The Human Cost of Illicit Trade
Among the worst crimes associated with illicit trade is the demand it creates for forced and child labor. The TRACIT report, The Human Cost of Illicit Trade: Exposing demand for forced labor in the dark corners of the economy, studies an overlooked corner of the global economy, namely the incidence of forced labor in illicit market activities. The report shows that women, children and men of all ages and race are forced to labor in illicit sectors, where they are abused by organized criminals in their pursuit of profits.
Occurrences of forced labor are examined in eight sectors where illicit practices are regularly reported. These activities include: (i) counterfeiting of apparel, footwear and luxury goods; (ii) counterfeiting of electronics machinery and equipment; (iii) substandard and falsified medical products; (iv) illegal mining; (v) illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing; (vi) illicit tobacco products; (vii) illegal pesticides; and (viii) illegal timber.
This report shows how organized criminals are using and abusing labor and demonstrates how forced labor intersects with multiple forms of illicit trade. The findings suggest that putting an end to these human rights abuses will only be possible by eradicating illicit trade and the demand for forced labor associated with it.
Launch event: Roundtable discussion on the human cost of illicit trade
The report "The Human Cost of Illicit Trade: Exposing demand for forced labor in the dark corners of the economy" was launched at virtual panel discussion on 2 December 2021.
Panelists discussed the findings and shared insights on how fighting illicit trade can help Nations mitigate human rights abuses.