Modern slavery is used as an umbrella term as the term is not defined in law. It includes forced labour, debt bondage, forced marriage, and human trafficking.
The International Day for The Abolition Of Slavery is observed across the world on 2 December each year. The day intends to raise awareness about slavery and to put an end to modern-day forms of slavery that exist in society.
The day highlights the importance of human rights and ensures that people across the world live freely without the shackles of slavery.
Over 40 million people across the globe are victims of modern slavery. Modern slavery is used as an umbrella term as the term is not defined in law. It includes forced labour, debt bondage, forced marriage, and human trafficking.
According to the figures released by International Labour Organisation (ILO) and United Nations Children’s Fund in June this year, almost 80 million children between the ages of 5 and 17 years are subjected to hazardous work, which is also a contemporary form of slavery.
The day marks the anniversary of the adoption, by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), of the United Nations Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Other (resolution 317(IV) of 2 December 1949), which was the first Convention by the global body to fight human trafficking.
The prime focus of this day is to rise awareness about eradicating modern forms of slavery including sexual exploitation, trafficking in persons, forced marriage and child labour.
Facts about modern slavery:
As the world aims to eradicate the problem of modern slavery, here are some facts about the issue:
About 40.3 million people globally are in modern slavery, as per the UN. Out of the total, 15.4 million are in forced marriage and 24.9 million in forced labour.
Out of the total number of people involved in forced labour, 16 million people are exploited for domestic work, construction or agriculture by the private sector while 4.8 million people are forced into sexual exploitation. Roughly 4 million people globally are forced into labour by state authorities.
Women and girls are the biggest victims of forced labour with about 99 percent of victims being coerced into the commercial sex industry.
Impact of COVID-19 on modern slavery:
Due to economic recession in many countries and the closing of educational institutes due to the coronavirus pandemic, many children have been forced into the worst forms of child labour due to loss of income in their families. Many children may also be working longer hours or being coerced to work in worse conditions due to the pandemic.