Stories by Bimbola Oyesola 08033246177
The International Labour Organisation (ILO), yesterday, warned that the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals may be under threat with the alarming figure of 40 million in modern slavery and 152 million children in child labour across the globe.
New research developed jointly by the ILO and the Walk Free Foundation, in partnership with the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), has revealed the scale of modern slavery around the world. The data, released at the ongoing United Nations General Assembly in New York, showed that more than 40 million people around the world were victims of modern slavery in 2016.
The ILO also released a companion estimate of child labour, which confirmed that about 152 million children, aged between five and 17, were subject to child labour.
The new estimates also show that women and girls were disproportionately affected by modern slavery, accounting for almost 29 million, or 71 per cent of the overall total.
Women represent 99 per cent of the victims of forced labour in the commercial sex industry and 84 per cent of forced marriages.
The research revealed that, among the 40 million victims of modern slavery, about 25 million were in forced labour and 15 million were in forced marriage.
Child labour remained concentrated primarily in agriculture (70.9 per cent). Almost one in five child labourers work in the services sector (17.1 per cent) while 11.9 per cent of child labourers work in industry.
“These new global estimates can help shape and develop interventions to prevent both forced labour and child labour,” said Guy Ryder, ILO Director-General
Ryder stressed that, “The message the ILO is sending today, together with our partners in Alliance 8.7, is very clear: the world won’t be in a position to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, unless we dramatically increase our efforts to fight these scourges.”
Andrew Forrest, chairman and founder of the Walk Free Foundation, said: “The fact that as a society we still have 40 million people in modern slavery on any given day shames us all. If we consider the results of the last five years, for which we have collected data, 89 million people experienced some form of modern slavery for periods of time ranging from a few days to five years. This speaks to the deep-seated discrimination and inequalities in our world today, coupled with a shocking tolerance of exploitation. This has to stop. We all have a role to play in changing this reality, business, government, civil society, every one of us.”
The new global estimates are a collective effort from members of Alliance 8.7, the global partnership to end forced labour, modern slavery, human trafficking and child labour that brings together key partners representing governments, UN organisations, the private sector, workers’ and employers’ organisations and civil society in order to achieve SDG Target 8.7.
The breakdown shows that 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. One in four victims of modern slavery is a child, or about 10 million children. Some 37 per cent (or 5.7 million) of those forced to marry are children
Also, an estimated 25 million people were in forced labour at any moment in time in 2016. Out of that figure, 16 million people were in forced labour exploitation in the private sector, 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.
In the same vein, 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 five years (2012 to 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.