Trafficked people are held against their will through acts of coercion, and forced to work for or provide services to the trafficker or others.
According to the International Labor Organization (ILO), forced labor alone (one component of human trafficking) generates an estimated $150 billion in profits per annum as of 2014. In 2012, the ILO estimated that 21 million victims are trapped in modern-day slavery. Of these, 14.2 million (68%) were exploited for labor, 4.5 million (22%) were sexually exploited, and 2.2 million (10%) were exploited in state-imposed forced labor. The International Labour Organization has reported that child workers, minorities, and irregular migrants are at considerable risk of more extreme forms of exploitation. Statistics shows that over half of the world's 215 million young workers are observed to be in hazardous sectors, including forced sex work and forced street begging. Ethnic minorities and highly marginalized groups of people are highly estimated to work in some of the most exploitative and damaging sectors, such as leather tanning, mining, and stone quarry work.
Human trafficking is the third largest crime industry in the world, behind drug dealing and arms trafficking, and is the fastest-growing activity of trans-national criminal organizations. Human trafficking is condemned as a violation of human rights by international conventions. In addition, human trafficking is subject to a directive in the European Union. According to the 2018 and 2019 editions of the annual Trafficking in Persons Reports issued by the U.S. State Department: Belarus, Iran, Russia, and Turkmenistan remain among the worst countries when it comes to providing protection against human trafficking and forced labor.