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International Labour Organisation says forced labour generates annual profits of US$ 150 billion

Categories: Articles:Human Rights | Published: 22/05/2014 | Views: 1173
Report finds illegal gain from forced labour of about 21 million people amounts to three times more than prior estimates.
Forced labour in the private economy generates US$ 150 billion in illegal profits per year, about three times more than previously estimated, according to a new report from the International Labour Organization (ILO). The ILO report, Profits and Poverty: The Economics of Forced Labour, said two thirds of the estimated total of US$ 150 billion, or US$ 99 billion, came from commercial sexual exploitation, while another US$ 51 billion resulted from forced economic exploitation, including domestic work, agriculture and other economic activities.

“This new report takes our understanding of trafficking, forced labour and modern slavery to a new level,” said ILO Director-General Guy Ryder. “Forced labour is bad for business and development and especially for its victims. Our new report adds new urgency to our efforts to eradicate this fundamentally evil, but hugely profitable practice as soon as possible.”

The new figure is based on ILO data published in 2012 that estimated the number of people in forced labour, trafficking and modern slavery at 21 million. 

Significantly, the new estimate indicates that more than half of the people in forced labour are women and girls, primarily in commercial sexual exploitation and domestic work, while men and boys were primarily in forced economic exploitation in agriculture, construction, and mining.

The breakdown of profits generated by forced economic exploitation is as follows:

•US$ 34 billion in construction, manufacturing, mining and utilities

•US$ 9 billion in agriculture, including forestry and fishing

•US$ 8 billion saved by private households by not paying or underpaying domestic workers held in forced labour. Read more

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