More than 40 million people have been estimated to be captive in modern slavery, which includes forced labor and forced marriage, according to Walk Free, an anti-slavery group, and the International Labour Organization. Ending modern slavery by 2030 was one of the global goals adopted unanimously by members of the United Nations four years ago. But at today's rate, achieving that goal is "impossible".
Ten thousand people would need to be freed every day to eliminate modern slavery over the next decade, according to research on Wednesday showing countries making little or no progress in efforts to end forced labor.
Less than half of countries rank forced labor as a crime and most do not regard forced marriage as a crime, said the report by the Walk Free Foundation. The worst countries for modern slavery were North Korea and Eritrea, where governments are complicit in forced labor, the report said. It singled out Libya, Iran, Equatorial Guinea, Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Congo, Russia and Somalia for lack of action on ending slavery. Wealthy countries that have taken little action were Qatar, Singapore, Kuwait, Brunei, Hong Kong and Russia, it said. Some countries have slowed or slipped backward in their efforts by reducing the number of victims identified, decreasing anti-slavery funding or cutting back on support systems, the report said. While an estimated 16 million people are trapped in forced labor, only 40 countries have investigated public or business supply chains to look at such exploitation, the report said.