WASHINGTON – Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh and U.S. Trade Representative, Ambassador Katherine Tai today united with Japan’s Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Nishimura Yasutoshi and its Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare Katsunobu Katō; and the European Commission’s Executive Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis and Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights Nicolas Schmit to issue a joint statement raising their concerns about the finding by the International Labor Organization that the number of people in forced labor globally has increased by three million since 2016.

In its newly released “Global Estimates of Modern Slavery” report, the ILO estimates 28 million people are now in forced labor. The report finds 11.8 million of them are women and 3.3 million are children, that 14 percent of workers are subjected to state-sponsored, forced labor. The remaining 86 percent face other forms of forced labor exploitation and forced sexual exploitation.

Read the joint U.S.-Japan-European Commission statement.

Since 2005, the ILO has periodically published its Global Estimates of Forced Labor report.

The ILO is the only tripartite United Nations agency and, since 1919, the organization has brought governments, employers and workers of 187 member states together to set labor standards, develop policies and devise programs to promote decent work for all women and men.


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