Combatting Forced Labour: A Global Call to Action


"ILO Report on Forced Labour Profits: A Global Call to Action
Combatting Forced Labour: A Global Call to Action

Forced labor is a grave global issue, affecting millions worldwide, as revealed by a recent study from the International Labour Organization (ILO). The study, released in Geneva, sheds light on the alarming scale of this problem, indicating that forced labor generates illegal profits amounting to $36 billion annually. This figure marks a significant 37% increase since 2014, underscoring the escalating nature of the crisis.

Key Insights:

  • Criminal enterprises accrue a staggering $236 billion annually through forced labor in the private sector.
  • Illegal profits have surged by $64 billion (37%) in the past decade.
  • Traffickers now extract close to $10,000 per victim, a sharp rise from $8,269 recorded ten years ago.
  • Approximately 27.6 million individuals are ensnared in forced labor on any given day in 2021.
  • Forced commercial sexual exploitation constitutes a disturbing 73% of total illegal profits.

Regional Breakdown of Illegal Profits:

  • Europe and Central Asia: $84 billion
  • Asia and the Pacific: $62 billion
  • The Americas: $52 billion
  • Africa: $20 billion
  • Arab States: $18 billion

Response from ILO Director-General Gilbert Houngbo:

Expressing deep concern over the deteriorating situation, ILO Director-General Gilbert Houngbo emphasized the profound impact of forced labor on human dignity, poverty, and exploitation. He urged the international community to take swift and decisive action to eradicate this injustice, safeguard workers’ rights, and uphold principles of fairness and equality.


The study employed surveys among workers, including those in vulnerable situations such as Indians in Saudi Arabia and Qatar, to gather comprehensive data on forced labor. Covering the tally for 2021, the report provides an in-depth analysis of the economic dimensions of forced labor.

Impact on Victims:

Forced labor inflicts profound suffering on its victims, perpetuating cycles of poverty and exploitation. The report underscores the urgent need for collective action by the international community to address this crisis and protect the fundamental rights of workers.

Key Exam Facts:

  • Founded in 1919, the ILO is the oldest specialized agency of the United Nations.
  • With 187 member states, the ILO is dedicated to promoting social justice and internationally recognized human and labor rights.
  • The ILO operates as the sole tripartite U.N. agency, engaging governments, employers, and workers' representatives to shape policies and programs promoting Decent Work for all.
  • In recognition of its efforts in promoting peace and social justice, the ILO was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1969.

By acknowledging the severity of the issue, understanding its global scope, and advocating for collaborative efforts, we can work towards a future where forced labor is eradicated, and the rights and dignity of all workers are respected.

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post