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Over 30 million people enslaved worldwide today

Based on a report by the International Labor Organization (ILO), there are 29.8 million or more people working as modern-day slaves today.

Statistics revealed that three out of every 1,000 persons worldwide are in forced labor at any given time. Despite the awareness on the issue, it is still rampant because of one reason – it is lucrative. Modern-day slavery is a $150-billion-per-year business.

Here are other findings generated from the ILO report:

  • Adults are more affected than children – 74% (15.4 million) of victims fall in the age group of 18 years and above, whereas children aged 17 years and below represent 26% of the total (or 5.5 million child victims).
  • Women and girls represent the greater share of the total – 11.4 million (55%), as compared to 9.5 million (45%) men and boys.
  • Of total number of 20.9 million in forced labor, 18.7 million (90%) are exploited in private economies, by individuals or enterprises. And out of these, 4.5 million (22%) are victims of forced sexual exploitation, and 14.2 million (68%) are victims of forced labor exploitation in economic activities, such as; agriculture, domestic work, construction, manufacturing… The remaining 2.2 million (10%) are in state-imposed forms of forced labor, for example; in prisons, or in work imposed by the state military or by rebel armed forces.
  • The Asia-Pacific region by far is the largest hotbed for exploited laborers, accounting for 11.7 million (56% of the global total). Africa comes in at number two, accounting for 3.7 million (18%), while another 1.8 million (9%) of exploited laborers are in Latin America, Caribbean. The ‘Developed Economies’ and ‘European Union’ account for 1.5 million (7%), while countries of Central, South-Eastern and Eastern Europe (CSEE) and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) have 1.6 million (7%). An estimated 600,000 exploited workers, meanwhile, are believed to be in the Middle East. These men, women and children are virtually invisible, hidden behind wall of coercion, threat, economic exploitation.
  • Almost 21 million people are victims of forced labour – 11.4 million women and girls and 9.5 million men and boys.
  • Almost 19 million victims are exploited by private individuals or enterprises and over 2 million by the state or rebel groups. Of those exploited by individuals or enterprises, 4.5 million are victims of forced sexual exploitation.
  • Domestic work, agriculture, construction, manufacturing and entertainment are among the sectors most concerned.
  • Migrant workers and indigenous people are particularly vulnerable to forced labour.

The Blas F. Ople Policy Center and Training Institute is against all forms of modern slavery. If you know of cases or victims of human trafficking, please contact us at (02) 833 – 5337 or 0948-808-OPLE (6753). You may also message us on Facebook ( or on Twitter (



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