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International Day for the Abolition of Slavery: 40.3 million people are in modern slavery

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New Delhi, Dec 2: The International Day for the Abolition of Slavery, 2 December, marks the date of the adoption, by the General Assembly, of the United Nations Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others (resolution 317(IV) of 2 December 1949).

International Day for the Abolition of Slavery: 40.3 million people are in modern slavery

The focus of this day is on eradicating contemporary forms of slavery, such as trafficking in persons, sexual exploitation, the worst forms of child labour, forced marriage, and the forced recruitment of children for use in armed conflict.

What are forms of modern-day slavery?

Forced labour - any work or services which people are forced to do against their will under the threat of some form of punishment.
Debt bondage or bonded labour - the world's most widespread form of slavery, when people borrow money they cannot repay and are required to work to pay off the debt, then losing control over the conditions of both their employment and the debt.
Human trafficking- involves transporting, recruiting or harbouring people for the purpose of exploitation, using violence, threats or coercion.
Descent-based slavery - where people are born into slavery because their ancestors were captured and enslaved; they remain in slavery by descent.
Child slavery - many people often confuse child slavery with child labour, but it is much worse. Whilst child labour is harmful for children and hinders their education and development, child slavery occurs when a child is exploited for someone else's gain. It can include child trafficking, child soldiers, child marriage and child domestic slavery.
Forced and early marriage - when someone is married against their will and cannot leave the marriage. Most child marriages can be considered slavery.

Facts and figures:

  • An estimated 40.3 million people are in modern slavery, including 24.9 in forced labour and 15.4 million in forced marriage.
  • There are 5.4 victims of modern slavery for every 1,000 people in the world.
  • 1 in 4 victims of modern slavery are children.
  • Out of the 24.9 million people trapped in forced labour, 16 million people are exploited in the private sector such as domestic work, construction or agriculture; 4.8 million people in forced sexual exploitation, and 4 million people in forced labour imposed by state authorities.
  • Women and girls are disproportionately affected by forced labour, accounting for 99% of victims in the commercial sex industry, and 58% in other sectors.
  • ILO has adopted a new legally binding Protocol designed to strengthen global efforts to eliminate forced labour, which entered into force in November 2016.

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