Global estimates on forced labour
- The Asia-Pacific region accounts for the largest number of forced labourers in the world; 11.7 million (56%) of the global total, followed by
- Africa at 3.7 million (18%) and
- Latin America with 1.8 million victims (9%).
- The Developed Economies and European Union have 1.5 million (7%) forced labourers.
- Central and South-eastern European countries, and the Commonwealth of Independent States account for 1.6 million (7%).
- There are an estimated 600,000 (3%) victims in the Middle East.
The number of victims per thousand inhabitants is highest in the Central and South-eastern Europe and Africa regions at 4.2 and 4.0 per 1,000 inhabitants respectively. It is the lowest in the Developed Economies and European Union at 1.5 per 1,000 inhabitants. The relatively high prevalence in Central and South-eastern Europe and Commonwealth of Independent States can be explained by the fact that the population is much lower than for example in Asia and at the same time reports of trafficking for labour and sexual exploitation and of state-imposed forced labour in the region are numerous.
- 18.7 million (90%) are exploited in the private economy, by individuals or enterprises. Of these,
- 4.5 million (22%) are victims of forced sexual exploitation and
- 14.2 million (68%) are victims of forced labour exploitation in economic activities, such as agriculture, construction, domestic work or manufacturing.
- 2.2 million (10%) are in state-imposed forms of forced labour, for example in prisons, or in work imposed by the state military or by rebel armed forces.
- 5.5 million (26%) are below 18 years.
- 9.1 million victims (44%) who have moved either internally or internationally.
- 11.8 million (56%), the majority, are subjected to forced labour in their place of origin or residence.
- Cross-border movement is heavily associated with forced sexual exploitation.
Profit estimates of forced labour
ICLS and forced labour
The 19th ICLS (International Conference of Labour Statisticians) in 2013, adopted the Resolution II concerning further work on statistics of forced labour recommending that the Office set up a working group with the aim of sharing best practices on forced labour surveys in order to encourage further such surveys in more countries. The working group should engage ILO constituents and other experts in discussing and developing international guidelines to harmonize concepts, elaborate statistical definitions, standard lists of criteria and survey tools on forced labour, and to inform the 20th International Conference of Labour Statisticians on the progress made.
Based on this decision, the ILO has initiated the "ILO Data Initiative on Modern Slavery", a global research programme to take stock of national and international initiatives measuring forced labour, human trafficking and slavery, to discuss strengths and limitations of existing methodologies and build a consensus on concepts, statistical definitions and standard list of criteria, survey tools and estimation methodologies which could be used to develop surveys in the future.