According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), there were 49.6 million people living in modern slavery as of 2021, of which 27.6 million were subjected to forced labor and 22 million were coerced into marriage.
17.3 million of the 27.6 million persons who are forced to work are exploited in the private sector; 6.3 million are subjected to forced commercial sexual exploitation; and 3.9 million are subjected to state-imposed forced labor.
Women and girls make up 4.9 million of those who are subjected to forced commercial sexual exploitation and 6 million of those who are subjected to forced labor in other economic sectors, according to the Global Estimates of Modern Slavery: Forced Labour and Forced Marriage report, which was published early in September.
It claimed that over half of the victims were the victims of commercial sexual exploitation and that 12% of all people forced to work were children.
According to the research, the Arab States had the highest frequency of forced labor (15.1 million) while the Asia and Pacific Region had the lowest (5.3 per thousand people).
A priority for progress against forced labor, according to the report, is tackling the lack of decent jobs in the informal economy as part of larger initiatives towards economic formalization.