Forced Labor

This page was last updated on: 2021-03-12

Prohibition on Forced and Compulsory Labor

Forced Labour, slavery and slave trade are prohibited under the Constitution. No person can be required to perform forced or compulsory labour except as a penalty upon conviction by a competent court of law. In accordance with the provisions of Penal Code, whoever, unlawfully compels any person to labour against the will of that person, commits an offence, and upon conviction, is sentenced to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or with a fine or with both. Whoever kidnaps or abducts any person with intent that such person may be unlawfully compelled to labour against his or her will commits an offence, and upon conviction, is sentenced to imprisonment for a term not exceeding seven years or with a fine or with both.

Under the Labour Act, a person cannot engage in the recruitment or use of forced labour, or assist any person in engaging in so. Furthermore, it is illegal to make use of forced labour as means of political coercion, economic development, labour discipline, punishment for participation in strikes, and discrimination. However, certain activities do not constitute forced labour: military service (recruitment of children in armed conflict is still considered forced labour); normal civic obligations of citizens; work extracted from a person as a consequence of a conviction from a court of law; work required in case of an emergency; and performance of community service.

Source: §13 of the Constitution of South Sudan, 2011; §277-279 of the Penal Code Act 2008; §10 of the Labour Act, 2017

Freedom to Change Jobs and Right to Quit

Workers have the right to change jobs after serving due notice to their employer. For more information, please refer to the section on employment security.

Inhumane Working Conditions

The normal working hours are 8 hours a day and 48 hours a week. On mutual consent, a worker may work up to 3 hours overtime in a day and 10 hours in a week. Thus, the maximum working hours inclusive of overtime are 50 hours a week

Sources: §56 and 57 of the Labour Act, 2017

Regulations on Forced Labor

  • Labour Act, 2017
  • Constitution of South Sudan, 2011
  • Penal Code Act, 2008
  • Child Act, 2008