The International Labour Organization’s (ILO) Global Business Network on Forced Labour (GBNFL) brings together the ILO with businesses of all sizes and sectors, and their networks, from around the globe to eradicate forced labour. Operating across all sectors, and geographies, ILO GBNFL members work to engage smaller enterprises, develop actionable resources and tools, and devise local solutions that help shape national frameworks to create lasting change.
In 2016 there were an estimated 25 million people in forced labour globally. Of these 16 million were thought to be women and girls and 4.3 million children. The COVID-19 crisis is likely to have worsened the situation by exacerbating root causes of forced labour, such as poverty, discrimination, and lack of access to social protection.
Forced labour is present in every region in the world. Migrant workers, estimated by the ILO to number 169 million worldwide, are among those particularly at risk of becoming victims. Businesses are serious about eradicating forced labour, as demonstrated by the extensive number of initiatives. But the task is huge and new forms of collaboration are needed.
Target 8.7 of the United Nations’ (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), adopted by all UN Member States, aims to eradicate forced labour by 2030. To turn this vision into reality, businesses and others need a collective and inclusive approach at global and country levels that ensures lasting impact.
A global business network
ILO GBNFL is a global business network coordinated by the ILO. This UN agency brings together governments, employers and workers to set international labour standards, develop policies and devise programmes promoting decent work. The network opened for membership in 2018.
ILO GBNFL reaches across sectors and geographies to advance the business case for an end to forced labour. The network is aligned with, and contributes to, other relevant international initiatives, in particular Alliance 8.7, the global partnership working to deliver on SDG Target 8.
ILO GBNFL key focus areas
Connect - Break silos by linking up business actors from across sectors and geographies to eradicate forced labour.
Convene - Support businesses to engage with other relevant stakeholders, including government bodies, to find sustainable solutions to the structural drivers of forced labour.
Innovate - Create spaces where members identify gaps, develop new ways of tackling forced labour, and devise methods to scale up solutions.
Support - Share clear-cut data, information and resources to help busy businesses take steps to tackle forced labour.
ILO GBNFL members are businesses of all sizes and sectors, as well as employer and business membership organizations including industry trade groups and sectoral associations. Other business-led initiatives with complementary mandates and expertise can join as partners. By joining the ILO GBNFL members are called on to:
Eradicate. Take concrete steps to eradicate forced labour in all its forms in their organizations, supply chains, member organizations, sectors and beyond.
Advocate for a comprehensive and coordinated response to forced labour, including in dealings with government bodies
Uphold the principles of inclusivity and collaboration when working with other stakeholders to end forced labour.