A U.N report released earlier today has revealed that 40.3 million men, women, and children were enslaved last year. Out of the 40.3 million people enslaved last year, 15.4 were in forced marriages, 16 million were in forced labor, 4.1 million were enslaved by states while 4.8 million were sex Slaves. The report also revealed that 71 percent of slaves were men while the remaining 29 percent were women. The report also reveals that 1 percent of men were sex slaves and 16 percent were in forced marriages. The U.N defines slavery as the act of exploiting someone to the extent that he/she cannot leave due to violence, threats, deception, coercion, and abuse of power by a master.

Africa has the highest number of slaves

People work as slaves for an average of 20.5 months before being freed or escaping. Majority of the slaves work as domestic workers, the second industry where slaves are exploited is in the construction sector while manufacturing comes third in harboring slaves. 20 percent of sex slaves are children. Africa has the highest number of slaves according to the report. 7.6 people out of 1,000 people in this region are slaves. 7.6 percent of slaves around the world work in Africa, 6.1 percent work in Asia and the Pacific while 3.9 percent work in Europe and Central Asia. Arab States and the Americas have the lowest number of slaves at 3.3 percent and 1.9 percent respectively.

How the U.N came up with its findings

The U.N defines forced labor as forcing someone to work. The U.N interviewed 71,000 people under the ages of 15 years and older when coming up with the findings of the report. The findings on sex slaves encompassed all areas people could be exploited as sex slaves; they include, prostitution, massage services, and the pornography industry.

With regards to state-imposed forced labor, governments forced its military workers to conduct tasks that were non-military in nature. There was also cases of forced recruitment of children into armies by militia groups and by governments. People in countries such as India also continue to be forced into marriages while children under the age of 18 continue to be forced into hard labor with little or no pay for cost saving purposes.

Modern slavery

Modern slavery occurs as a result of human trafficking. Modern slavery occurs when one person controls another person according to Professor Kevin Bales who is the former president and co-founder of free the slaves. According to Bales, slavery takes place in high-wage environments while slaves are released when the costs of owning them go up. Slavery also continues to thrive in Africa due to weak government institutions that are often underfunded.