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What is modern slavery?

Slavery still exists. 49.6 million people are trapped in slavery around the world today. One in four is a child. Over half are women and girls.

Modern slavery is an umbrella term refering to various forms of extreme exploitation, including human trafficking, bonded and forced labour, the worst forms of child labour, commercial sexual exploitation, forced marriage and domestic servitude.

Modern slavery refers to situations of exploitation where individuals are controlled through violence, force, fraud or coercion for others’ commercial or personal gain. Perpetrators take away a person’s freedom over their work, their body and their movement in order to exploit them.

While anyone can be subjected to modern slavery, those who are most marginalised are most at risk–including people who are denied rights because of their gender, sexuality, caste, class or migration status.

Our areas of work

Bonded labour

Bonded labour is a form of slavery where someone is forced to work to pay off a debt or a loan, most commonly to an employer or landlord.

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Child domestic work

Child domestic work takes place when a minor is employed in another person’s household. It becomes a form of modern slavery when a child is subjected to harmful circumstances or abuse, such as working at a very young age, excessive hours, hazardous tasks, violence and neglect, or other conditions that impair a child's development.

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Commercial sexual exploitation of children

Commercial sexual exploitation of children takes place when a minor is forced or coerced to perform sexual acts in exchange for payment to the child or a third party.

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Domestic servitude

Domestic servitude is a form of slavery that traps people in forced labour within private homes.

Forced labour

Forced labour is any work that is done by an adult or child under duress, involuntarily or under the threat of penalty.

Forced marriage

Forced marriage occurs when one or both parties, regardless of their age, are forced to marry without their consent.

Our approach

The key to ending modern slavery lies in shifting power and resources to the people and communities most affected. We support frontline partners to pursue transformative change in sectors and geographies where people are at high risk of exploitation and trafficking.

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