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.
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.