It is estimated that there are approximately 40.3 million people in bondage today.

Due to its universal illegality, it is a practice largely hidden from view and consumer conscious, but more people are enslaved today than at any other time in history. Working at the bottom of global supply chains in forced labour within agriculture, mining, fishing, assembly lines, construction, food processing, manufacturing, domestic services and commercial sexual exploitation.

Women and girls comprise 71% of all modern slavery victims. Children make up 25% and account for 10 million of all enslaved people worldwide.

The International Labour Organisation estimates roughly up to $150 billion USD each year is made in slavery-derived profits globally suggesting that in certain industries, there are incentives to perpetuate slavery.

With increased transparency at every level of supply chains and reliable third party certifications, a global economy, free from exploitation can be a reality.

Common modalities of slavery:

Forced Labour involving coercion against one’s will and threat of punishment. The practice is typically found in industries with little regulation and large workforces.

Domestic Service As authorities are unable to inspect homes easily, this type of slavery is easy to conceal. Domestic servitude often affects migrant workers who incur a debt with their employer to meet travel or recruitment costs that they cannot afford.

Forced Marriage when an individual does not have the option to refuse marriage, is married to another person by their own relatives or married in exchange for a payment. The main motivation for this kind of slavery is cultural tradition or threats.

Debt bondage occurs when an individual is forced to work to repay a debt. Often escalating expenses make repayment impossible and slavery permanent. Migrant workers who incur debts to cover travel or housing are particularly vulnerable to this type of slavery. Debts can also be generational.

Sex Trafficking occurs when women, men or children are forced to engage in sexual acts for commercial purposes. Those living in extreme poverty are particularly vulnerable to this practice because of economic marginalisation and limited education, often lured abroad through false employment opportunities.

Child Labour a quarter of victims of slavery are children, and many are involved in occupations that are mentally or physically harmful. The demand for cheap labour with specific physical characteristics increases the use of child labourers. Children are also easier to control and generally do not require better working conditions or remuneration.