The oil trade and the financial service sector are widely considered to be some of the most profitable industries in the world, but modern slavery generates even more profits according to a UN report.
The report by the UN's International Labour Office (ILO), “Profits And Poverty: The Economics of Forced Labor”, found global profits from exploiting a forced labor force of around 20.9 million people worldwide generates $150.2 billion per year.
The report finds global profits from involuntary workers - an estimated 21 million of them - have more than tripled over the past decade from its estimate of at least $44 billion in 2005.
The latest ILO slavery-profit figure – $150.2 billion – can be compared to around $120 billion generated by the global oil trade and $141.3 billion generated by the US financial system each year.
The profits from forced labor are greatest in Asia-Pacific ($51.8bn) and the developed economies and the EU ($46.9bn), where a single victim of forced labor generates $34,800 for those exploiting them each year.
Forced sexual exploitation is the most profitable form of forced labor, generating $99 billion per year around the world, with the average sex slave generating $21,800 per years for their captors.
The report said that coerced sexual exploitation has turned out to be the most profitable of the forced labor businesses.
Forced sexual exploitation is six times more lucrative than all the other forms of modern slavery and five times a better money-spinner than forced labor exploitation outside of domestic work.
The world slavery profit is about $100 billion more than Google's yearly revenue.
According to the report $51 billion came as a result of economic exploitation of people at construction sites, in agricultural fields, mines, domestic care and others.
It says 55 percent of the victims are women and girls, primarily in commercial sexual exploitation and domestic work while men and boys were primarily in forced economic exploitation in agriculture, construction and mining.
The report said that there were, in 2012 alone, 21 million people forced into slavery although the Global Slavery Index has put that figure at 30 million. More than 50 per cent of these slaves (11.4 million) were women and girls and about (5.5 million) 26 per cent children who were less than 18 years old.
Men and boys (9.5 million) comprised 45 per cent of this population.
More astonishing is the fact that it is the developed nations, including the United States and those from the European Union, that are at a close second at $46.9 billion in profits.