Forced labour, human trafficking and slavery
ILO is a specialized agency of the United Nations
Promoting jobs, protecting people
ILO home > Topics > Forced labour, human trafficking and slavery

Forced labour, human trafficking and slavery

© AFP
Forced labour takes different forms, including debt bondage, trafficking and other forms of modern slavery. The victims are the most vulnerable – women and girls forced into prostitution, migrants trapped in debt bondage, and sweatshop or farm workers kept there by clearly illegal tactics and paid little or nothing.

Facts and figures

  • Almost 21 million people are victims of forced labour – 11.4 million women and girls and 9.5 million men and boys.
  • Almost 19 million victims are exploited by private individuals or enterprises and over 2 million by the state or rebel groups.
  • Of those exploited by individuals or enterprises, 4.5 million are victims of forced sexual exploitation.
  • Forced labour in the private economy generates US$ 150 billion in illegal profits per year.
  • Domestic work, agriculture, construction, manufacturing and entertainment are among the sectors most concerned.
  • Migrant workers and indigenous people are particularly vulnerable to forced labour.
Source ILO

Focus on

  1. © Munir Uz Zaman / AFP 2014

    Forced labour generates annual profits of US$ 150 billion

    ILO's report finds illegal gain from forced labour of about 21 million people amounts to three times more than prior estimates.

Latest news

  1. © Anwar Mustafa / AFP 2014

    Rights at work

    Domestic work, Work like any other

    16 June 2014

Lured by a job, trapped in forced labour

  1. In search of a job to support his family, a man accepts an offer from a recruiter and signs a contract for what looks like a good job with decent wages. Once at destination, the reality is very different.

Follow us on

End Slavery Now!

© 1996-2014 International Labour Organization (ILO) | Copyright and permissions | Privacy policy | Fraud alert | Disclaimer