Estimations & the Importance of Data Collection:
The data presented across this website are only estimates. Currently, there is a lack of high-quality baseline estimates and data collection in the anti-slavery movement.
We are still a way off from being able to produce good quality, consistently measured and reliable data that could give us a firm answer to the question of whether the prevalence of modern slavery is rising or falling at international, regional, country and sectoral levels.
Problems with data collection include (but are not limited to): poor quality and limited source data, failing to acknowledge political and/or historical factors, lack of transparency around methodologies, inappropriate extrapolation and flawed or partial definitions of modern slavery.
Reliable estimates and data showing changes (rises or falls of exploitation) over time could be a useful tool in assessing the effectiveness of current attempts and efforts to tackle modern slavery and human trafficking.
Standardised methodologies could also help to harmonise definitions and data collection across sectors and counties, strengthening the evidence base on prevalence.
As macroeconomic statistics expert and professor, Daniel Mügge puts it, recent global estimates of forced labour “will guide international policy for years to come, which is why we need to start taking their data limitations seriously.”
Global & Regional Overviews:
- Over 45 million people are in modern slavery globally.
- 1 in 4 people in modern slavery are children.
- 1 in every 130 women and girls globally are in modern slavery.
- Women and girls account for 71% of all people in modern slavery.
- An estimated 21 million people are engaged in forced labour (a form of modern slavery).
- Child labour has increased for the first time in 20 years.
Europe & Central Asia:
- Over 3.5 million people are in slavery in these regions.
- 91% of victims are subjected to forced labour; 36% of whom are held under conditions associated with debt bondage. 14% of global sexual exploitation occurs in Europe and Central Asia.
- Within the region, Turkmenistan, Belarus, and Macedonia are the countries with the highest prevalence of modern slavery. Russia, Turkey, and Ukraine account for 39% of the victims in the region.
Asia & the Pacific:
- An estimated 25 million people are living in modern slavery in Asia and the Pacific. The region has the second-highest prevalence of modern slavery in the world.
- Globally, 73% of victims of forced sexual exploitation, 68% of victims of state-imposed forced labour, 64% victims of forced labour, and 42% of all those in forced marriages are in these regions.
- North Korea, Afghanistan, and Pakistan are the countries with the highest prevalence of modern slavery. India, China, and Pakistan have the highest number of people living in modern slavery.
- Over 9.2 million people are trapped in forms of modern slavery in Africa. The rates of forced marriage are higher than forced labour across the country.
- 54% of victims of forced labour are held in debt bondage. Over 400,000 people in the region are victims of forced sexual exploitation. This accounts for 8% of all victims of forced sexual exploitation worldwide.
- Eritrea, Burundi, and the Central African Republic are the countries with the highest prevalence of modern slavery/ Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of the Congo account for 26% of all victims in the region.
- An estimated 2 million people are living in modern slavery in the Americas.
- 37.9% of victims of forced labour are held in debt bondage. The region also accounts for 4% of all victims of forced sexual exploitation worldwide.
- Venezuela, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic were the countries with the highest prevalence of modern slavery. The United States, Brazil, and Mexico account for 57% of all the victims in the region.
- An estimated 520,000 are living in modern slavery in the Arab States.
- The most prevalent forms of modern slavery in the region are forced labour and forced marriage.
- 51% of victims of forced labour are held in debt bondage. The Arab States accounts for 1% of victims of forced sexual exploitation globally.
- Syria, Iraq, and Yemen have the highest prevalence of modern slavery and account for 76% of the victims in the region.
Governments Are Not Doing Enough:
Firstly, it is crucial to note that no government is doing enough to address modern slavery and human trafficking.
Countries taking action to respond to forms of modern slavery include:
🇬🇧 The United Kingdom
🇳🇱 The Netherlands
🇺🇸 The United States of America
Countries taking the least action to respond to modern slavery include:
🇰🇵 North Korea
🇬🇶 Equatorial Guinea
🇨🇩 Democratic Republic of the Congo