Johannesburg: An estimated 21 million workers are in forced labour globally, the United Nations has revealed.
The United Nations` labour agency said forced labour produces illegal profits of 150 billion dollars a year, as it appealed for global eradication of the abuse.
According to news24, the report by the International Labour Organisation offered the agency`s picture of an underground economy built on 21 million workers into forced labour.
The ILO found that nearly two-thirds of the estimated profits, 99 billion dollars, come from sexual exploitation, including prostitution and pornography.
It added that women were most commonly the victims of forced employment in sex-related trades and domestic chores, while men and boys were more commonly exploited in agricultural, mining and construction work, the report said.
The director-general, Guy Ryder, said the report highlights the need `to eradicate this fundamentally evil but hugely profitable practice as soon as possible`.
He said many governments, employers and labour unions all needed to do more to stamp out abusive employment practices, including outright slavery.
The report said the world`s most developed countries, including the entire European Union, accounted for nearly a third of the illegal profits, 46.9 billion dollars.
He added that the rest of the Asia Pacific region generated 51.8 billion dollars.