A worrisome UN report determined that in 2016, 40 million people were defined as living under conditions of slavery. 15.4 of these people were forced into marriage through human trafficking. 1 out of every 4 slaves is a child, 71% of them forced to work on farms or family businesses.

1 out of 4 slaves is a child

1 out of 4 slaves is a child Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News

More than 40 million people around the world are victims of modern slavery, the UN’s International Labor Organization (ILO) published this morning (Tuesday) in its annual report for 2016. An analysis conducted by the organization indicates that no less than 25 million people are victims of forced labor, some of whom are within the commercial sex industry. About 15.4 million are forced into marriage, more than a third of whom are under 18, while a majority are girls under 15.

The findings exposed shocking numbers concerning forced marriages, where women were kidnapped, raped and treated as commodities for purchasing, selling or were transferred as an inheritance. The data analysis also revealed that nearly 1 out of every 3 slaves is a woman and 1 out of 4 is a child.

According to a companion estimate released by ILO concerning child labor, 152 million children were subject to child labor in 2016. The child labor is predominantly concentrated in agriculture at 70.9%, while nearly 1 in 5 child laborers or 17.1% of the total works in the service industry.

Furthermore, the report indicates that a disproportionate amount of the victims of modern slavery are women and girls, constituting about 29 million or 71% of the total. The organization also noted that a majority of the modern slaves live in Africa and Asia.