Forced Labour

Forced labour is the act of ‘forcing’ someone to work or carry out certain deeds against their will (involuntarily) by using punishments or threats through physical or psychological means.The International Labour Organisation (ILO) adds, “It refers to situations in which persons are coerced to work through the use of violence or intimidation, or by more subtle means such as manipulated debt, retention of identity papers or threats of denunciation to immigration authorities.” Forced labour is common in the following industries / sectors of employment:

  • Domestic Work
  • Building and construction
  • Mining
  • Fishing
  • Agricultural Farming 
  • Illegal activities such as drug planting and selling
  • Market Trading
  • Other manual labour such as car washing, working in nail salons or in massage parlours.

Demographic from the International Labour Organisation (ILO), ‘Global Estimates of Slavery’.

We could be encountering victims of forced labour every single day. The builders renovating a house, people washing our cars, the workers in the Vietnamese nail bar, the live-in housekeeper a neighbour has or the cleaners who clean our schools, universities and places of work – these are all people that we encounter daily, that could be victims of forced labour. Even the agricultural, fashion, technological and beauty goods we consume could have been produced using forced labour in their supply chains. Slavery is happening closer than you think.