Slavery and human trafficking today

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What is modern slavery?

Slavery did not end in the 19th century. Today,

there are more slaves in the world than ever before.  

Slavery data

Slavery is a hidden and complex crime, making it difficult to estimate. However, we do have some research on global prevalence that is useful for understanding its scale.


Children are among the most vulnerable to slavery. There are 8.4 million children currently suffering exploitation all over the world.

  • 1 in 4 modern slavery victims are children
  • There are 4.4 child victims for every 1000 children in the world
  • 37% of those forced to marry are children
  • Children account for 18% of persons in private forced labour
  • 21% of victims of the sex trade are children


No reliable global estimates exists on organ harvesting. Of all of the types of slavery and trafficking, this crime is the most hidden and difficult to measure. Organs are harvested and trafficked for many different reasons. Most commonly, they are sought for medical purposes. But, in some parts of the world, human organs are considered powerful remedies by witch doctors and others, and used widely in ritual practices. Kidneys are estimated to make up 75% of the global illicit trade in organs. Every year an estimated 10,000 are sold on the black market. Illegal organ trade generates between $600 million and $1.2 billion in profits per year.


Right now, at least 4.8 million are enduring sexual exploitation.

  • 99% of victims of the sex trade are women and children.
  • More than 7 in 10 victims are exploited in Asia and the Pacific region.
  • 54% of trafficking victims are trafficked for the sex trade.
  • The sex trade makes an approximated $99 billion a year.


There are an estimated 20.1 million people in forced labour. They are coerced through violence, intimidation or subtler techniques such as debt-accumulation or the retention of documents.

  • An estimated 16 million people are in forced labour in the private sector.
  • An estimated 4 million people are in state-sponsored forced labour.
  • Of those exploited in the private sector, 57% are women.
  • Domestic workers account for 24% of all forced labourers.
  • Construction, manufacturing, agriculture and fishery sectors account for 34% of forced labourers.
  • Debt bondage affects half of all victims of forced labour.
  • Most victims suffer from multiple forms of coercion including the withholding of wages, threats or acts of violence against them or their family.

Click the sections below to get a breakdown of key statistics

Survivor stories

Arise provides a platform for those who have passed through the pain of exploitation to tell their stories. This can help people to empathise with the severity of the situation for so many, and the urgency of abolition. 

Kenya at night .jpg
Delhi forced labour slavery survivor story
Sexual exploitation in London survivor story