A report finds that 50 million people are trapped in modern slavery by pandemic, war and climate crisis

It is believed that an estimated 50 million people worldwide have been victims of forced marriage and forced the work By 25% over the last estimate in 2016 – According to a new report published Monday by the International Labor Organization (ILO) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

modern slavery Refers to forced labor and forced marriage, when someone He cannot refuse to comply or flee because of threats, violence and deception. The researchers conducted a series of surveys in more than 180 countries to come up with their findings.

According to the report, Covid-19, armed conflict and the climate crisis have caused “unprecedented disruption” to employment and education, leading to increased poverty, unsafe migration and gender-based violence – all risks to modern slavery.

But the Director-General of the International Labor Organization, Guy Ryder, said “nothing can justify the continuation of this fundamental violation of human rights.”

“We know what needs to be done, and we know it can be done. Effective national policies and regulations are essential. But governments cannot do it alone,” he said.

The report says that better laws, stronger legal protections and greater support for women, girls and the vulnerable could significantly reduce or one day end modern slavery.

Vulnerable women and girls

The report said an estimated 22 million people living in a marriage were forced into marriage – 43% more than the 2016 figures.

According to the report, more than two-thirds of those forced into marriage are women and girls, putting them at greater risk of sexual exploitation and violence.

More people in Asia and the Pacific were in forced marriage, but when population size was taken into account, researchers found that forced marriage was more prevalent in Arab countries.

COVID-19 has “exacerbated the underlying drivers of all modern forms of slavery, including forced marriage,” the report said.

Young boys participate in an awareness walk to celebrate the International Day Against Child Labor.  in Chennai, India on June 12, 2022.

In some countries, lockdowns have prevented day laborers from earning money, and with schools closed, some families have sent their children to work to help bring food to the table.

The Indian capital, Delhi, has experienced one of the world’s longest-running school closures due to the pandemic, forcing more than 4 million children out of classrooms for more than 600 days.

About 10% of children in the city’s public schools have stopped learning due to the pandemic and its economic impact on poor families, according to Shaheen Mistry, founder of the non-profit organization Teach For India.

“Child marriage has gone up, violence against children has gone up, and nutrition is a big issue because so many of our children depend on school meals,” Mistry told CNN in January.

The data published in Monday’s report likely won’t show the full picture.

“As the data partially reflects the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the estimates in this report are likely to underestimate the full extent of the pandemic’s impact,” she said.

Children and forced labor

Forced labor has increased by 11% to 28 million people since 2016, according to the report — and nearly one in eight children, giving the issue “particular urgency,” according to the report.

She added that more than half of children are subjected to commercial sexual exploitation, which involves trafficking crimes where the primary form of forced labor is sexual services.

“Qualitative reports indicate that children can be subjected to severe forms of coercion and abuse, including kidnapping, drugging, captivity, deception and debt manipulation,” the report stated. “Some of the worst violations occur in situations of armed conflict.”

About 86% of forced labor cases are found in private sector industriesAnd the Including manufacturing, construction and agriculture, Asia and the Pacific have more than half of the global total, according to the report.

Research has shown that there are gender differences in relation to forced labour, including the industries that employ them and the nature of coercion.

The report said that women who are forced to work are more likely than men to perform housework, while men are more likely to be in the construction sector.

She added that while women are more likely to be coerced into forced labor through abuse and failure to pay, men are more likely to receive violent threats and monetary fines.

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