Britain is failing to protect thousands of children from being trafficked and enslaved, activists said on Tuesday, criticizing the government for lacking a clear strategy to stop girls from being sexually abused and gangs using young people as drug mules.
Child labor has been substantially reduced in Latin America, but 5.7 million children below the legal minimum age are still working and a large proportion of them work in precarious, high-risk conditions or are unpaid, which constitute new forms of slave labor.
British Prime Minister Theresa May set out a drive to tackle modern slavery in Britain on Sunday, pledging more funding and a new cross-government taskforce to help stamp out what she called a "barbaric evil".
The might of the law is the best way to end modern-day slavery, by bringing strategic cases to court that can change company practice or government policy, experts seeking to stamp out the problem in corporate supply chains said.
More than 35 million people around the world are trapped in a modern form of slavery, according to a report highlighting the prevalence of forced labor, human trafficking, forced marriages, debt bondage and commercial sexual exploitation.