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Forced Labor and Human Trafficking

October 9, 2019

The Financial Sector Commission on Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking released a report in September 2019 that estimated there were 40.3 million people in modern slavery or victims of human trafficking in 2016, generating $150 billion a year for their perpetrators. SDG 8.7 calls on UN member nations to end modern slavery and human trafficking by 2030.

The FAST Imitative (www.fastinitiative.org) listed five goals: compliance with laws, knowing and publicizing modern slavery and human trafficking risks, reducing such risks, assisting victims, and investing in prevention. Achieving these goals requires more data, especially indicators that suggest the prevalence of modern slavery and human trafficking.

More important, achieving these goals requires faster development that creates decent jobs and gives individuals who may otherwise be enslaved or trafficked better options.

Almost 25 million people were believed to be in forced labor in 2016, including two-thirds who were employed by private-sector actors. There is no universal definition of forced labor, which can include debt peonage, as when workers are forced to work to pay off recruitment debts or charges they incur while working for housing and food.

The ILO estimated 40.3 million people in modern slavery or victims of human trafficking in 2016


Source: FAST. 2019. Unlocking Potential: A Blueprint for Mobilizing Finance Against Slavery and Trafficking.

Some 25 million people were in forced labor in 2016, including two-thirds in the private sector


Source: FAST. 2019. Unlocking Potential: A Blueprint for Mobilizing Finance Against Slavery and Trafficking.