New global estimates

Profits and poverty: The economics of forced labour

This report provides new estimates of the profits generated from forced labour and assesses how profits have changed since the last ILO estimates were published in 2014.

This report estimates the profits generated from forced labour in the world today. These profits reflect the wages effectively stolen from the pockets of workers by the perpetrators of forced labour through their coercive practices. Understanding and addressing these illicit profits is critical to achieve progress in the fight against forced labour.

28 million people were trapped in forced labour on any given day in 2021. Forced labour is a criminal offence and a serious violation of fundamental human rights. Beyond the individual consequences for the victims, forced labour comes with economic and social costs for the entire society. This ILO report, which is funded by the government of France, will shed light on the link between forced labour and the economic incentive structures driving it.