forced labor


: very hard physical work that someone is forced to do
The prisoners endured years of forced labor.
: a group of people who are made to work very hard for no money
also : a system that allows this
The railroad was built with/by forced labor.

Examples of forced labor in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The complaint accuses Ye, Yeezy and the rapper’s former chief of staff, Milo Yiannopoulos, of fostering a toxic workplace characterized by racial discrimination, forced labor and a failure to pay employees for their work. Alexandra Del Rosario, Los Angeles Times, 3 July 2024 As an exhibition at the Autry Museum explains, Indigenous communities faced violence and forced labor in the missions along El Camino Real, a route connecting the many Spanish settlements. Anne Wallentine, Smithsonian Magazine, 17 June 2024 The Wilberforce Act covers physical abuse and peonage, which is forced labor. Judy L. Thomas, Kansas City Star, 6 June 2024 Washington and its allies can trace and expose the supply chains behind products made with North Korean forced labor and ban them from being sold in their borders. Sue Mi Terry, Foreign Affairs, 16 May 2024 Both companies have published codes of conduct prohibiting suppliers and business partners from using child and forced labor. Qadri Inzamam Saumya Khandelwal, New York Times, 24 Mar. 2024 That would include companies that partner with the Chinese military or have ties to forced labor in China’s Xinjiang region. Erin Griffith, New York Times, 8 Feb. 2024 The system tracks vessels that carry a box that sends out radio signals, and the data has been used in the past to document overfishing and forced labor on vessels. Justine Calma, The Verge, 3 Jan. 2024 In these scenes, a girl goes on solitary and secretive routines of gathering (seemingly where bodies are buried) and of depositing (of apples beside shovels where inmates likely do forced labor). Richard Brody, The New Yorker, 14 Dec. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'forced labor.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Dictionary Entries Near forced labor

Cite this Entry

“Forced labor.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jul. 2024.

Legal Definition

forced labor

: the act of providing or obtaining the labor of a person by use of or threat of force, physical restraint, serious harm (as physical, psychological, financial, or reputational), or abuse of legal process
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