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IJM Statement on 2017 Global Estimates of Modern Slavery

International Justice Mission (IJM) welcomes the ground-breaking collaboration between Walk Free, the International Labor Organization (ILO), and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to produce a unified estimate of global slavery and child labor of over 40 million people. The joint report represents an immense effort to capture the reality of a hard-to-reach, hidden population of victims as well as a moral challenge to the world to free them and prosecute those who exploit their lives and labor.

The three groups’ willingness to join forces and harmonize definitions and methodologies makes a very substantial contribution to implementation of Sustainable Development Solutions Network’s (SDSN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 8.7 which calls for the eradication of forced labor, human trafficking and child labor.

According to IJM Senior Advisor, Holly Burkhalter, “This report is a giant leap forwards in helping us to understand how many slaves there are in the world, but the even bigger challenge is not to count slaves but to free them. It is fitting that the unified global slavery estimate comes on the same day as the official launch of the Global Fund to End Modern Slavery, which was established precisely for that purpose."

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