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21 million people engaged in forced labour globally – ILO

Ryder, who gave the startling statistics in a statement on Friday marking this year’s World Day of Social Justice, insisted that there should be no…

Ryder, who gave the startling statistics in a statement on Friday marking this year’s World Day of Social Justice, insisted that there should be no excuse, that forced labour can be stopped.
“World Day of Social Justice should galvanize action against poverty and social exclusion. Work done in conditions of freedom, equity, security and human dignity – decent work – is a key to inclusion and it is a conduit of social justice.
“Yet the global situation gives cause for grave concern. The economic gap continues to widen, with the richest 10 per cent earning 30 to 40 per cent of total income while the poorest 10 per cent earn between 2 and 7 per cent.
“In 2013, 939 million workers – 26.7 per cent of total employment, were still coping on US$2 a day or less. Millions of young people facing a future of unemployment or working poverty are losing hope in promises of economic and social progress,” Ryder said.
He lamented that women and children are particularly at risk of being abducted and sold into slavery in times of violent conflict, stressing that in some instances, forced labour keeps entire families and communities in abject poverty for generations.
“Ending forced labour calls for integrated approaches. Governments, employers and their organizations, trade unions and civil society organizations, each have a role to play in protecting, defending and empowering those who are vulnerable, as well as creating opportunities for decent work for all,” he said.

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