According to the firm who used them, these long-term unemployed folks ‘volunteered‘ as unpaid or underpaid (£2.80 per hour) security staff for the Diamond Jubilee celebrations.
Consider, however, the ILO’s interpretation of their convention on forced labour, in which: ‘the consent of workers is irrelevant when there has been deception or fraud, or the retention of identity documents in order to achieve this consent.’ (Belser 2005) Or consider the ILO’s (2005) indicators of forced labour, which include: ‘dismissal, or exclusion from future employment.’
My point is not that this is (or is not) forced labour. My point is that saying these folks ‘volunteered’ is no excuse. Using unpaid and underpaid staff in deplorable conditions to celebrate royalty, and claiming that this is for their own good, is unacceptable.