A new report says that about 50 million people were forced to work or get married in 2021.
In the last five years, the number of people living in modern slavery has grown by 10 million. A new report from two UN agencies shows that women and children are still “disproportionately vulnerable.”
According to research released on Monday, there were about 50 million slaves in the world in 2021. Of these, 28 million were forced to work and 22 million were forced to get married.
The International Labour Organization of the United Nations, the International Organization for Migration, and the Walk Free international human rights group worked together to write the “Global Estimates of Modern Slavery report.”
“There are a lot more people in modern slavery than there were five years ago.
“As of 2016, it was thought that there were 10 million more people in modern slavery in 2021 than in 2016,” the study said.
The study said that “compounding crises” were to blame for the huge rise. Some of these were the Covid-19 pandemic, wars, and climate change. The crises “led to employment and education problems that had never been seen before, more people living in extreme poverty, more forced and unsafe migration, and more reports of violence against women than ever before.”
The authors estimate that 11.8 million women and girls are forced to work and that over 14.9 million women and girls are forced to get married. The study says that more than 3.3 million children are forced to work.
The paper says that more than half of all forced labor happens in countries with an upper middle income or a high income, and migrant workers are more than three times more likely to be forced to work than other workers.
The study said that the problem “affects all regions” and pointed out that the most people were forced to work in Asia and the Pacific. Arab states have the highest rates of both forced work and forced marriage.