Informal Sector

Little is known about human trafficking and labour exploitation in the informal sector. Businesses at high-risk are for example nail and hair salons, where predominantly women from Vietnam, China and South Korea are forced to work extensive hours for no or little wage at all. The workers’ health is also at risk as they are constantly exposed to harsh chemicals without wearing proper protective clothing.

Image: Pushkar, street vendor by Arian Zwegers, posted on flickr, licensed under CC BY 2.0

Stacked Odds – How Lifelong Inequity Shapes Women and Girls’ Experience of Modern Slavery
Publications
11 October 2020

One in every 130 females globally is living in modern slavery. In fact, women and girls account for nearly three quarters (71 per cent) of all victims of modern slavery. Although modern slavery affects everyone, there is no escaping the...

Briefing: Measuring Deterrence for Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children in Maharashtra
Publications
09 June 2020

India remains a major hotspot for commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC), a crime that is becoming increasingly hidden. Prevalence data is challenging to obtain and estimates are speculative; several entities have sized the population of victims in India between...

‘Easy to Borrow, Hard to Repay’ Credit and Debt in Ho Chi Minh City’s Sex Industry
Publications
31 May 2020

This study examines the inner workings of credit and debt in the sex industry in Ho Chi Minh City, the megalopolis of Southern Vietnam. It argues that credit is widely available to financially excluded sex workers, but that this availability...

COVID-19: Access Challenges and the Implications of Border Restrictions
COVID-19 resourcesPublications
09 May 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has required States to implement exceptional measures to curb the spread of the virus and to protect public health. While border restrictions or closure may be justified, exceptions are needed to safeguard basic rights, including for refugees,...

Exposing the Hidden Victims of COVID-19
COVID-19 resourcesGuidancePublications
01 May 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic is exposing just how fragile the protection and prevention framework on modern slavery is, despite progress in recent years resulting from a new focus, marked particularly by a drive toward national anti-slavery legislation. We draw on assessment...

No Worker Left Behind: Protecting Vulnerable Workers from Exploitation During and After the COVID-19 Pandemic
COVID-19 resourcesPublications
01 April 2020

This briefing builds on the understanding that labour exploitation is part of a spectrum ranging from labour compliance through to labour law violations, culminating at extreme exploitation in the form of forced labour. Research by FLEX and others shows that...

See all Publications