NEW YORK (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - More than 40 million people around the world were living as slaves last year in forced labor and forced marriages, according to the first joint effort by leading anti-slavery groups to estimate the number of victims worldwide published on Tuesday.
The International Labour Organization (ILO), human rights group Walk Free Foundation, and International Organization for Migration said 40.3 million people were victims of modern slavery in 2016 - but added this was a conservative estimate.
This marks the first time the organizations have collaborated on an international estimate, with calls for renewed efforts from rights groups and governments to end a crime estimated to generate illegal profits of $150 billion per year globally.
Here are some key figures from the landmark collaboration:
Nearly 25 million people last year were trapped working in factories, on construction sites, farms, fishing boats and mines, and as domestic or sex workers.
Of these victims, 16 million were forced to work in the private economy, 4.8 million were sexually exploited, and 4.1 million were subjected to state-imposed forced labor.
At least 15.4 million people were in marriages to which they had not consented - with many victims losing their sexual freedom and forced to work under the guise of marriage.
More than seven in 10 of the people living as slaves last year were women and girls, and one in four was a child.
Modern slavery was most prevalent in Africa (7.6 per 1,000 people), followed by Asia and the Pacific (6.1 per 1,000) then Europe and Central Asia (3.9 per 1,000).
On average, there were 5.9 adult victims of modern slavery in 2016 for every 1,000 adults in the world, and 4.4 child
victims for every 1,000 children.
In the past five years, 89 million people worldwide have been subjected to some form of modern slavery - for periods of time ranging from a few days to the whole five years.