Forced labor in the Philippine capital Manila, a key economic hub and major transit hub for drugs and human trafficking, has been an ongoing problem since the late 1990s.
While some officials in the government have been aware of the problem, other officials have denied it and, despite the mounting pressure on them, have continued to ignore the problem.
A new report published on Wednesday by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) found that the Philippines has the world’s highest number of forced laborers in the country, according to the report, “The Philippines: The World’s Worst Labor Supplier,” released on Wednesday.
It says the Philippine government is responsible for the country’s “high incidence of forced labor and other forms of labor exploitation,” and is responsible “for the horrific conditions” of the forced labor.
The report found that, in the three years between April 2016 and March 2017, the Philippine labor force was forced to work in hazardous and dangerous conditions, including on dangerous ships, at dangerous working locations, and in hazardous conditions with inadequate clothing and equipment.
“These conditions are beyond comprehension,” said Kiyoshi Sugimoto, UNODC Philippines regional director for Asia.
“It is a serious situation and it is totally out of the norm.”
While Sugimoto acknowledged that there is an ongoing investigation into the deaths of some Filipino workers, he said the investigation is still ongoing.
The UNODc’s report comes after the United States in March released a report that called on the Philippines to enact anti-trafficking legislation, including a crackdown on trafficking.
The report noted that the Philippine Labor Department has not yet launched a new anti-labour law, citing a lack of resources and funding.
The Philippines has a population of over 30 million, and has a labor force of nearly 3.4 million people.
The government estimated in 2016 that it had over 6.3 million registered workers.
“The Philippines is one of the top three or four countries that produce the world most dangerous drugs, including methamphetamine,” said Sugimoto.
“This is a very high number.
We are aware of at least 2,000 people who have died because of the drugs and we know that there are many more that have died from other causes.”
According to Sugimoto’s report, the Philippines is home to more than 1.3 billion undocumented migrants.
It is estimated that nearly one million Filipinos are trafficked every year.
The UNOD “is calling on the Philippine authorities to enact laws to prevent trafficking in forced labor, and to address other human rights abuses, including the use of forced and forced-labor inhumane conditions and the forced use of children.”