EU Anti-trafficking Day seeks to end 'modern-day slavery'Listen /
European countries are highlighting the scourge of forced labour this Friday, which they have declared EU Anti-trafficking Day.
The International Labour Organization (ILO) says victims often work in hidden or remote places such as private homes, sweatshops, nightclubs or agriculture fields, in the formal and informal sectors.
Patrick Moser reports from the ILO in Geneva.
Around the world, almost 21 million people are trapped in forced labour – deceived, deprived of their liberty and exploited. Raising awareness about what is often called modern-day slavery is crucial to eradicating it.
In the European Union alone, about 880,000 people are in forced labour, according to ILO estimates. That's 1.8 in every 1,000 persons.
The victims are often among the most vulnerable population groups, says Aurélie Hauchère Vuong of the ILO's Special Action Programme against Forced Labour.
"Victims are frequently drawn from minority or socially excluded groups, many are migrants in search of work. Workers may end in forced labour because they have been deceived about their working conditions, because they are trapped in a vicious cycle of debt, or because their identity papers have been confiscated." (19″)
The ILO believes forced labour can be eradicated. But the fight needs to be stepped up to reach this goal in the near future.
Patrick Moser at the ILO.