SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association)- The United Nations (UN) says nearly 21 million people globally are victims of modern slavery, calling for international efforts to eradicate the practice.
Urmila Bhoola, the UN’s special rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery, said in a statement posted on the UN’s human rights website on Tuesday that over 20.9 million people are subjected to modern forms of slavery including forced labor, sexual exploitation and being held in slave-like conditions.
Bhoola added that a further 168 million children are involved in child labor, with over half of them working in hazardous conditions that are “posing a danger to their physical, emotional and moral well-being.”
Maud de Boer-Buquicchio, the UN’s special rapporteur on the sale and sexual exploitation of children, said millions of children around the world are victims of forced labor and sexual exploitation.
The UN human rights experts have called on the international community, including governments and individuals, to fight against modern slavery.
“States must carry out due diligence to ensure compliance with their human rights obligations,” said Bhoola.
Furthermore, the UN officials called on actors in the private sectors, particularly transnational corporations doing business with suppliers in developing countries, to take action to ensure their supply chains are free from any form of slavery, including force labor.
The experts also said that it is necessary to address the underlying factors that force people into slavery such as poverty, conflict and violence, as well as lack of access to education, decent work and opportunities for socio-economic empowerment.