A testimony by Marc, a young man from the UK forced to perform hard physical labour in construction.
According to latest reports, forced labour is the most widespread type of modern slavery in Europe and Central Asia. In western Europe, Portugal had the highest prevalence (2.5 victims per 1,000 residents), but Italy had the largest estimated overall number of victims (145,000). Forced labor, human trafficking, and forced marriage are just a few examples of modern slavery.
STOCKHOLM SEPTEMBER 2022: According to latest reports gathered since 2019, forced labour is the most widespread type of modern slavery in Europe and Central Asia. In both regions, which were combined into one in the report, the rate of forced labor (3.6 per 1,000 persons) was higher than the rate of forced marriage (0.4 per 1,000 people). The Walk Free Foundation’s report is hailed as the most thorough study yet conducted on modern slavery.
What Is Forced Labour?
Work that is done involuntarily and under threat of punishment is known as forced labor. It describes circumstances in which individuals are forced to work by the use of force or intimidation, as well as more subtle methods including manipulation of debt, holding onto identity documents, or threats of reporting the individual to immigration officials.
Both Forced Labor Conventions have been ratified almost universally, which means that practically all nations are legally required to abide by their terms and to report on them on a regular basis to the ILO’s standards supervisory authorities. Being free from forced labor is a fundamental human right, and regardless of ratification, all ILO member states are required to uphold this principle.
Governments, employers, and employees made the decision to redouble their efforts in the fight against forced labor, including human trafficking and slavery-like practices, in June 2014 at the ILO International Labour Conference (ILC).
In the European continent, Belarus and North Macedonia have the greatest rates of modern slavery per capita, while Russia, Turkey, and Ukraine have the highest absolute rates and are responsible for more than one-third (39%) of the victims in the area.
In general, modern slavery rates are rising in the eastern European nations.
In western Europe, Portugal had the highest prevalence (2.5 victims per 1,000 residents), but Italy had the largest estimated overall number of victims (145,000).
Forced labor, human trafficking, and forced marriage are just a few examples of modern slavery. The latter type of contemporary slavery is less prevalent in Europe than forced labor and human trafficking, which are both manifestations of it. As forced labor typically happens immediately after someone becomes a victim of trafficking, they typically go hand in hand.
The Statistics Of Modern Slavery Within Europe
The statistics for EU Member States are split into two categories in the UNODC report. 11,839 victims were found in Western and Southern Europe in 2018. The majority of them were not citizens of the nation in which they were held captive, and 44% of them were sexually exploited while 32% were forced to work. The remaining portion is subjected to abusive begging or other forms of servitude.
1,732 victims were found in Central and South-Eastern Europe in 2018, which is much fewer than the figures for other regions. There are many possible answers, including government reactions to human trafficking.
Last but not least, the most recent Report of the EU Commission on the developments in the fight against human trafficking reveals that 49% of victims are EU citizens, and 34% of victims were trafficked within their own EU Member State. The majority of Europe’s most fragile citizens are from Romania, Hungary, the Netherlands, Poland, and Bulgaria. Other statistics emphasize the victims’ vulnerability, showing that women and girls make up the vast majority of victims (72%), while children make up one in four victims of trafficking (22%).
How Victims Are Deceived And Controlled?
There are many distinct types of forced labor. Victims are frequently forced into low-paying occupations that they are unable to leave because they have been duped into incurring debt or had their identity documents taken away. Some of the variables that increase a worker’s vulnerability to forced labor include poverty, illiteracy, discrimination, and migration.
Coercion is frequently used in subtle and difficult-to-detect ways. The most typical method of “recruitment” for forced labor is deception. One of the categories most susceptible to being subjected to forced labor is economic migrants. The chances of someone moving abroad in search of employment are quite low.
The only source of employment information for migrants may be third-party recruiters, who frequently operate illegally or questionably. They may lie about the nature of the jobs and the working conditions with ease because of this.
In Which Industries Does Slave Labour Occurs
Imagine arriving at work in the belief that it would be a typical day. Your desk is covered in homework, so you get ready for a long day. Then all of a sudden, your manager walks by your office and says that you won’t be being paid for your work anymore.
How would you respond? You might choose to give up. After all, if you aren’t getting compensated for your job, what good is it?
What if your manager said in response, “You can’t quit,” because you are the property of the corporation and that it has the power to decide whether you are allowed to do so?
Real life doesn’t work like this, right? Wrong! Similar situations are occurring in several industries in the United States and around the world. Everywhere it impacts men, women, and kids. The most vulnerable people are also the ones who are most likely to be the targets of human trafficking. Anyone who is targeted runs the risk of getting caught in a cycle that makes them perform work without the proper pay. They work long hours without union protection, and those who exploit them frequently do so.
Around 24 million people who are trafficked for their labour are held as slaves and employed in low-wage jobs. According to estimates from the International Labour Organization (ILO) in 2016, there are 40.3 million slaves in the globe. Therefore, a little over half of all those who are trapped in modern slavery are actually victims of labour trafficking. There are several cases of forced labour in the manufacturing industry, household work, clubs, hospital arenas, and agriculture.
Featured Image: ILO/A.Khemka