Picked up on Weitzenegger’s Website for International Development Cooperation, and its Newsletter.
Published on International Labour Organization ILO, 12 May 2009, an ILO Press release.
GENEVA (ILO News) – In a new study on the patterns of forced labour worldwide, the International Labour Office (ILO) says the “opportunity cost” of coercion to the workers affected reaches over USD 20 billion per year.
The report, entitled The Cost of Coercion (Note 1), also details the growing number of unethical, fraudulent and criminal practices that can lead people into situations of forced labour, and calls for increased efforts to eradicate the practices. The report also charts the significant progress on the international and national levels in reducing and preventing forced labour (Note 2), but warns of the possible impact of the global economic and jobs crisis.
“Forced labour is the antithesis of decent work”, said ILO Director-General Juan Somavia. “It causes untold human suffering and steals from its victims. Modern forced labour can be eradicated, providing there is a sustained commitment by the international community, working together with government, employers, workers and civil society” …
… “We must never forget that forced labour is a serious criminal offence that requires criminal punishment” said Roger Plant, head of the ILO’s Special Action Programme to combat Forced Labour. “But we must also remember that forced labour is often poorly defined in national legislation, making it difficult to address the multiple subtle ways in which workers can be denied their freedom. The challenge is to address these problems in an integrated way, through prevention and law enforcement, using both labour and criminal justice”. (full text).