ILO: Indigenous Forced Labor Widespread in Latin America

United Nations, May 21 (Prensa Latina) Latin America is one of the main regions where indigenous people are the victims of forced labor on a mass scale, according to accusations presented at the UN.

That exploitation exists not only in sugarcane fields and chestnut plantations in Para, Brazil, but also in Amazonian logging camps, according to a report by the International Labor Organization.

Experts say indigenous groups are the most vulnerable to forced and indentured labor, being sold, and other forms of slavery because of longstanding discrimination, marginalization, poverty and other factors.

The report was presented during a meeting of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, in session since Monday in New York.

It is likely that the number of indigenous children working in Latin America is double that of other, non-indigenous minors, the report states.

According to official UN data, 41 percent of African children between five and 14 years old are engaged in some type of economic activity, and in Asia, that figure rises to 60 percent.

Indigenous children are subjected to many of the worst forms of child labor, such as servitude, participation in armed conflicts, and prostitution, the report says.

In case of adults, nearly 12.3 million people are subjected to forced labor, while other estimates raise that figure to 27 million, the report says.

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