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Millions trapped in modern slavery, child labour: UN report

IANS | Geneva |


An estimated 40 million people, mostly women and girls, are trapped in modern slavery and 152 million children are subject to child labour, a UN report has revealed.

Developed jointly by the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the Walk Free Foundation and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), the report published on Tuesday has revealed the true scale of modern slavery around the world.

The data released during the UN General Assembly shows that among the 40 million people trapped in modern slavery, 29 million or 71 per cent are women and girls. One in four victims of modern slavery are children, which totals about 10 million. Xinhua reported.

The report said that some 152 million children, including 64 million girls and 88 million boys, are subject to child labour, accounting for almost one in ten children around the world.

The largest part of them or 72.1 million are living in Africa followed by Asia and the Pacific with 62 million.

Over 70 per cent of the child labourers remain in agriculture, while a little over 17 per cent work in the services sector and almost 12 per cent in industry.

ILO Director-General Guy Ryder said the message is “very clear”, adding the “world won’t be in a position to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals unless we dramatically increase our efforts to fight these scourges”.

The report also revealed that an estimated 25 million people were in forced labour in 2016, including 16 million in forced labour exploitation in private sectors such as domestic work, construction and agriculture.

About five million were in forced sexual exploitation and just over four million or 16 per cent of the total were in forced labour imposed by their state authorities, the report added.

Andrew Forrest, chairman and founder of the Walk Free Foundation, said: “This speaks to the deep seated discrimination and inequalities in our world today, coupled with a shocking tolerance of exploitation. This has to stop.”