As many as 29 million women and girls are victims of modern slavery and are exploited by practices including forced labor, forced marriage, debt-bondage and domestic servitude, a report by the United Nations estimates. This means one in every 130 women and girls is living in modern slavery today, the report finds.
In the report titled ‘Stacked Odds’, the inter-governmental organization also finds that women account for 99% of all victims of forced sexual exploitation, 84% of all victims of forced marriage, and 58% of all victims of forced labor.
Grace Forrest, co-founder of an anti-slavery organization called Walk Free, on Friday said: “The reality is that there are more people living in slavery today than any other time in human history.” The estimates in the report were made by the International Labour Organisation, International Organisation for Migration, along with Walk Free.
“The face of modern slavery has radically changed,” she added. “We’re seeing normalized exploitation in our economy in transnational supply chains and also in migration pathways,” she said. “The world’s most vulnerable people have been pushed even further into this practice of modern slavery because of COVID-19.”
Forrest said Walk Free and the U.N.’s Every Woman Every Child program are launching a global campaign to demand action to eliminate modern slavery. The campaign urges an end to child and forced marriage, which 136 countries have yet to criminalize.