50 million people are forced into modern forms of slavery every day. Their number has risen sharply over the past five years, by nearly ten million people. The most common form was forced labor, including prostitution, which affected 28 million people. Another 22 million people live in forced marriage, including child marriage. This was stated by the International Labor Organization (ILO) in a report published on Monday.
The increase in the number of victims of slavery in recent years is primarily due to armed conflicts, climate change and the global epidemic of COVID-19. These factors have plunged many people into extreme poverty or forced them to migrate.
Modern slavery affects women and children more than their share of the world’s population. People who travel for work are also at risk, whether they are illegal immigrants or people who have been scammed trying to find work abroad.
“It is appalling that the situation in the field of modern slavery has not improved. Nothing can justify the continuation of this fundamental violation of human rights,” said Guy Ryder, Director-General of the International Labor Organization. We know what needs to be done and we know it can be done…but governments cannot do it alone,” he said, adding that the involvement of trade unions, civil society and ordinary people must be.
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The private sector is responsible for the vast majority of forced labor, but 14 percent, according to an ILO report, is shared by countries as well. Nearly a quarter of enslaved people are forced into prostitution, and in 80 percent of these cases are women and girls.
Last year, 22 million people lived in forced marriages, which is 6.6 million more than in 2016. However, marriages, especially among children under 16, are probably more common than would have been identified, the report admits. International Labour Organization.
Families are responsible for 85 percent of forced marriages, two-thirds of which take place in Asia and the Pacific. If the ratio to the population is taken into account, then forced marriage is the most common in Arab countries.
The International Organization for Migration and Walk Free Against Trafficking in Persons also contributed to the report.