Modern slavery is on the rise, and it shows no signs of slowing down.
That’s the gist of the results from a new report conducted by the United Nations’ International Labor Organization. The report found the one out of every 150 people is currently living under the conditions of modern slavery.
Of the roughly 50 million people living in their devastating reality, nearly nine million entered into these conditions within the last five years. The on-going coronavirus pandemic, devastating climate change effects, unstable economy and more have led to this rise.
The UN report focused on two major areas of modern slavery: forced labor and forced marriages. The first category applies to approximately 27.6 million people, including 3.3 million children, and the latter represents 22 million people and counting. Both instances appeared in every corner of the world, including high-income nations. Women and children are most likely to be exploited in modern slavery, too.
To put it simply: This is not an issue any citizen of the world can afford to ignore.
The UN complied the report in order to determine what can be done. And the bottom line is that it will take an enormous collective effort to completely abolish slavery. Governments have their roles to play to ensure the safety of everyone, but individuals do have the power to make tangible differences, too. If everyone is willing to step up to the plate, the tide will turn and modern slavery can be a thing of the past.