Together Against Trafficking in Human Beings

ILO 2012 Global estimate of forced labour

ILO 2012 Global estimate of forced labour

On the 1st of June 2012 the new ILO Global estimate of forced labour has been launched.

According to the report 20.9 million women, men and children are suffering in forced labour.

The head of the ILO’s Special Action Programme to Combat Forced Labour, Beate Andrees, says that ILO has made good progress ensuring most countries now have legislation which criminalises forced labour, human trafficking and slavery-like practices. Attention should now turn to better identification and prosecution of forced labour and related offences such as human trafficking.

Some highlights of the report:

  • Three out of every 1,000 people worldwide are in forced labour today.
  • 18.7 million (90 %) are exploited in the private economy, by individuals or enterprises. Of these, 4.5 million (22 per cent) are victims of forced sexual exploitation and 14.2 million (68 per cent) are victims of forced labour exploitation in economic activities, such as agriculture, construction, domestic work or manufacturing.
  • 2.2 million (10%) are in state-imposed forms of forced labour, for example in prisons, or in work imposed by the state military or by rebel armed forces which contravene ILO standards on the subject.
  • 5.5 million (26 %) are below 18 years.
  • The number of victims per thousand inhabitants is highest in the central and south-eastern Europe and Africa regions at 4.2 and 4.0 per 1,000 inhabitants respectively.


International Labour Organization 2012, 48 pages

Publication Date
Monday, 4 June, 2012
Section Publications
Year 2012
Means acts purpose Labour exploitation