Forced Labour

Prohibition on Forced and Compulsory Labour

Forced Labour is prohibited under the Constitution, Anti Human Trafficking Act 2008 and Penal Code.

The Anti Human Trafficking Act defines forced labour as a labour or services obtained or maintained through threats, the use of force, intimidation or other forms of coercion or physical restraint.

Bill of Rights is not part of the 2016 Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Act and will be subject to a referendum during the 2016 general elections being held on 11 August 2016. The referendum was held and although 71% of voters voted in favour of the amendments, since the turnout was only 44%, below the 50% threshold required to validate the result, the amended Bill of Rights 2016 could not be approved. Thus, the Bill of Rights contained in 1996 Constitution is still applicable.   

Source: §31 of the Constitution of the Republic of Zambia/draft Bill of Rights 2016; §2 & 22 of the Anti-Human Trafficking Act, 2008; §263 of the Penal Code, 1931

Freedom to Change Jobs and Right to Quit

Workers have the right to change jobs after serving due notice on their employer.

For more information on this, please refer to the section on employment security.

Inhumane Working Conditions

Working time may be extended beyond normal working hours of 48 hours in a week (for both general and domestic workers) and 60 hours in a week (for watchpersons). Law does not clearly specify the limits to overtime. In accordance with the Constitution, a person in employment has the right to decent working conditions.

Bill of Rights is not part of the 2016 Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Act and will be subject to a referendum during the 2016 general elections being held on 11 August 2016. 

The referendum was held and although 71% of voters voted in favour of the amendments, since the turnout was only 44%, below the 50% threshold required to validate the result, the amended Bill of Rights 2016 could not be approved. Thus, the Bill of Rights contained in 1996 Constitution is still applicable.

For more information on this, please refer to the section on compensation.

Source: §54(2) of the Draft Bill of Rights 2016; §3, 4(1) & 6 of the Minimum Wages and Conditions of Employment (General) Order, 2011 (amended in 2012)

Regulations on Forced Labour

  • Employment Code Act, 2019
  • Constitution of the Republic of Zambia, 2016/Draft Bill of Rights 2016
  • Penal Code, 1931
  • Anti Human Trafficking Act, 2008
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