Forty million people around the world, mostly women and girls, were victims of modern slavery last year, according to a new report.
The study by the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Walk Free Foundation, in partnership with the International Organization for Migration (IOM), said that about 25 million were in forced labour, and 15 million were in forced marriage in 2016.
Women and girls accounted for almost 29 million – or 71 percent – of those trapped in modern slavery worldwide, the report found.
The new estimates, released during the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Tuesday, also found that about 152 million children, aged between 5 and 17, were subject to child labour in the same period.
The report added one in four victims of modern slavery were children in 2016.
Women represented 99 percent of the victims of forced labour in the commercial sex industry and 84 percent of forced marriages, according to the study.
Millions of women in forced marriages
In addition, the research found that among the 40 million victims of modern slavery,
Child labour remained concentrated primarily in agriculture, accounting for 70.9 percent of the total.
Almost one in five child labourers work in the services sector, at 17.1 percent, while 11.9 percent of child labourers work in industry, according to the study.
Guy Ryder, ILO director-general, said that the world will not be in a position to achieve its sustainable development goals unless the international community dramatically increase efforts to fight the scourges put in the report.
“These new global estimates can help shape and develop interventions to prevent both forced labour and child labour,” he said.
Andrew Forrest, founder of the The Walk Free Foundation, said: “We all have a role to play in changing this reality – business, government, civil society, every one of us.”