Business and Economy

617,503 Nigerians were subjected to forced labor in 2022

Based on the most recent labor survey conducted by the NBS, a total of 617,503 individuals were found to be victims of forced labor in their current employment in 2022. This equates to a prevalence rate of 5.2 per 1000 individuals. When broken down by gender, 451,300 of the victims were male while 166,203 were female, indicating a higher susceptibility of men to forced labor compared to women.

In terms of age distribution, 191,418 individuals were in the 18-29 age group, 317,052 were in the 30-49 age group, and 99,391 were above 50 years old. Urban areas exhibited a higher prevalence rate of 6.0% compared to 4.7% in rural areas, with 270,546 individuals affected in urban regions and 346,958 in rural areas.

The report also revealed that 29.7% of survey participants were coerced to work with limited freedom to terminate their contracts, 26.9% were forced to work longer hours without consent, 7.5% were made to work for different employers without agreement, 6.1% were assigned roles different from what was initially agreed upon, 5.1% received wages below the agreed amount, and 4.1% were placed in jobs by a third party without consent.

Among various industries, the services sector had the highest percentage of forced labor at 36.9%, followed by agriculture (36.2%), manufacturing (17.1%), construction (4.8%), mining and quarrying (2.8%), and domestic work (1.7%). To rectify these labor market imbalances, the government must enforce stricter compliance with anti-forced labor regulations, conduct regular labor inspections, and raise awareness about workers’ rights.

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