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Forced Labour Slavery

Over 28 million people worldwide are trapped in forced labour slavery - a form of modern slavery.

How many people are in forced labour slavery?

50 million people were living in modern slavery in 2021, according to the latest Global Estimates of Modern Slavery. Of these people, 28 million were in forced labour and 22 million were trapped in forced marriage.

What is forced labour slavery?

Forced labour slavery uses deception, threats or violence to coerce someone to work for little to no pay. Although slavery has been outlawed in nearly every country, millions of men, women and children are trapped in slavery in brick kilns, rice mills, garment factories, fishing operations and many other industries.

What does forced labour slavery look like?

Forced labour slavery is a violent crime. Physical and sexual assault are rampant. In many cases, IJM has documented people trapped in forced labour who have been beaten, gang raped, locked in tiny rooms, starved and even killed.

Victims who try and escape commonly report being tracked down, beaten and returned to the facility. But many victims of slavery don’t try to run away because owners use fear and deception that traps them more strongly than physical locks and walls.

Aung* was forced to work without pay for more than 12 hours a day – even when he was unwell.

16-year-old Aung was trafficked to work on a fishing raft in Myanmar's growing fishing industry. He never received any wages. Some nights, he only got two hours of sleep. Aung was terrified he would never see his family again.

But this was not the end of Aung’s story.

In partnership with the local Anti-Trafficking Task Force, police authorities brought Aung to safety.

“I’m thankful to have my son back. We don’t want other parents to go through the same feelings we had when our child disappeared,” said Aung’s mother.

A local NGO contacted IJM Myanmar for legal and aftercare support. Aung received counselling at a local shelter. He's now back in school and like many teenagers, he dreams of becoming a footballer.

IJM combats forced labour slavery in Cambodia, Myanmar, Indonesia, Ghana, South Asia, and Thailand.

How does IJM stop forced labour slavery?

How does IJM work?

Protect more people like Aung from trafficking and modern slavery today

Learn more abour forced labour slavery

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