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‘Modern slavery’

GS Paper 1

Syllabus: Indian Society


Source: D2E, Indian Express

Direction: Although the report has a very detailed description, stick to the basics. No need to note down everything.

 Context: ‘The Global Estimates of Modern Slavery’, a report published by the International Labour Organisation (ILO), International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and international human rights group Walk Free, said 50 million people were living in modern slavery in 2021.

About Modern Slavery:

Modern slavery, is comprised of two principal components – forced labour and forced marriage. Both refer to situations of exploitation that a person cannot refuse or cannot leave because of threats, violence, deception, abuse of power or other forms of coercion.


 Forced labour:

      • All work or service which is exacted from any person under the menace of any penalty and for which the said person has not offered himself voluntarily.
      • Forced labour has grown in recent years. The increase in the number of people in forced labour was driven entirely by forced labour in the private economy, both in forced commercial sexual exploitation and in forced labour in other sectors.
      • No region of the world is spared from forced labour. Asia and the Pacific are hosts to more than half of the global total (15.1 million).
      • Forced labour is a concern regardless of a country’s wealth. More than half of all forced labour occurs in either upper-middle income or high-income countries.
      • When the population is taken into account, forced labour is highest in low-income countries.
      • Most forced labour occurs in the private economy.


Forced marriage

      • Forced marriage is a complex and highly gendered practice. Although men and boys are also forced to marry, it predominantly affects women and girls. Forced marriages occur in every region of the world and cut across ethnic, cultural, and religious lines.
      • Family members were responsible for the vast majority of forced marriages. Most persons who reported on the circumstances of forced marriage were forced to marry by their parents.


Recommendations: Ending modern slavery: 

Forced labour

      • Extend social protection, including floors, to all workers and their families, to mitigate the socio-economic vulnerability that underpins much of forced labour, and to provide workers with the basic income security
      • Promote fair and ethical recruitment, to protect workers from abusive and fraudulent practices during the recruitment and placement process,
      • Address migrants’ vulnerability to forced labour and trafficking for forced labour.
      • Address children trapped in forced labour.
      • End state-imposed forced labour, which accounts for one in seven of all forced labour cases
      • Partnership and international cooperation.

Forced marriage

      • Legislative and policy responses should have a gendered lens, including gender-sensitive laws, policies, programmes, and budgets, including gender-responsive social protection mechanisms.
      • Ensure adequate civil and criminal protections in national legislation.
      • Address underlying socio-cultural norms and structures that contribute to forced marriage.
      • Ensuring that women and girls have the opportunity and ability to complete school, earn a livelihood, and inherit assets plays a significant role in reducing vulnerability to forced marriage.
      • Address the vulnerability of migrants, particularly children.
      • Access to legal identity registration procedures is particularly important for migrants at risk of forced marriage.