A new report estimates that 29 million women and girls are victims of modern slavery, exploited by practices including forced labour, forced marriage, debt-bondage and domestic servitude.
Grace Forrest, co-founder of the Walk Free anti-slavery organisation, said Friday that means one in every 130 women and girls is living in modern slavery today, more than the population of Australia.
“The reality is that there are more people living in slavery today than any other time in human history,” she told a UN news conference.
Walk Free defines modern slavery “as the systematic removal of a person’s freedom, where one person is exploited by another for personal or financial gain,” she said.
Forrest said the global estimate of one in 130 women and girls living in modern slavery was made based on work by Walk Free, the International Labour Organisation and the International Organisation for Migration, both UN agencies.
“What this report has shown is that gender stacks the odds against girls from conception throughout their lives,” she said.
According to the report, titled “Stacked Odds,” women account for 99 per cent of all victims of forced sexual exploitation, 84 per cent of all victims of forced marriage, and 58 per cent of all victims of forced labour.