A new report compiled by several organisations estimates that more than 40 million people were living in conditions of slavery in 2016.
The number includes around 25 million forced labourers, and 15 million people living in forced marriages. But the number of people in slavery is probably even higher than these figures show, according to the International Labour Organisation,
The International Organisation for Migration and the Human Rights Group,the ‘Walk Free Foundation’, compiled the joint study.
About a quarter of the forced workers are found in private households, but they also work in factories, and on construction sites, farms and fishing boats.
More than half are in debt to those who hold them trapped. Others can’t escape because they have been kidnapped, have too little money to escape, are being physically abused, or are too far from home to return.
Nearly five million sex-slaves are forced into prostitution. Just over four million are victims of work imposed by state authorities, as forced labourers in prisons, or in the military.
Women and girls constitute 71% of the slaves, or nearly 29 million people. Every fourth victim of modern slavery is a child (about ten million people).
Today’s slavery is most prevalent in Africa, which affects a 7.6 per thousand individuals, followed by Asia and the Pacific with 6.1 per thousand people, according to the report.
© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today