By Mehmet Sah Yilmaz
ANKARA (AA) - The latest global estimates indicate that 50 million people were living in modern slavery in 2021, according to data compiled by Anadolu Agency on the occasion of the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery.
"Of these people, 28 million were in forced labour and 22 million were trapped in forced marriage," according to a joint report released in September, "Global Estimates of Modern Slavery," by the International Labor Organization, International Organization for Migration, and the non-profit Walk Free.
The last five years witnessed a significant rise in the number of people trapped in modern slavery, the report said.
There were 10 million more people in modern slavery in 2021 than there were in 2016, the report noted, citing global estimates.
Modern slavery comprises of two principal components: forced labor and forced marriage.
Both refer to situations of exploitation that a person cannot refuse or cannot leave because of threats, violence, deception, abuse of power, or other forms of coercion.
"Women and girls make up 11.8 million of the total in forced labour. More than 3.3 million of all those in forced labour are children," according to the report.
Over two-thirds of those forced to marry are female, which is equal to an estimated 14.9 million women and girls, it added.
The UN adopted a bill aimed at eradicating contemporary forms of slavery, such as human trafficking, sexual exploitation, child labor, and forced marriage on Dec. 2, 1949, which was henceforth marked yearly as the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery.
*Writing by Zehra Nur Duz in Ankara