Modern slavery is a term that covers a set of specific legal concepts including forced labour, debt bondage, forced marriage, slavery and slavery-like practices, and human trafficking.
In 2016, at any given time, an estimated 40.3 million people worldwide were in modern slavery, including 24.9 million in forced labour and 15.4 million people in forced marriage.
Of the 24.9 million victims of forced labour, 16 million people are exploited in the private sector including domestic work, construction or agriculture. 4.8 million people are victims of forced sexual exploitation, and 4 million people were in forced labour imposed by state authorities.
Women and girls account for 99% of victims in the commercial sex industry, and 58% of other sectors in other sectors of forced labour. There is no typical victim of slavery. Victims are men, women and children of all ages, ethnicities and nationalities and cut across the population. However, it’s normally more prevalent among the most vulnerable or within minority or socially excluded groups and young people - it is estimated that 60% of people that are trafficked tend to be between the ages of 18 and 26.
Modern slavery is a highly complex issue and requires multiple approaches from many different organisations and individual in able to fight and prevent it. To learn more about the issue and some of the amazing work being done to fight it, we recommend you check out global slavery index.
A large contributing factor to modern slavery is a lack of opportunity. Many fall into modern slavery because they are desperate to work, willing to travel for opportunities but are taken advantage of. Without adequate skills or education, it is very difficult even for those rescued from modern slavery or trafficking to escape exploitation. This is where we have spotted a small way which we can help, using our specific knowledge and expertise and by partnering with others in the field.
We work with girls and women from vulnerable or underprivileged backgrounds recruited from women’s shelters or NGOs around Mumbai who we deem to be at-risk and in need of up-skilling. By providing skills and holistic support through our training program, we have been able to see our trainees gain confidence, find work and move towards financial independence.