Background report "ILO Working Group on Statistics of Forced Labour"

Conference paper | 27 April 2015
The measurement of forced labour and human trafficking was discussed at a special session of the 19th International Conference of Labour Statisticians in Geneva (October 2013) on the basis of a presentation by the ILO Special Action Programme to Combat Forced Labour (ILO/SAP-FL). Following this presentation, the Conference adopted a resolution recommending that the ILO “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 resolution further specified that 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.”

The Working Group is now convened for the first time for a two-day discussion at the ILO Headquarter, from 27 to 28 April 2015. The Working Group is composed of some twenty specialists and resource persons representing governmental and non-governmental institutions with experience on surveys and estimates of forced labour and slavery, at national or international level. The discussion of the Working Group is expected to lead to: (a) a documentation and exchange of experience on data collection on forced labour, trafficking and slavery at national level; (b) an assessment of the strengths and limitations of the existing tools and methodologies to estimate forced labour, trafficking and slavery, in particular, the need for an operational definition and list of descriptors of modern slavery when compiling data or carrying national surveys and c) a roadmap with shared responsibilities to move forward on the development of definitions and tools for the measurement of the various forms of modern slavery .

The present report is intended to provide background information and general proposals for consideration by the Working Group. It is organized as follows.
  1. Introductory section
  2. Concepts and definitions
  3. Data sources and measurement issues
  4. Choices of main items for data collection and key summary statistics
  5. Main points and questions for discussion