What Are Some Child Slavery Facts?
The following child slavery facts reveal the seriousness of the issue:
- Female victims continue to be the primary targets in trafficking. Women make up 46% and girls 19% of all victims of trafficking.1
- Globally, one in every three victims detected in trafficking is a child.2
- The share of children among detected trafficking victims has tripled. The share of boys has increased five times over the past 15 years.3
- Adolescents and youth on the move are more vulnerable to trafficking and exploitation than adults. In a study on the Eastern Mediterranean Route of migration, 17% of adolescents and youth reported exploitation, compared with 10% of those 25 and older. Migrant or refugee adolescents with lower levels of education are more vulnerable to trafficking and exploitation.4
- Of the total number of victims of modern slavery, 24.9 million people were in forced labor in 2016 and 15.4 million were living in a forced marriage.5
- The International Labour Office (ILO) reports that 152 million people are victims of child labor. Of those, nearly half work in unhealthy and hazardous environments.6 Half of those child laborers are found in Africa, Asia and Pacific regions.7
Another interesting fact is why these children are working in forced labor. We can look at the situation from two perspectives. First, the family’s perspective. Many families in these regions are just trying to survive. The generational or situational poverty they are mired in is desperate. Some may have been displaced by war or famine. Selling their child into the workforce is tempting way to survive and can seem like the only option.
“They can see no way out of their poverty, so they sacrifice the future (the education and success of their children) on the altar of the immediate (survival now).”8
This is their chance to rise above their current circumstances.
Second, let’s consider the employers’ context. For them, it’s all about profitability.
“Each level of the supply chain, from the top down, pushes the entire chain to reduce costs. The key for each link is to acquire at the lowest possible cost and to sell at the highest cost the market will bear.”9
Children provide low-cost labor and they have no bargaining power. They are easy to manipulate. Therefore, employers take advantage of them to maximize their own profits.
For decades, GFA has been ministering to impoverished families. We feed the hungry and provide helpful resources to families who are in need. Since poverty is at the root of this issue, that is one of the primary areas we address. Consider supporting our solutions today.Learn more about child slavery
1 “Victims Voices Lead the Way.” United Nations. Accessed 23 February 2022. https://www.un.org/en/observances/end-human-trafficking-day.
2 “Victims Voices Lead the Way.” United Nations. Accessed 23 February 2022. https://www.un.org/en/observances/end-human-trafficking-day.
3 “Victims Voices Lead the Way.” United Nations. Accessed 23 February 2022. https://www.un.org/en/observances/end-human-trafficking-day.
4 “Harrowing Journeys.” UNICEF. September 2017. http://www.antislaverycommissioner.co.uk/media/1180/harrowing-journeys_children-and-youth-on-the-move-across-the-mediterranean.pdf.
5 “Global Estimates of Modern Slavery.” ILO. 2017 Report. https://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/@dgreports/@dcomm/documents/publication/wcms_575479.pdf.
6 “Half the World’s 152 Million Child Laborers Do Hazardous Work.” VOA. 10 June 2018. https://www.voanews.com/a/half-the-world-s-152-million-child-laborers-do-hazardous-work/4432362.html.
7 “Half the World’s 152 Million Child Laborers Do Hazardous Work.” VOA. 10 June 2018. https://www.voanews.com/a/half-the-world-s-152-million-child-laborers-do-hazardous-work/4432362.html.
8 Gutheil, Lou. “Child labor: Not gone, but forgotten.” GFA World Special Report. 9 July 2019. https://www.gfa.org/special-report/child-labor-today/.
9 Gutheil, Lou. “Child labor: Not gone, but forgotten.” GFA World Special Report. 9 July 2019. https://www.gfa.org/special-report/child-labor-today/.
* Cover Photo by Shagor Khan. https://flickr.com/photos/113504075@N05/16526574938/.