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Nearly 50 Million People Stuck In Modern Slavery – UN

The United Nations’ International Labour Organisation has revealed that nearly fifty million people are into forced labour on any given day.

The ILO on Monday revealed that forced labour or forced marriage has increased by a fifth in the last few years.

In a study by the UN agencies for labour and migration in collaboration with the Walk Free Foundation, it was found that since the end of last year, more people have been forced to work against their desire and are also forced to marry in opposition to their will.

The report indicated that the numbers mean almost one of every 150 people in the world is into modern slavery.

Modern slavery according to the UN’s definition is used for people who “cannot refuse or cannot leave because of threats, violence, deception, abuse of power or other forms of coercion,”

A 2030 goal had been set to end all forms of modern slavery but a sharp increase in the last five years has pegged such plans backwards.

The adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on economies was identified as one of the reasons for the worsening incidence of modern slavery.

“I think, by and large, that we simply relaxed our efforts. We’ve taken our eye off the ball when it comes to forced labour,” Guy Ryder , ILO Director General told the Reuters.

There are thousands of children being forced into early marriages in Africa while others work on farms and in mines, exposed to chemical and physical dangers while they are paid peanuts for back-breaking laborious jobs.

What has the ILO revealed?

“The number of people in modern slavery has risen significantly in the last five years. 10 million more people were in modern slavery in 2021 compared to 2016 global estimates. Women and children remain disproportionately vulnerable.  

“Modern slavery occurs in almost every country in the world, and cuts across ethnic, cultural and religious lines. More than half (52 per cent) of all forced labour and a quarter of all forced marriages can be found in upper-middle income or high-income countries,” the organisation said in the report.

“Most cases of forced labour (86 per cent) are found in the private sector. Forced labour in sectors other than commercial sexual exploitation accounts for 63 per cent of all forced labour, while forced commercial sexual exploitation represents 23 per cent of all forced labour. Almost four out of five of those in forced commercial sexual exploitation are women or girls.  

“State-imposed forced labour accounts for 14 per cent of people in forced labour.  

“Almost one in eight of all those in forced labour are children (3.3 million). More than half of these are in commercial sexual exploitation.”

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