The number of people forced to work or in a marriage against their will has surged in recent years to around 50 million on any given day, the UN's International Labor Organization said on upon releasing its modern slavery report.
Crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic, armed conflicts and climate change have led to unprecedented disruption to employment and education while exacerbating extreme poverty and forced migration, the agency said.
Compared to the last count for the year 2016, the number of people in modern slavery has risen by around 9.3 million.
According to the latest figures, forced labor accounted for 27.6 million of those in modern slavery in 2021, more than 3.3 million of whom are children, and forced marriage for 22 million. (Reuters)