BackgroundThe ILO estimates that about 24.9 million men, women and children are in forced labour – trafficked, held in debt bondage, or working under slavery-like conditions. The vast majority of these forced labourers – almost 20.8 million – are exploited in the private economy, by individuals or enterprises. Another 4.1 million (17 percent) are in state-imposed forms of forced labour, including forced labour imposed by paramilitary forces.
Addressing the issue of forced labour is a growing international concern. In June 2014, governments, employers, and workers overwhelmingly supported the adoption, during the ILO International Labour Conference, of the new ILO Protocol of 2014 to the Forced Labour Convention, 1930 (henceforth the Protocol) and the Recommendation on supplementary measures for the effective suppression of forced labour (henceforth the Recommendation). If widely ratified and implemented by ILO member countries, the Protocol and Recommendation promise to act as a catalyst for achieving the vision of a world without forced labour.
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ObjectivesThe project aims to effectively eliminate traditional and state-imposed forced labour systems and to significantly reduce contemporary forms of forced labour, which are often linked to human trafficking. This will be done through:
- increased knowledge, awareness, and implementation of the 2014 ILO Protocol and Recommendation;
- improved evidence-based and responsive national policies and action plans on forced labour, with strong implementation, monitoring, and enforcement mechanisms;
- enhanced efforts to collect reliable national statistics in order to carry out research and share knowledge across institutions at national, regional, and global levels;
- strengthened workers’ and employers’ organizations to support the fight against forced labour in partnership with other interested parties; and
- strengthened awareness and livelihoods programs to prevent forced labour and to provide victims with access to remedies.