This map shows where slavery and forced labor are happening around the world



Citigroup has a fascinating — and harrowing — report out about modern slavery and child labor. Here is a bit from the summary:

An estimated ~21-30m people are in slavery around the world, including forced labour, bonded labour, human trafficking and child slavery. There are also estimated to be 168m child labourers, including 85m children in hazardous work. Human rights controversies including modern slavery and child labour could be detrimental to shareholder value, through reduced sales or business opportunities, or diversion of management and board resources. …

We would encourage investors to look favourably on companies that become more transparent about occasional instances of child labour, modern slavery and human trafficking discovered within their supply chains, as long as breaches are not widespread, the companies generally have robust programs designed to avoid them, and corrective action plans are implemented to address breaches. Some companies’ codes or supplier policies and some industry initiatives include explicit requirements relating to recruitment fees and/or document retention, to avoid instances of bonded labour/modern slavery – e.g. Apple, Nike, HP, Motorola, and Procter & Gamble.



Follow James Pethokoukis on Twitter at @JimPethokoukis, and AEIdeas at @AEIdeas.

5 thoughts on “This map shows where slavery and forced labor are happening around the world

  1. Which type of labour counts as the “wrong” type for Libertarians? Libertarians would have no problem with child workers, hazardous conditions, etc. because the poor need to do this tedious work if they’re to have a chance to exit poverty.

    • Gil,

      Libertarians have been traditionally for freedom. So what is your logic in suggesting that Libertarians support or accede to do nothing about slavery? Remember, it was Lincoln who argued that the enslavement of some enslaves all.

      The philosophy of Libertarians is liberalism – a word “liberals” should reacquaint themselves with. It is not chaos neither is it collectivism – though its sounds like you might ascribe to one or the other. As for failures to act, how’s the UN doing?

        • ^^It would be good to learn about what’s happening with slave labor and enslaved sex workers before posting an uninformed question like this. Here’s a place to start.

  2. Citi finds no forced labor in China? What about all the Chinese forced labor camps we’ve been given as a reason to choose American over Chinese made products?

    And Citi should be more cautious about lumping any kind of voluntary labor with involuntary labor. Prohibiting involuntary labor likely increases choices for those workers, releasing them to choose among better alternatives. But prohibiting any particular voluntary labor is prohibiting the preferred choice made by those workers, leaving them only choices that they consider less beneficial to them.

    The only humane solution to bad options is better options. Prohibition of the best of bad options is gratuitously cruel.

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