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  • Tags: decriminalisation
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On any given day in 2016 there were an estimated 40.3 million people in modern slavery across the world, with women and girls accounting for 71% of victims. People looking for work and a better standard of living are often deceived, forced and coerced in to such forms of modern slavery as forced labour, debt bondage, domestic servitude and commercial sexual exploitation. Women and girls made up more than 99% of victims of forced sexual exploitation. Moreover more than 1 million of these victims (21%) were children under the age of 18. Child victims are often difficult to detect by both law enforcement and child protection agents, as such the true figure of children in commercial sexual exploitation is likely to be much higher than the current estimate. Blu was 13 years old when she began seeing an older boy that lived near her school. This boy began forcing Blu to have sex with other men, subjecting her to physical violence when she refused. Though other people in her life – including her mother – knew about her prostitution, no one believed that she was being forced. It was only when she left school at 16 and moved away that she could escape.