Modern slavery is driven by conflict and displacement, but it is difficult to collect representative data among populations on the move, or among those residing in internally displaced camps. This report sought to better understand the scale and nature of modern slavery among persons displaced by conflict residing in displacement settings, and to explore the relationship between individual level factors, such as gender and age, and external factors, such as size of the household and number of household assets, on modern slavery.
The report estimates the prevalence of forms of modern slavery among people who experienced displacement in three countries – Nigeria, South Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo – each of which has endured protracted conflict.
We found that modern slavery is common among Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). Experiences of modern slavery were characteristically violent and were often perpetrated by armed groups or forces to further the conflict. Results also indicate that displacement sites, such as camps, did not always offer protection from modern slavery.
This report was produced by the International Labour Organization (ILO), the International Organization for Migration (IOM), and Walk Free. Surveys on recent experiences of forced labour, abduction, forced recruitment by armed groups or forces, and forced marriage were conducted in 2017 and 2018 among IDPs residing in displacement sites in North Kivu in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), South Sudan, and North-east Nigeria.
IDPs in displacement sites in South Sudan were estimated to have been subject to one or more forms of modern slavery over the five-year reporting period.
IDPs in displacement sites in North-east Nigeria were estimated to have been subject to one or more forms of modern slavery over the five-year reporting period.
IDPs sampled in North Kivu, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), had been subject to one or more forms of modern slavery over the five-year reporting period.
In all three settings, perpetrators of modern slavery were often members of the armed groups and armed forces who would deliberately exploit displaced populations to further their conflict related operations.
The use and threat of physical violence were the most common methods of forcing IDPs into situations of modern slavery and of preventing them from leaving exploitative situations.
In South Sudan and North Kivu (DRC), there were failures in fully protecting displaced persons in displacement sites from incidents of modern slavery.