Slavery isn’t merely a historical relic. In 2016, around 40.3 million men, women and children from every part of the globe were victims of modern slavery.

Although it is not defined in law, “modern slavery” is used here as an umbrella term covering the various forms of coercion prohibited in international instruments on human rights and labour standards (e.g. slavery, institutions and practices similar to slavery, forced labour, trafficking in persons and forced marriage).

Essentially, what all of these situations have in common is that that a person is being exploited or forced to marry and cannot refuse or leave because of threats, violence, coercion, deception and/or abuse of power. In order to make modern slavery measurable, these global estimates covers two key forms: forced labour and forced marriage.