Skip to content
What is modern slavery?

Forced labour

Forced labour involves adults and children working against their will under threat of penalty.

Forced labour is any work that is done under duress, involuntarily and under the threat of penalty. Victims of forced labour are often coerced into work through violence or intimidation, or through debt, retention of identity papers or threats of being revealed to immigration authorities.

There are 27.6 million people in situations of forced labour on any given day, with women and girls making up 11.8 million of them. More than 3.3 million of all those in forced labour are children.

More than half of all forced labour takes place in either upper-middle income or high-income countries. Most forced labour occurs in the private economy, in sectors like manufacturing, construction, agriculture, hospitality and domestic work. It can also be state-imposed.

Our impact

We are a catalyst in the global effort to end modern slavery. We measure what works, we learn from our results, and we share our knowledge.