Forced Labor 2024

Thanks to the ILO we have recent data on forced labor across the globe. At the time when the EU struggles to tighten the rules on decent supply chains, it is important to draw attention to the already reversed trend that worldwide forced labor is on the rise again. According to latest report by the ILO 27.6 million women, men and children were in forced labor at any day of the year 2021. This is even about 10% more than 5 years before in 2016. The fact sheet from ILO highlights the region that are practicing it the most but mentions at the same time that no region in the world has completely wiped out this criminal activity. Despite the SDGs containing a goal to eradicate forced labor by 2025 for children there is little hope that this will be reached. Controlling supply chains of the rich countries could be an important factor in identifying the states or companies which built their production model on forced labor. The fight against this practice is an enduring challenge. We cannot allow to shun away from the thorny issue. The price for labor is only one argument in the reasons for the persistence of forced labor, migration is also a force at work. This asks for specific solutions to country-specific or sector-specific problems. It is a global responsibility but needs partnerships across continents to reach better outcomes in the interests of humanity. Some countries like Germany have a historical debt to invest more than others.

ILO recommendations 2024-1