Nearly 50 million people in the world find themselves in a situation of modern slavery, a figure that is increasing due to the various crises.
The number of people forced into modern forms of slavery due to poverty and other crises has dramatically increased over the past five years to around 50 million, the International Labor Organization (ILO) said Monday.
Among these people, 28 million are subjected to forced labor and 22 million forced into forced marriage, the United Nations agency specified in a report published with the International Organization for Migration and the NGO Walk Free. These two situations fall under modern slavery because they refer to situations of exploitation that a person cannot refuse or from which he cannot escape due to threats, violence, coercion, deception or abuse of power. added the ILO.
Forced labor, forced marriage …
The situation has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, armed conflict and climate change, crises that have left more people in extreme poverty and forced others to migrate, the agency said. “I think that, on the whole, we have just slowed down. We have lost sight of the problem of forced labor.”ILO director general Guy Ryder told Reuters, calling for better hiring practices and labor inspections. He added that measures such as a ban on forced labor products, a draft proposal currently under consideration by the European Union, could also help.
Women and children first of all
The report says ten million more people were in modern slavery in 2021 than 2016 global estimates, with women and children remaining disproportionately vulnerable. The ILO also found that more than half of all cases of forced labor and a quarter of all forced marriages occur in upper-middle- or high-income countries and that migrant workers are three times more likely to be subjected to forced labor versus non-immigrant ones.
In a separate part of the report, the ILO notes that Qatar, accused of violating the rights of migrant workers ahead of the FIFA World Cup in November, had “significant progress” since the opening of an ILO office in the country in April 2018. The ILO also highlighted concern over allegations of forced labor by Uighurs in China’s Xinjiang region.