Slavery still exists today. Whether it is called human trafficking, bonded labor, forced labor, or sex trafficking, it is present worldwide, from the United States to India to Madagascar and, increasingly, in your local community. An estimated 12 – 27 million people are caught in one or another form of slavery. Between 600,000 and 800,000 are trafficked internationally. Nearly three out of every four victims are female. Half of modern-day slaves are children.
Bonded slavery is a common form of slavery today. It is defined as the continual labor of an individual forced to work by mental or physical threat. The person is owned by an employer to whom the person or person’s family is indebted. When a personal or family emergency requires immediate funds the individual or family is forced to work for very little or no pay in exchange for a small loan. Because the debt increases faster than they are paid, a person is trapped without hope of ever paying off the original debt.
These are widely used definitions of modern slavery:
- Forced Labor: “all work or service which is exacted from any person under the menace of any penalty and for which the said person has not offered himself [herself] voluntarily.” — International Labour Organization
- Trafficking in Persons: “recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation.” — United Nations
For more information, visit FreedomCenter.org.