December 2 is the annual International Day for the Abolition of Slavery, aimed at drawing attention to the fight against modern forms of slavery such as sexual exploitation, child labor, forced marriage, and the forced recruitment of children for use in armed conflict.
The United Nations says some 21 million people around the world are currently trapped in slavery, more than half of them women and children.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a statement that “every day, in all regions of the world, women are trafficked, sold and locked in brothels for sexual exploitation. Little girls are forcibly married, sexually abused, and used as domestic workers. Children work in mines, setting explosives and breathing toxic dust. Others are abducted and turned into soldiers, obliged to kill and torture.”