RINF Alternative News
A report published by the UN’s International Labor Organization has made shocking revelations, claiming that in 2012, modern-day slaves worldwide brought in a profit of more than $150 billion for their masters. The figure is nine billion more than the estimated annual profit of the entire U.S. banking system at $141.3 billion and about $100 billion more than Google’s yearly revenue.
According to the ILO’s report headlined “Profits And Poverty: The Economics of Forced Labor”, $99 billion of this slave money came from sexual exploitation of poor people, mostly women and girls while the remaining $51 billion came as a result of economic exploitation of people at construction sites, in agricultural fields, mines, domestic care and others.
The report said that there were, in 2012 alone, 21 million people forced into slavery although the Global Slavery Index has put that figure at 30 million. More than 50 per cent of these slaves (11.4 million) were women and girls and about (5.5 million) 26 per cent children who were less than 18 years old.
Men and boys (9.5 million) comprised 45 per cent of these population. It isn’t surprising to see Asia-Pacific, reigned by developing countries making the most profit from forced labor at $51.8 billion.
However, more astonishing is the fact that it is the developed nations, including the United States and those from the European Union, that are at a close second at $46.9 billion in profits. Ironically, the publication of this report was possible owing to the generous contributions of the Government of Ireland (Irish Aid) that provides core funding to the Special Action Program to combat Forced Labor (SAP-FL).
The report also said that the U.S. Department of Labor and the UK Department for International Development (DFID) provided funding for the implementation of surveys. The report further said that the SAP-FL, since its establishment in 2001, has robustly focused on research and statistics in a bid to elevate global understanding about forced labor and related practices, including human trafficking and other forms of involuntary, coercive work.
Among the main objectives of this report was to highlight how forced labor grows in the incubator of poverty and vulnerability, low levels of education and literacy, migration and other factors. The report said that coerced sexual exploitation has turned out to be the most profitable of the forced labor businesses.
With a global average profit of $21, 800 a year accrued from each victim, this business is six times more lucrative than all the other forms of modern slavery and five times a better money-spinner than forced labor exploitation outside of domestic work.
The ILO has been working tirelessly for decades to ensure complete implementation of its four principles: freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining; the elimination of all forms of forced or compulsory labor; the effective abolition of child labor and the elimination of discrimination in respect to employment and occupation. It had published the first global estimate report on forced labor in 2005.
This report has also urged governments, workers, employers and other stakeholders to join forces and end forced labor. The International Labor Conference is scheduled to be held next month.