December 2nd is International Day for the Abolition of Slavery. Today marks the day of the adoption, by the United Nations General Assembly, of the conventions for the suppression of the traffic in persons and of the exploitation of the prostitution of others in 1949. The focus of this day is to eradicate contemporary forms of slavery – people trafficking, sexual exploitation, child labour, forced marriage and forced recruitment of children for use in armed conflict.
Slavery is not something of the past it is very much a part of the world today. According to the International Labour Organisation there are more than 40 million people worldwide who are victims of modern day slavery. Modern slavery refers to situations of exploitation that one cannot refuse or leave due to threats of violence, coercion, deception and abuse of power. In addition to this there are 150 million children worldwide subject to chid labour – 1 in 10 in the world!
• 24.9 million people are in forced labour
• 15.4 million people are in forced marriage
• For every 1,000 people in the world – 5.4 are victims of slavery
• 1 in 4 victims of modern slavery are children
• 4.8 million people are forced into sexual exploitation
• 4 million people are forced labour imposed by state authorities
• 99% of the victims of the sexual industry are women and girls