Millions coerced and trapped in jobs they cannot leaveListen / Nearly 21 million people are victims of forced labour across the world, according to the International Labour Organization (ILO).
The Asia-Pacific region accounts for the largest number of forced labourers in the world with 11.7 million people trapped in jobs which they were coerced or deceived into and which they cannot leave.
The agency says that Africa and Latin America have 3.7 million and 1.8 million people trapped in forced labour respectively.
The ILO says there is danger that the number of those in forced labour may be on the rise during the current global economic crisis noting that successful prosecution of individuals who bring such misery to so many remains inadequate.
Guy Ryder is ILO's Executive Director for International Labour Standards.
"The greatest proportion of victims is exploited in the private economy by private actors, either for the purpose of labour or sexual exploitation. In terms of sectoral prevalence of forced labour, it is agriculture, construction, domestic work, and manufacturing which are the most frequently cited. Forced labour affects all population groups – the young, the old, male and female, but it is often the poorest and the most vulnerable which are the victims. Women and girls are more at risk than men and boys."