K4D Helpdesk Report

Modern Slavery in the DRC

Published on 2 March 2017

‘Modern slavery’ encompasses a variety of situations in which one person is forcibly controlled by one or more others for the purpose of exploitation. ‘Forced or compulsory labour’ is defined by the ILO Forced Labour Convention as ‘all work or service which is exacted from any person under the menace of any penalty and for which the said person has not offered himself voluntarily’.

The Global Slavery Index (GSI) estimates for 2016 that there are 45.8 million people in some form of modern slavery. In the case of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the GSI 2016 reports that the estimated number of people living in modern slavery is 873,100 (rank 9 of 167 countries). These estimates of prevalence are derived from a 2010 survey, published in JAMA, focused on sexual violence and other human rights violations in the conflict-affected North and South Kivu provinces and in Ituri. Drawing from this representative sample, ratios were adjusted to other parts of the country to reflect lower levels of conflict, in addition to any other necessary adjustments (K.B., expert comments).

Cite this publication

Haider, H. (2017). Modern slavery in the DRC (K4D Helpdesk Research Report series). Brighton, UK: Institute of Development Studies.

Publication details

published by
Institute of Development Studies
Haider, Huma


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