“The new measures and the powerful statements by President Obama can play a major role in highlighting the sheer magnitude of human trafficking, which affects every country in the world to some degree or other,” said Beate Andrees, who heads the ILO’s Special Action Programme to Combat Forced Labour.
|The new measures and the powerful statements by President Obama can play a major role in highlighting the sheer magnitude of human trafficking." |
Ninety per cent of the victims are exploited by private individuals and enterprises, while 10 per cent are forced to work by the state, by rebel military groups or in prisons. Sexual exploitation accounts for 22 per cent of all victims and labour exploitation makes up 68 per cent of the total.
“The successful prosecution of individuals who bring such misery to so many remains inadequate – this needs to change,” Andrees said.
In a speech on September 25, President Obama said human trafficking was nothing less than “modern slavery”, and battling it is "one of the great human rights causes of our time."
He announced a series of new measures to step up the fight against human trafficking, and issued an executive order to further strengthen what he said was an already strict policy to prevent the use of force labour by US government contractors.
|Global estimate of people in forced labour||20.9 million|
|Asia and Pacific||11.7 million|
|Latin America and the Caribbean||1.8 million|
|Developed Economies||1.5 million|
|Central, Southeast and Eastern Europe (non EU) and the Commonwealth of Independent States||1.6 million|
The victims of forced labour are usually vulnerable groups of people – low skilled workers kept by illegal means and paid little or nothing. Many are women and girls forced into prostitution and migrant workers trapped in debt bondage.
The ILO works closely with government partners, workers, employers and parliamentarians around the world to improve legislation and implement national policies against forced labour and the conditions that give rise to it.
Most ILO Member States have ratified the two ILO Conventions specifically dealing with forced labour: Forced Labour Convention, 1930 (No. 29) and Abolition of Forced Labour Convention, 1957 (No. 105.)