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Deadline for submissions: 10th April 2021 Midnight CET time

Join the competition

Did you know that tens of millions of people all over the world are subjected to working conditions that amount to a modern form of slavery? Forced labour is a violation of human rights, it is one of the most extreme forms of exploitation at work. And we all have a role to play to prevent it at our own level, as companies, consumers, citizens, States, workers… or cartoonists! Cartoonists can create cartoons that will raise awareness, inspire action and emphasize the urgent need to eradicate this severe violation of human rights.

Join the international cartoon competition on forced labour organized by the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the NGO Human Resources Without Borders (RHSF), in partnership with Cartooning for Peace:

What is forced labour?

25 million men, women and children today are in forced labour – trafficked, held in debt bondage or working in slavery-like conditions, victims of violence, coercion and deception, threatened so that they can’t seek help and claim their rights.

Every country is affected. Victims often work hidden from public view and are difficult to identify. Many victims, in particular women and girls, are subjected to commercial sexual exploitation, but forced labour is also prevalent in sectors such as agriculture, fishing, domestic work, construction, manufacturing and mining. Forced labour is estimated to generate US$150 billion in illicit profits! Industries and businesses face unfair competition and states lose billions in tax income and social security contributions.

Your impact

Cartoons are powerful tools: they can make complex messages understandable without using words and encourage people to reflect on sensitive topics.

Your cartoons can help people:

  • REFUSE forced labour as a severe violation of human rights that has no place in our societies. Forced labour can and must be eradicated from our economies.

  • UNDERSTAND forced labour in all its forms. Workers can be coerced into forced labour in many different ways: they can be deceived about the nature of the job; they can be kidnapped; they can suffer psychological, physical or sexual abuse; they can be threatened; their identification documents may have been confiscated or their wages withheld; they may have been forced to pay fees to get a job and then be trapped in a debt that is manipulated so that they can never repay it.

  • TAKE ACTION to end this scourge. We all have a role to play! Governments must take effective measures to prevent forced labour, protect victims, ensure their access to justice. Public and private employers must take due diligence measures to ensure forced labour is not used in their business activities. Trade unions should reach out to workers so they know their rights and how to claim them. NGOs can provide assistance to victims. We can all open our eyes to see forced labour around us and demand that the goods and services we consume are forced labour free.


The jury will select the winning cartoons of the competition and designate the following awards:

  • Best cartoons of the whole competition on “Forced labour”

  • Best cartoon on “Forced labour of children”

  • Best cartoon on “Taking action”

All submitted entries will be considered for the three awards.

Winners will be interviewed by the ILO and their cartoons promoted on the websites of Cartooning for Peace, the ILO, 50 for Freedom and RHSF.

A selection of the best cartoons will be used to develop an international exhibition and a major publication to raise awareness on forced labour.


  • Cartoons should not include any text.

  • Any drawing technique is allowed.

  • Cartoons must be sent as a numeric image format jpeg, A4 size, 300dpi.

  • Each artist can submit a maximum of 4 cartoons.

  • In order to respect the neutrality of the organizers, and because forced labour is systemic and all countries and supply chains are exposed to it, cartoons will remain general without mentioning any specific entity.

  • Artists will be personally contacted if selected at the end of the selection process.

  • Young people under the age of 18 must have the permission of their legal guardians to compete in this competition.

  • Cartoons should be submitted here.

  • Cartoons that disregard any of the specified rules will not be considered.



" Lighting the candle of others won’t blow yours out " - Al