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The ILO Report And Modern-Day Slavery

Sunday, May 25, 2014

It was just last week, I was telling you about the migrant workers in Qatar working in slave-like conditions and nobody in Qatar seems to mind. Well, this week the International Labour Organization, a United Nations agency, released depressingly staggering numbers about the state of modern-day slave labour. The agency says 20 million people worldwide are working as modern-day slaves. And they generate US$150.2 billion for the global economy, of which sexual exploitation and sex slavery accounts for about US$99 billion.


These estimates are three times higher than previous estimates. And consider this, 55 per cent of the slaves are women, and one-quarter are below the age of 18. Unlike the past, when slavery was accepted as part of a society’s norm, modern-day slavery has an additional element of cruelty, it is often achieved through deception, and hidden behind closed doors.


Often times, men, women and children are pulled into slave labour through fraud and force. But it is their silence, and ours, that is the true tragedy of these numbers.


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