Labourers work at a garment factory in Vietnam for brands such as Nike, Adidas, H&M, Gap, Zara, Armani and Lacoste © Reuters
There were 40.3 million people living in conditions of slavery in 2018, mostly women, a recent report by the Walk Free Initiative shows. Researchers say slavery did not end with abolition in the 19th century but just changed form.
The initiative undertakes research to build the world’s most comprehensive evidence-base of modern slavery. While there isn’t an official legal definition of modern slavery, the UN describes it as the condition of people whose work “is performed involuntarily and under the menace of any penalty.” The organization and its member states committed to eliminating slavery by 2030, along with human trafficking, forced labor, and child labor.