Slavery did not officially end with its formal abolition in the 19th century; on the contrary it has proved to be a very dynamic phenomenon that has changed forms and structure and that has persisted throughout the world to this very day. According to Anti-Slavery International, an estimated 40.3 million people are subjected to different forms of slavery worldwide. Poverty, underdevelopment, conflict and social exclusion are considered the main contributing factors to slavery, while religious and cultural traditions are also responsible for a number of practices that are nowadays considered tantamount to slavery. Modern slavery thrives under weak rule of law, bad governance and corrupted public officials. It preys on the vulnerable and marginalised, the illiterate, women and those who suffer social discrimination.