Publication Labour / Unions - Globalization - War / Peace - Migration / Flight The Atlas of Enslavement

Facts and figures about forced labour and exploitation







December 2021

Ordering advice

Only available online

Related Files

We can put a stop to modern slavery, and prevent it in the future!

The word “slavery” conjures up images of people in chains being forced onto ships in Africa and transported across the globe. We rarely think of slavery as having anything to do with the modern world and its living and working conditions. Slavery has indeed been abolished as a legal form of labour worldwide. Article 4 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights states: “No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.”

But it would be wrong to assume that slavery no longer exists today. Indeed, in absolute numbers, more people are enslaved now than at any time in history. The International Labour Organization of the United Nations speaks of “modern slavery” and estimates that at least 40 million people are currently subject to it.

This atlas aims to raise awareness of this widely ignored phenomenon. We show that the persistence of this inhumane practice is a global problem. The 2020 Global Report on Trafficking in Persons by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) concludes that people in no country in the world are immune from the crime of slavery. Based on the data collected for this Global Report, UNODC was able to document a total of 534 different routes used for human trafficking. More than 120 countries reported having detected trafficked persons from over 140 different countries of origin. In addition, national authorities probably do not recognize some routes, in part because many people are already enslaved while they are in their home countries.

The french edition can also be ordered as a brochure:

Atlas des Esclavages
Faits et chiffres sur le travail forcé

Commandez ici

The Atlas of Enslavement: Facts and Figures about Forced Labor and Exploitation


On the occasion of the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery, this new Atlas provides an in-depth analysis of the inhumane "enslavement market" in 25 articles and more than 50 graphics for a better understanding of the gravity of the situation.

The Atlas can be downloaded as a PDF or ordered as a printed brochure here.