In a surprising turn of events, Mexico has witnessed a significant increase in forced labor cases, highlighting the country's deep-rooted issues of inequality and discrimination. According to the Global Slavery Index developed by Walk Free, an organization at the forefront of combating modern slavery, the number of individuals trapped in forced labor situations has doubled between 2018 and 2022. What was once estimated to be around 341,000 people in "modern slavery" has alarmingly surged to a staggering 850,000 individuals. Moreover, this distressing reality intersects with forced marriages, further perpetuating the cycle of exploitation and abuse.
Katherine Bryant, the head of Policy and Programs at Walk Free, shed light on a specific case in Guerrero, where young girls are being sold as brides for prices ranging from $2,000 to $18,000. Shockingly, this not only involves forced labor but also entails sexual abuse and domestic slavery. Such deplorable circumstances emphasize the urgent need for the Mexican government and society as a whole to address these deep-rooted issues, ensuring the protection and well-being of vulnerable individuals.