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IJM Statement on 2022 Global Estimates of Modern Slavery

New findings on the astounding increase in modern slavery—with more than 50 million people exploited in 2021—should be an urgent wake-up call to the world. As more and more children, women and men face violent abuse, we must all focus our efforts on solutions proven to reduce slavery.

We are not powerless against the factors driving modern slavery. This new report from the International Labour Organization (ILO), Walk Free and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) rightfully acknowledges, “It is not a question of not knowing what to do.” Solutions exist that have measurably reduced exploitation in targeted communities. It is now imperative for governments, funding institutions, and anti-slavery advocates to replicate these successes and be transparent about impact on reduction.

With more than 25 years combating modern slavery alongside local governments and partners, IJM has seen measurable impact from strengthening law enforcement and empowering survivors to lead this fight—interventions recommended in this new report. Third-party studies of IJM’s programs have seen “dramatic reductions” in reducing modern slavery by 70 to 90%. We remain committed to replicating these successes across global hotspots, partnering with local experts so that other vulnerable people will never be abused.

Now is the time for all of us in the anti-slavery movement to re-commit to measurable reduction of this heinous crime. As the report powerfully shares, “Nothing can justify the persistence of modern slavery in today’s world. We can and must do better.”

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Maggie Cutrell


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