03:50 GMT26 January 2021
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    Labor exploitation is not a question of culture, but rather a result of poverty, an expert on anthropology, Dr. Dorte Thorsen, said, commenting on recently released statistical data, according to which 40 million people had fallen victim to modern-day slavery in 2016.

    The only solution to the problem of forced labor is creating new efficient regulatory mechanisms for the labor market, Dr. Dorte Thorsen, lecturer in anthropology in the School of Global Studies at the University of Sussex, told Radio Sputnik.

    "I think the only way to really get to the roots of the problem of exploitation is to have a regulation of the labor market," Thorsen said.

    "Culture is never a static thing. So, it's not about the culture being static and keeping young people in work prematurely. It's about economy, about social change. I think there is a long-term solution, which is to try to create more work and that is what is being done," she added.

    While agreeing that unpaid labor, especially among children, is unethical and immoral, and that countries must ensure decent working conditions and appropriate salaries for their citizens, the analyst believes that the reasons behind labor exploitation lie in the lack of proper labor programs and education facilities.

    The problem is that there are no proper programs,and adults are working in the same "rudimentary working conditions," Thorsen argued.

    "I don't think it's a question of culture, it's a question of poverty, and it's a question of having school systems that are functioning," the expert said. "In some countries the schools were just built within the past 10 years."

    A research paper issued recently by the International Labor Organization and Walk Free Foundation, in partnership with the International Organization for Migration, says that more than 40 million people fell victim to modern slavery in 2016, while almost 25 million people were trapped as slaves in forced labor, including as domestic or sex workers. A further 15 million people were forced into marriages to which they had not consented.

    The report highlights that almost three out of four slaves were women or girls, while one in four was a child. It adds that modern slavery is most prevalent in Africa as well as in Asia and Pacific regions.


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    human rights, women, children, work, exploitation, forced labor, slavery
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