In a new report, the United Nations (UN) estimates that the number of people stuck in modern slavery has risen to 50 million.
This is a 10 million jump over the course of five years and means that nearly one out of every 150 people in the world is currently stuck in some form of modern slavery.
The UN defines modern slavery as people “cannot refuse or cannot leave because of threats, violence, deception, abuse of power or other forms of coercion.” This accounts for both forced labor and forced marriage.
The UN’s had a goal to eradicate all forms of modern slavery by 2030, but the Covid-19 pandemic, increased levels of debt, armed conflicts, and climate change have caused modern slavery numbers to swell instead.
The report also revealed that every single country, regardless of wealth or region experiences forced labor and that woman, children, and migrants are particularly vulnerable.
Still, the UN continues to try to bring the number down and is calling on international powers to help. Some approaches include improved labor inspections, and banning products and imports made with forced labor in the EU.