253. The prohibition of slavery and forced labour under the European Convention on Human Rights.

The European Convention on Human Rights provides that no-one shall be held in slavery or servitude1 and that no-one shall be required to perform forced or compulsory labour2. The prohibition is a 'Convention right' for the purposes of the Human Rights Act 1998 and it is therefore unlawful as a matter of English law for any public authority to act incompatibly with it3. The prohibition of slavery and forced labour under Article 4 enshrines one of the most fundamental values of a democratic society, alongside Article 2 (the right to life)4 and Article 3 (the prohibition of torture)5, and