Judging the Charter

The Charter in judicial practise with a special focus on the case of protection of refugees and asylum seekers

Article 5 Prohibition of slavery and forced labour


1. No one shall be held in slavery or servitude.
2. No one shall be required to perform forced or compulsory labour.
3. Trafficking in human beings is prohibited.


The right in Article 5(1) and (2) corresponds to Article 4(1) and (2) of the ECHR, which has the same wording.

Paragraph 3 stems directly from human dignity and takes account of recent developments in organised crime, such as the organisation of lucrative illegal immigration or sexual exploitation networks. The Annex to the Europol Convention contains the following definition which refers to trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation: ‘traffic in human beings: means subjection of a person to the real and illegal sway of other persons by using violence or menaces or by abuse of authority or intrigue with a view to the exploitation of prostitution, forms of sexual exploitation and assault of minors or trade in abandoned children’.

Official Journal of the European Union C 303/17 - 14.12.2007