41,000 people in modern slavery in Australia

26 May 2023

Walk Free’s Global Slavery Index was released this week, estimating that there are  41,000 people  living in modern slavery in Australia. Globally, it’s estimated that 49.6 million people are living  in modern slavery. This represents an increase of 10 million people since 2016.

The Global Estimates of Modern Slavery are produced by the International Labour Organization (ILO), Walk Free, and the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

Of the 50 million people living in modern slavery,

  • 28 million are in forced labour
  • 22 million in forced marriage
  • 12 million are children

Modern slavery refers to a situation of exploitation where a person is not free to leave because of threats, violence, coercion  or deception.

The report states that modern slavery is driven by conflict, climate change, gender inequality and COVID-19. It also discusses how well governments are responding to modern slavery.

The report notes that the 5 products at risk of modern slavery in Australia are:

  • electronics
  • garments
  • solar panels
  • textiles
  • fish

It is estimated that US$17.4 billion of imports into Australia are at risk of slavery in their supply chains.

Read more about the Global Slavery Index here