Forced labour[1] is a serious human rights violation. It refers to all work or service which is exacted from any person under the threat of a penalty and for which the said person has not offered himself or herself voluntarily.

Its definition encompasses “traditional practices of forced labour, such as vestiges of slavery or slave-like practices, and various forms of debt bondage, as well as new forms of forced labour that have emerged in recent decades, such as human trafficking.”[2]

Forced labour is all around us, but most people do not realize it. The latest global estimates produced by the International Labour Organization (ILO) in 2012 [3]indicate that over 21 million men, women and children are victims of forced labour, i.e., 3 out of every 1,000 people worldwide.

In this context, Target 8.7 of the United Nations’ 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), world leaders pledged to: Take immediate and effective measures to eradicate forced labour, end modern slavery and human trafficking and secure the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labour, including recruitment and use of child soldiers, and by 2025 end child labour in all its forms”.

A joint and coordinated effort by governments, employers, workers, and activists around the world can end modern slavery once and for all. (See more)[4]