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Unfree labour is a generic or collective term for those work relations, especially in modern or early modern history, in which people are employed against their will by the threat of destitution, detention, violence (including death), lawful compulsion,<ref>forced labour under German rule during World War II through Service du travail obligatoire of Vichy France</ref> or other extreme hardship to themselves or to members of their families.

Unfree labour includes all forms of slavery, and related institutions (e.g. debt slavery, serfdom, corvée and labour camps). Many of these forms of work may be covered by the term forced labour, which is defined by the International Labour Organization (ILO) as all involuntary work or service exacted under the menace of a penalty.<ref>Andrees and Belser, "Forced labor: Coercion and exploitation in the private economy", 2009. Rienner and ILO.</ref>

However, under the ILO Forced Labour Convention of 1930, the term forced or compulsory labour shall not include:<ref>http://www.ilo.org/dyn/normlex/en/f?p=NORMLEXPUB:12100:0::NO::P12100_ILO_CODE:C029</ref>

  • any work or service exacted in virtue of compulsory military service laws for work of a purely military character;
  • any work or service which forms part of the normal civic obligations of the citizens of a fully self-governing country;
  • any work or service exacted from any person as a consequence of a conviction in a court of law, provided that the said work or service is carried out under the supervision and control of a public authority and that the said person is not hired to or placed at the disposal of private individuals, companies or associations;
  • any work or service exacted in cases of emergency, that is to say, in the event of war, of a calamity or threatened calamity, such as fire, flood, famine, earthquake, violent epidemic or epizootic diseases, invasion by: animal, insect or vegetable pests, and in general any circumstance that would endanger the existence or the well-being of the whole or part of the population;
  • minor communal services of a kind which, being performed by the members of the community in the direct interest of the said community, can therefore be considered as normal civic obligations incumbent upon the members of the community, provided that the members of the community or their direct representatives shall have the right to be consulted in regard to the need for such services.

Forced labor sections
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