UN report: ‘modern slavery’ on the rise with 50 million people worldwide forced labor and marriage

UN report: 'modern slavery' on the rise with 50 million people worldwide forced labor and marriage
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AND United Nations The report, released on Monday, revealed that by the end of 2021, nearly 50 million people worldwide were living in “modern slavery”, marking a significant setback in progress.

The figures were a 25% increase over the previous 2017 report for people who were either forced into labor or married.

A domestic worker noted by the United Nations.

A domestic worker noted by the United Nations.
(United Nations)

“It is shocking that the situation of modern slavery has not improved,” said Guy Ryder, Director-General of the International Labor Organization. in a statement. “Nothing can justify the continuation of this fundamental violation of human rights.”

The ILO and its partners point to worrying trends such as “commercial”. sexual exploitation“It affects one in four people subjected to forced labor – the poor, women and children are disproportionately vulnerable.

The ILO, together with the UN’s International Organization for Migration and the Walk Free foundation, a rights group focused on modern slavery, reported that by the end of 2021, 28 million people were in forced labor and 22 were forced into marriage.

The report, released Monday, said such figures represent an increase in the 10 million people living in modern slavery since the last such report was published in 2017, based on figures from a year ago. It was stated that two-thirds of the said increase was due to forced marriages alone.


Based on available data, the ILO and its partners have identified increases in child and forced marriages in countries such as Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Congo, Egypt, India, Uganda and Yemen. But the report said rich countries were “not immune” from the problem, with nearly a quarter of forced marriages occurring in high- or middle-income countries.

crises, including the coronavirus pandemic, climate change and armed conflicts have fueled increases in extreme poverty, unsafe immigration and gender-based violence in recent years, increasing the risk of all forms of modern slavery.

Another domestic worker was featured on the UN website.

Another domestic worker was featured on the UN website.
(United Nations)

Altogether, more than 2/3 of all forced marriages were found in the Asia-Pacific region – the most populous region in the world – but the highest per capita numbers came in Arab countries, where about 5 out of 1,000 people were forced into marriage.

According to the report, it was stated that forced marriage is closely linked to “rooted patriarchal attitudes and practices” and that 85% of the cases are driven by “family pressure”. Regarding forced labor, approximately one-eighth of those affected were children and half of those who engage in commercial sexual exploitation.


Guy Rider, Director-General of the UN labor agency that brings together workers, businesses and governments, called for an “all-encompassing approach” and said “trade unions, employers’ groups, civil society and ordinary people”. they all have critical roles to play.”

Associated Press contributed to this report.

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