Fortunately, we are all too young to have lived during times where slavery was legal. In fact, you’d need to be 186 to have seen slavery abolished in the UK. But although abolished more than a lifetime ago, slavery still exists in all corners of our world

It can be easy to forget modern slavery is a part of life today. However, it takes place every day and can also take many forms:

  • Forced labour – any work or service which people are forced to do under the threat of some form of punishment.
  • Debt bondage or bonded labour – the world’s most widespread form of slavery, when people borrow money they cannot repay and are required to work to pay off the debt, losing control over the conditions of both their employment and the debt.
  • Human trafficking – involves transporting, recruiting or harbouring people for the purpose of exploitation, using violence, threats or coercion.
  • Descent-based slavery – where people are born into slavery because their ancestors were captured and enslaved; they remain in slavery by descent.
  • Child slavery – many people often confuse child slavery with child labour, but it is much worse. Whilst child labour is harmful to children and hinders their education and development, child slavery occurs when a child is exploited for someone else’s gain. It can include child trafficking, child soldiers, child marriage and child domestic slavery.
  • Forced and early marriage – when someone is married against their will and cannot leave the marriage. Most child marriages can be considered slavery.

Where does modern slavery happen?

Modern slavery doesn’t just happen in underdeveloped countries as many perceive. The 10 countries with the largest estimated absolute numbers of people in modern slavery include some of the world’s most populous. The following countries reportedly account for 60% of people living in modern slavery.[1]

  • India
  • China
  • Pakistan
  • North Korea
  • Nigeria
  • Iran
  • Indonesia
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Russia
  • The Philippines

However, modern slavery doesn’t just happen in these areas. Unfortunately, there have been many reported cases here in the UK.

How big is the problem?

Although official figures are hard to come by, it is consistently reported that more than 40 million people worldwide are subjected to modern slavery. To put it into perspective, that’s around four times the population of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland combined!

North Korea is said to have the highest prevalence of modern slavery, with 104.6 per 1,000 subjected to it – that’s 1 in every 10 people you meet.[2]

Between October and December 2018 there were 1,961 minors and adults who had been referred to the National Crime Agency in the UK. Women are predominantly subjected to sexual exploitation in the UK as adults, whereas for males the predominant issue is labour exploitation of minors.[3]

Shockingly, during this time two cases were referred to the NCA for organ harvesting.

#MyFreedomDay takes place on 14th March and is intended to raise awareness of modern slavery, whilst celebrating our own freedoms.

Here at Learning Nexus, we would like to celebrate the following freedom:

We believe everyone should have the freedom to learn.

To help celebrate our freedom to learn, whilst raising awareness of those less fortunate than us who are currently subjected to modern slavery, we are offering free access to our Modern Slavery eLearning course.

Please contact to gain access to the course and join us in raising awareness of modern slavery.

This blog was written by Lawrence Parkin – Marketing Executive