UN experts warn pandemic, lockdowns could fuel exploitation


Despite its illegality the world over, forced labor continues to thrive in some parts of the world. On December 2 every year, the International day for the abolition of slavery aims to shed light on this exploitation.

According to the International Labor Organization, an estimated 40 million people are exploited around the world.

These modern forms of slavery include, forced labor, debt bondage, forced marriage, and human trafficking.

In the face of the pandemic and lockdowns limiting personal freedoms, UN experts warn this could actually be fueling exploitation.

An International labor organization’s protocol on forced labor has managed to convince 47 out of at least 50 nations to ratify the protocol on forced labor as at 2019.

11 of these countries are in Africa, including Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Madagascar, Mali, Djibouti, Ivory Coast, Niger and Mauritania.

According to the ILO, so far this year, it has recorded 24.9 million forced laborers, particularly in private homes, the construction and agricultural sectors, while 15.4 million people were subjected to forced marriage and 4.8 million were reportedly victims of forced sexual exploitation.

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