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12/02  '97  11:43   FAX


Convention No. 29: Forced Labour. 1930

Observation 1991

Germany (ratification: 1956)

    2.   Article 2. paragraphs 1 and 2(b). The Committee previously noted that, under the Work Permit Decree, persons requesting asylum are normally prohibited from working for at least two years from the date of their request, but that under the Federal Social Assistance Act, as amended by the Second Act to improve the Budget Structure, of 22 December 1981, the same persons may be called upon to perform "socially useful work" which they have no choice but to carry out if they are to maintain their welfare entitlements. The Committee pointed out that by the Act of 6 January 1987 the prohibition for asylum seekers to work has, with certain exceptions, been extended to a period o£ at least five years following their asylum request. As the Committee recalled in paragraph 21 of its General Survey of 1979 on the Abolition of Forced Labour, a penalty for the purposes of Article 2, paragraph 1, of the Convention may take the form of loss of rights or privileges. In a situation where the authorities have, through the prohibition of employment, deprived asylum seekere of the possibility of taking up work of their choice and made them dependent on welfare entitlements, the threat to withhold these payments

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