Wednesday, May 11, 2005

12.3 million forced laborers

Press Release from the International Labor Organization

GENEVA (ILO News) - At least 12.3 million people are trapped in forced labour around the world, the International Labour Organization (ILO) said in a new study released today. ILO Director-General Juan Somavia called forced labour "a social evil which has no place in the modern world".

The new report, entitled "A global alliance against forced labour" (Note 1), says that nearly 10 million people are exploited through forced labour in the private economy, rather than imposed directly by states. Of these, the study estimates a minimum of 2.4 million to be victims of human trafficking.

The report also provides the first global estimate of the profits generated by the exploitation of trafficked women, children and men - US$ 32 billion each year, or an average of US$ 13,000 from every single trafficked forced labourer.

"Forced labour represents the underside of globalization and denies people their basic rights and dignity", Mr. Somavia said. "To achieve a fair globalization and decent work for all, it is imperative to eradicate forced labour."

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