Modern Slavery and Women’s Rights: A call to Action

Modern slavery and human trafficking persist as a grave violation of Human Rights. According to the latest Report from ILO, Walk Free Foundation in partnership with IOM, the Global Estimates of Modern Slavery estimates that more than 50 million people are in situations of slavery today. Alarmingly, the majority of those trapped in slavery are women and girls, highlighting the profound gender dimensions of exploitation. 

Approximately 71 percent of enslaved individuals are female, and, shockingly, nearly four out of six victims of forced commercial sexual work are women or girls. Efforts to combat modern slavery and human trafficking must address the interplay between gender-based violence and exploitation, prioritizing prevention and support for survivors. 

Sarah Morse, our director, led a Webinar with excellent and empowering women, who shared their passion and commitment to making an impact on modern slavery and human trafficking. If you are interested in learning more about this issue and how we can address modern slavery and the gender disproportion that women and girls are affected, you can check it on YouTube by clicking here

How Modern Slavery intersects with women’s rights? 

The intersection of modern slavery with women’s rights reveals its systemic nature, deeply rooted within social, political, and legal frameworks. Women and girls experience disproportionate vulnerabilities, underscoring the urgent need for collective action to combat this injustice. Effectively addressing modern slavery demands a holistic approach that addresses its underlying causes across multiple societal spheres. 

The correlation between domestic violence and human trafficking is alarming. Research indicates that a significant proportion of trafficking survivors have experienced domestic abuse prior to being trafficked. Children exposed to domestic violence are particularly vulnerable, with runaway and homeless youth at heightened risk of exploitation.  

Empowering Women as a Solution: 

Economic empowerment emerges as a potent strategy for combating modern slavery. By providing women with access to education, economic opportunities, and support networks, we can reduce their vulnerability to exploitation.  

Education plays a pivotal role in raising awareness about the signs of exploitation and empowering individuals to act. Making people aware of the issue and motivate them to go beyond it is already a big step in combating modern slavery. Businesses must not only comply with regulations but also adopt proactive measures to eradicate modern slavery from their supply chains and to contribute to the community they are inserted in, focusing on the impact of gender disparity. 

The entanglement of modern slavery with women’s rights underscores the urgency of concerted action. Addressing this complex issue demands a multifaceted approach that addresses systemic inequalities, empowers women economically and socially, and fosters awareness and prevention efforts. By prioritizing the rights and dignity of women and girls, we can strive towards a future free from the shackles of exploitation and injustice. 

Unchained works with organisations to help them with their human rights due diligence. Contact us today at  

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