‘Modern slavery on the rise globally; touched 50 million in 2021’



Tribune News Service

Ravi S Singh

New Delhi, September 13

Modern slavery having componentsof forced labour and forced marriage rose “significantly” by five times from 2016-2021 in the world, pushing up the number of victims to 50 million globally, as per the latest “estimates” of the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

The bleakness of thelatest “Global Estimates of Modern Slavery” in 2021 by the “International Labour Organisation, Walk Free and the International Organisation for Migration”, assumes added significance as it encompasses the turbulent times of Covid-19 pandemic.

The breakup of the victims is: 28 million were in forced labour and 22 million were trapped in forced marriage.

The study says that 10 million more people were in modern slavery in 2021 compared to 2016 global estimates. Women and children remain disproportionately vulnerable.

Modern slavery occurs in almost every country in the world, and cuts across ethnic, cultural and religious lines.

In a stark revelation, the Estimates say more than half (52 per cent) of all forced labour and a quarter of all forced marriages can be found in upper-middle income or high-income countries, which gives a lie that education and modernity are indices and enforcers of cultural moral and legal niceties.

With regard to forced Labour, the study says that a major chunk (86 per cent) are found in the private sector.

Also, forced labour in sectors other than commercial sexual exploitation accounts for 63 per cent of all forced labour, while forced commercial sexual exploitation represents 23 per cent of all forced labour.

Almost four out of five of those in forced commercial sexual exploitation are women or girls.

The Estimates reflects poorly on several Governments across the world, who choose to dip their hands in the cookie jar of exploitation.

The Estimates of the world body, projects a sleazy impression of some nation-States rather beingdisplaying Santa Claus like benevolence , and presenter of Easter Eggs, as expected if them, choose to proximate the Dracula.

With regard to “Forced marriage”, an estimated 22 million people were living in forced marriage on any given day in 2021. This indicates an increase of 6.6 million since the 2016 global estimates.

The true incidence of forced marriage, particularly involving children aged 16 and younger, is likely far greater than current estimates can capture.

The estimate says that forced marriage is closely linked to long-established patriarchal attitudes and practices and is highly context specific.





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