Special Action Programme to Combat Forced Labour

A Global Alliance against Forced Labour

Forced labour is a global problem, affecting almost all countries of the world. There are at least 12.3 million persons in forced labour today. Most victims are poverty-stricken people in Africa, Asia and Latin America, whose vulnerability is exploited by others for a profit. Yet over 350,000 women and men are also in forced labour in industrialized countries, trafficked for either labour or sexual exploitation.

With political will, forced labour can be eradicated. The ILO is promoting a Global Alliance to achieve this, with partner agencies pooling their efforts to wipe out all forced labour worldwide by 2015. This site promotes networking and information exchange, both on the disturbing facts and features of modern forced labour, and of innovative action by a range of partners to wipe it out once and for all.


  1. New ILO Protocol on Forced Labour to be discussed with the diplomatic community at the upcoming European Commemoration Day Against Trafficking in Persons in Geneva

    14 October 2014

    In commemoration of the European Day against Trafficking in Persons, an event will explore the challenges of Protection and Partnership, on October 17th, at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.

  2. ILO launches new knowledge sharing platform on forced labour

    22 April 2014

    AP-Forced Labour Net is a new ILO-sponsored online knowledge sharing platform for individuals, organizations, and institutions working on issues related to forced labour, human trafficking and slavery in the Asia-Pacific region.

  3. What do we know about human trafficking in Switzerland?

    15 October 2013

    This is one of the issues which will be discussed during Switzerland’s first annual Anti-Human Trafficking Week.

  4. © Sajjad Hussain / AFP 2014

    Major new initiative to protect women and girls from modern-day slavery

    15 July 2013

    ILO and DFID team up to combat the trafficking of women and girls in South Asia and the Middle East.

Selected ILO publications

  1. Combating forced labour: A handbook for employers and business
    22 October 2008

    This handbook provides guidance material and tools for employers and business to strengthen their capacity to address the risk of forced labour and human trafficking in their own operations and in global supply chains.

  2. The cost of coercion
    12 May 2009

    Forced labour is the antithesis of decent work. The least protected persons, including women and youth, indigenous peoples, and migrant workers, are particularly vulnerable. Modern forced labour can be eradicated with a sustained commitment and resources.