Modern slavery global estimate launch

Two reports released last week: Global Estimates of Modern Slavery: Forced Labour and Forced Marriage, produced by the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Walk Free Foundation in partnership with the International Organization for Migration and Global Estimates of Child Labour: Results and Trends, 2012-2016 produced by the ILO, reveal the scale of these important issues at the heart of Verité’s work.

Verité CEO Shawn MacDonald and Program Manager Justine Shakespeare attended the launch of these estimates at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City during the 72nd United Nations General Assembly. “While the new numbers are in themselves important to analyze and disseminate, it was noteworthy that this event focused more on new commitments from governments and urged deeper engagement by the private sector to partner with civil society, unions, and governments to eliminate forced labor from supply chains,” said MacDonald.

According to the new global estimate, 40.3 million people worldwide are victims of modern slavery, which is defined in this report as including both forced labor and forced marriage. Women and girls are affected the most, and account for 71 percent of all victims of modern slavery. Victims of forced labor exploitation total 24.9 million, including 16 million people in the private sector. Of the victims of forced labor in the private sector, 50 percent are affected by debt bondage. The sectors with the most forced labor include: domestic work, construction, manufacturing, and agriculture and fishing.

Representing nearly one in ten of all children, 152 million children around the world are in child labor, according to the ILO’s new estimate. Children account for 25 percent of modern slavery victims.

These sobering numbers are staggering in their sheer enormity and the human suffering that they represent. Verité welcomes these figures and the call to action that they inspire. We are committed to continuing our research to measure forced labor and understand its root causes, as well as our strategic work with companies to prevent and eliminate it.

To view a digital version of the estimates, visit the Alliance 8.7 website.