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Criminals making billions a year from sex trade, slavery

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louis Buyisiwe

Mar 19, 2024

Slavery inmodern times

Gilbert Houngbo, the ILO’s director-general, is calling for global collaboration to combat this heinous practice, emphasizing that forced labor involves various coercive tactics, including the systematic denial of wages. Houngbo points out that the situation has deteriorated further, underscoring the urgent need for action.  Forced labor is defined by the ILO as work performed involuntarily and under threat of penalty. It can occur at any stage of employment, from recruitment to the conditions of work, and even includes situations where individuals are compelled to remain in jobs against their will.
International Labour Organization Director-General Gilbert F. Houngbo attends the opening of the 111th international Labour Conference in Geneva,

The United Nations’ labor division has disclosed a disturbing surge in profits from forced labor, reaching an alarming $236 billion annually. This increase is primarily attributed to the sexual exploitation sector, which not only robs migrants of their hard-earned money but also displaces legitimate workers and facilitates tax evasion.

According to the International Labor Organization (ILO), the 2021 figures show a 37% jump, amounting to an additional $64 billion compared to the previous decade’s estimates. This rise is due to both an uptick in the number of individuals exploited and the higher profits extracted per victim.


The ILO’s report starkly highlights that the $236 billion represents wages unjustly taken from workers through coercion, as well as the loss of potential remittances and tax revenues. The practice of forced labor not only fuels corruption and criminal activities but also perpetuates poverty and undermines human dignity.

Gilbert Houngbo, the ILO’s director-general, is calling for global collaboration to combat this heinous practice, emphasizing that forced labor involves various coercive tactics, including the systematic denial of wages.


Houngbo points out that the situation has deteriorated further, underscoring the urgent need for action.

Forced labor is defined by the ILO as work performed involuntarily and under threat of penalty. It can occur at any stage of employment, from recruitment to the conditions of work, and even includes situations where individuals are compelled to remain in jobs against their will.



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