The Nation of 700 Million Jobless and Slaves

Human Wrongs Watch

If added together, there would be a nation of nearly 700 million people—the third most populated one on Earth after China and India. Its population is made of over 210 million jobless, 215 million children obliged to work; 21 million victims of forced labor, and 228 million working poor youth living on less than the equivalent of US$ 2 per day.

*An unemployed youth. Photo: ILO

These are the key figures that appear in recent reports elaborated by the International Labor Organization (ILO), which also alerts that up to 40 per cent of the jobless worldwide are young people.

There will be nearly 75 million unemployed youth aged 15 to 24 in 2012, an increase of nearly 4 million since 2007. The youth unemployment crisis can be beaten but only if job creation for young people becomes a key priority in policy-making, ILO informs.

“The world is facing a worsening youth employment crisis: young people are three times more likely to be unemployed than adults and over 75 million youth worldwide are looking for work.”

A Scarred Generation of Young Workers

The ILO has warned world.–en/index.htm of a “scarred” generation of young workers facing a dangerous mix of high unemployment, increased inactivity and precarious work in developed countries, as well as persistently high working poverty in the developing countries.

As if this were not enough, ILO reports–en/index.htm that today, throughout the world, around 215 million children work, many full-time.

“They do not go to school and have little or no time to play. Many do not receive proper nutrition or care. They are denied the chance to be children.”

The Worst Forms of Child Labour

More than half of them are exposed to the worst forms of child labour such as work in hazardous environments, slavery, or other forms of forced labour, illicit activities including drug trafficking and prostitution, as well as involvement in armed conflict.
21 Million Victims of Forced Labour
Nearly 21 million people are victims of forced labour across the world, trapped in jobs which they were coerced or deceived into and which they cannot leave, according to the ILO’s new global estimate.

The Largest Number in Asia-Pacific

“The Asia-Pacific region accounts for the largest number of forced labourers in the world – 11.7 million (56 per cent) of the global total, followed by Africa at 3.7 million (18 per cent) and Latin America with 1.8 million victims (9 per cent).
Victims of forced labour by region.”

Forced Labour in Numbers

According to new ILO estimates, three out of every 1,000 people worldwide are in forced labour today.

  • 18.7 million (90 %) are exploited in the private economy, by individuals or enterprises.
  • Of these, 4.5 million (22 per cent) are victims of forced sexual exploitation and 14.2 million (68 per cent) are victims of forced labour exploitation in economic activities, such as agriculture, construction, domestic work or manufacturing.
  • 2.2 million (10%) are in state-imposed forms of forced labour, for example in prisons, or in work imposed by the state military or by rebel armed forces.
  • 5.5 million (26 %) are below 18 years.
Highest in the Central and Oouth-eastern Europe and Africa

The number of victims per thousand inhabitants is highest in the central and south-eastern Europe and Africa regions at 4.2 and 4.0 per 1,000 inhabitants respectively. It is the lowest in the Developed Economies and European Union at 1.5 per 1,000 inhabitants, says ILO.

The relatively high prevalence in central and south-eastern Europe and Commonwealth of Independent States can be explained by the fact that the population is much lower than for example in Asia and at the same time reports of trafficking for labour and sexual exploitation and of state-imposed forced labour in the region are numerous.

Industrialized Countries… and the Middle East

The Developed Economies and European Union have 1.5 million (7 per cent) forced labourers.

Central and south-eastern European countries, and the Commonwealth of Independent States account for 1.6 million (7 per cent).

There are an estimated 600,000 (3 per cent) victims in the Middle East.

9.1 million victims (44 %) who have moved either internally or internationally. The majority, 11.8 million (56 %), are subjected to forced labour in their place of origin or residence. Cross-border movement is heavily associated with forced sexual exploitation.

*An unemployed youth. Photo: ILO

Read also:

130 Million People Seeking Job? Try Again in Two, Three, Four Years …

U.S. – Largest Corporations Post Record Profits Amid Mass Unemployment

Spain – Economic and Social Crisis “of Huge Proportions”

Child Labour Returns to Europe

Over 100 Million Children, In Hazardous Work

World Youth: No Jobs, No Education; Big Frustration, Scare

Millions of Urban Children at High Risk of Violence, Exploitation and Trafficking

Mr. Ban Has a Dream: That Big Business Will Fight Against Modern Slavery!

Financial Trafficking in Millions of Citizens Is Not ‘Illicit’!

New Brand of Slavery Surfaces in America

2.4 Million Victims of Human Trafficking At Any Given Time Across the Globe

Lesotho: ‘Traffickers Prey on Desperate Job Seekers’

Who Dares to Challenge a 32 Billion Dollars Business – Human Trafficking? 

2012 Human Wrongs Watch

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