world over, far away in other parts of the world or directly in our neighbourhood.
It is often invisible; sometimes because it is hidden, sometimes because we choose to look away, sometimes because we do not recognize it.
At times, it is also because the victims themselves, out of fear of reprisal or of losing the little they have left, prefer to remain hidden. They do not know who to trust, and they do not know their rights. Invisibility feeds indifference and indifference feeds invisibility.
To break this vicious cycle, we have to look reality in the eyes.
How can we make the invisible visible? That is what talented cartoonists from all over the world have done with the drawings that have inspired this book. This is an invitation to look at these cartoons with your eyes and your mind wide open: their meaning isn’t always obvious, but they show, in their own way, the multiple facets and the complexity of forced labour. The technical information at the end of this book invites you to take a deeper look at this problem. Let these cartoons shed light on the plight of the 25 million children and adults in forced labour all over the world.
Part of their destiny is in our hands, and in our eyes.» (© International Labour Organization and Human Resources Without Borders 2021)
This exhibition is hosted at the EESC under the initiative of the President of the EESC Workers' Group, Oliver Röpke, in collaboration with the International Labour Organisation and Alliance 8.7.
The inaugural event is on Wednesday 14 December at 13.00 in the EESC's Foyer 6. Personalities expected to attend include Workers' Group President Oliver Röpke, ILO Director for the EU and Benelux countries, Lieve Verboven, as well as Thomas Wagnsonner, rapporteur of the relevant EESC opinion on Forced labour products ban which is currently under preparation.
The exhibition will run from from 12 – 22 December 2022.