The concept of modern slavery runs counter to the principles of social justice and sustainable development. According to the 2021 Global Estimates, approximately 50 million people are subjected to modern slavery on any given day, either through forced labor or forced marriages. This figure corresponds to approximately one out of every 150 individuals worldwide. Disturbingly, modern slavery situations often persist for several years, and forced marriage frequently represents a life sentence. Even more disheartening, the 2021 Global Estimates suggest that the situation is worsening, with millions more individuals, including men, women, and children, forced into work or marriage since the 2017 estimates were released.
The International Labour Organization (ILO), Walk Free, and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) developed the global and regional estimates provided in this report, utilizing a jointly developed methodology. To generate these estimates, data from multiple sources were used, given the lack of a single, reliable source. The primary sources include nationally representative household surveys focused on forced labor (68 surveys) and forced marriage (75 surveys) conducted by ILO and Walk Free, as well as the Counter Trafficking Data Collaborative (CTDC) anonymous case dataset on trafficking victims collected by IOM and its partners in providing protection and assistance services to trafficked persons.