Modern slavery exacerbates poverty crises – UN report

Modern slavery exacerbates poverty crises - UN report
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A worker puts the finishing touches on Al Beit Stadium, one of the venues for the Qatar 2022 World Cup, in Al Khor, Qatar, November 17, 2021. REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed/Photograph

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GENEVA, Sept 12 (Reuters) – The number of people forced into modern forms of slavery has risen by a fifth in recent years to nearly 50 million on any given day, the U.N.’s International Labor Organization (ILO) said, amid rising poverty and other crises. ) said Monday.

The ILO reports that more than half of them were forced to work against their will, and others were forced into marriage.

Both fell under the definition of modern slavery because they involved people who were “unable to relinquish or leave because of threats, violence, deception, abuse of power, or other forms of coercion.”

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The situation has been exacerbated by crises such as COVID-19, armed conflicts and climate change, which have left more people in extreme poverty and forced more migration, the agency says.

ILO Director-General Guy Ryder told Reuters, calling for improvements in hiring practices and labor inspections: “I think we have simply relaxed our efforts. When it comes to forced labor, we have turned a blind eye.”

According to him, trade measures such as a ban on products produced with forced labor and imports, which are currently being considered by the European Union, can also help. read more

Compared to the last figure in 2016, the number of people in modern slavery has increased by nearly 9.3 million, the report said.

Based in part on household surveys, the ILO found that more than half of all forced labor takes place in upper-middle-income or high-income countries, with migrant workers three times more likely to be affected than natives.

In a separate part of the report, the ILO said Qatar, which faced allegations of labor rights abuses involving migrant workers ahead of the soccer World Cup in November, had made “significant progress” since the ILO’s inauguration. office there in April 2018. read more

Qatar 2022 chief executive Nasser Al Khater Qatar said on Thursday that the country has faced a lot of unfair criticism about its hosting of the World Cup, which is not based on facts. read more

The ILO report also pointed to concerns over allegations of forced labor in some parts of China.

This was referred to the report released by the UN Human Rights Office in August. He said “serious human rights violations” had been committed in China and that the detention of Uyghurs and other Muslims in Xinjiang could amount to a crime against humanity. read more

China has strongly denied the accusations and last month ratified two conventions against forced labour. read more

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Reporting by Emma Farge and Rachel More; Edited by Frank Jack Daniel and Andrew Heavens

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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