It’s no secret that not all children have the same start in life because today, more than a quarter of the world’s slaves are children according to End Slavery Now.
That is, out of the almost 46 million slaves across the world, 10 million are children, according to a 2017 joint report by the International Labour Organisation and anti-slavery campaigner Walk Free Foundation. Children make up around 37 percent of those forced to marry, as well as 18 percent of forced labour victims and 21 percent of victims of sexual exploitation.
These children are forced to commit commercial sex acts, forced into a system of domestic servitude or employed in occupations that are mentally, physically, socially and morally harmful.
That is modern slavery.
The report defines modern slavery as situations where one person has taken away another person’s freedom – their freedom to control their body, their freedom to choose to refuse certain work or to stop working – so that they can be exploited.
Freedom is taken away by threats, violence, coercion, abuse of power and deception.
Modern slavery encompasses the crimes of human trafficking, servitude, forced labour, forced and servile marriage, the sale and exploitation of children, and debt bondage.
Are things getting better?
The 16-year period starting in 2000 saw a drop of 94 million in the number of children in child labour, according to the International Labour Organization.
We are clearly moving in the right direction, but the challenge is still immense.
That is why Asian Aid’s projects – which include community-based education, vocational skills and income generation as well as programs to support children and their families – are aimed at breaking the cycle of poverty and thereby reducing the risk of harm to children.
Through our current campaign– No child should be a slave – we are seeking to raise awareness of modern slavery, and offer a platform for you to take action.
Will you join us?