Modern Slavery

There are an estimated 40 million people trapped in Modern Slavery. Women and girls are disproportionately affected by modern slavery, accounting for almost 29 million, or 71 per cent of the overall total. One in four victims of modern slavery are children, or about 10 million children. Some 37 percent (or 5.7 million) of those forced to marry were children

Forced labour
An estimated 25 million people were in forced labour at any moment in time in 2016. Out of them, 16 million people were in forced labour exploitation in the private sector such as domestic work, construction, agriculture. About 5 million persons were in forced sexual exploitation, and just over four million persons (or 16 per cent of the total) were in forced labour imposed by their state authorities.

Forced marriage
An estimated 15. 4 million people were living in a forced marriage at any moment in time in 2016. Of this total, 6.5 million cases had occurred in the past 5 years (2012-2016) and the remainder had taken place prior to this period but continued into it. More than one third of all victims of forced marriage were children at the time of the marriage, and almost all child victims were girls.

Child labour
152 million children – 64 million girls and 88 million boys – are subject to child labour and account for almost one in ten children around the world. The highest number of children aged 5 to 17 engaged in child labour were to be found in Africa (72.1 million), followed by Asia and the Pacific (62 million), the Americas (10.7 million), Europe and Central Asia (5.5 million) and the Arab States (1.2 million). Approximately one third of children aged 5 to 14 engaged in child labour are outside the education system. 38 per cent of children in hazardous work aged 5 to 14 and almost two-thirds of those aged 15-17 work more than 43 hours per week.

Media contacts:
– International Labour Organization: Please contact the ILO Department of Communication and Public Information at +4122/799-7912 ,
– Walk Free Foundation: Please contact Martina Ucnikova, Head of Media and Communications, Walk Free Foundation, +61 428 997 881 ,
– International Organization for Migration: Please contact Leonard Doyle, Head Media and Communications Division IOM/Spokesperson, Tel: +41 79 285 71 23 Email:

About the Alliance 8.7
Alliance 8.7 is a global strategic partnership committed to achieving Sustainable Development Goal Target 8.7 , which calls on the world to “take immediate and effective measures to eradicate forced labour, end modern slavery and human trafficking and secure the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labour, including recruitment and use of child soldiers, and by 2025 end child labour in all its forms”. Alliance 8.7 seeks to achieve Target 8.7 and related Targets 5.2, 16.2, 16.3 and 16.a through the alignment of global, regional and national efforts, and by focusing on accelerating timelines, sharing knowledge, driving innovation and leveraging resources.

About the International Labour Organization
The International Labour Organization (ILO) is the United Nations agency for the world of work. It sets international labour standards, promotes rights at work and encourages decent employment opportunities, the enhancement of social protection and the strengthening of dialogue on work-related issues. The ILO has a unique structure, bringing together governments, employers’ and workers’ representatives. It was founded in 1919 and has 187 member States.

About the Walk Free Foundation
The Walk Free Foundation is an international human rights organisation founded by Andrew and Nicola Forrest. It encompasses their vision to see the end of modern slavery globally. The Foundation provides the information and capabilities required for countries to fight slavery in their jurisdictions. The Walk Free Foundation engages with governments (Global Slavery Index), business/corporations (Bali Process Business Forum) and global faiths (Global Freedom Network).

About the International Organization for Migration
Established in 1951, IOM, the UN Migration Agency, is the leading inter-governmental organization in the field of migration and works closely with governmental, intergovernmental and non-governmental partners. With 166 member states, a further 8 states holding observer status and offices in over 100 countries, IOM is dedicated to promoting humane and orderly migration for the benefit of all. It does so by providing services and advice to governments and migrants.

National Institute of Justice, “For Human Trafficking Survivors, Justice Is More About Healing and Preventing Future Trafficking ,” April 7, 2021,

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