UN report: 50 million in modern slavery

Modern worldwide slavery

A new study showed about 28 million people were in forced labor and 22 million were in forced marriages at the end of 2021.

Those numbers jumped by 25 percent since the last Global Estimates of Modern Slavery report five years ago. The United Nations International Labour Organization published the report with the UN’s International Organization for Migration and the international human rights group Walk Free. Grace Forrest, founding director of Walk Free, said the numbers are likely a low estimate.

Where is it happening? About 65 percent of forced marriages are found in Asia and the Pacific. The highest prevalence was in Arab States where 4.8 out of 1,000 people were in forced marriages. But nearly 1 in 4 forced marriages were in high- or upper-middle-income countries. Those countries have over half of the forced labor.

This story originally appeared in WORLD. © 2022, reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.

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