What You Should Know about Modern Slavery

May 10, 201910:25 am
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A glance about modern slavery

From history textbooks, we learn that slavery was common during the Dark Age. Thanks to the slavery abolition act, the practice of slavery no longer exists in the present society. While the kind of traditional slavery we know in the past has ended long ago, unfortunately, there comes a new kind of slavery in today’s Modern Age. Modern slavery has many forms and is happening in every part of the world. According to the Parliament of Australia, modern slavery does not have an exact definition but it happens in form of debt bondage, serfdom, forced and early marriage, exploitation of children, and many others.

International Labour Organization cited that modern slavery happens in all types of economic activity and in every country. Various indicators such as restrictions on worker’s freedom of movement, withholding of wages or identity documents, physical of sexual violence, threats and intimidation which workers cannot escape can also be forms of our modern slavery today.

See also: Threat of Modern Slavery Coming from the Rise of Robots in Manufacturing

The statistics of modern slavery happening around the globe

Most people believe that modern slavery might only happen in developing countries. In fact, no country is free from neo-slavery. Data from Global Slavery Index and Forced Labour reported that 40.3 million of men, women, and children are victims of today’s slavery. The most prevalent of slavery happens in Africa, followed by Asia and the Pacific. In developed regions such as America, Europe and Central Asia, there is also an indication of practice of modern slavery. Women and children are noted to represent a staggering 71 percent of aforementioned numbers due to early marriage, prostitutions, and other forms of neo-slavery.

Moreover, data from ILO showed detailed numbers of modern slavery as seen in the following:

  •  10 million children are in slavery across the world
  •  30.4 million people are in slavery in the Asia-Pacific region, mostly in bonded labour
  •  9.1 million people are in slavery in Africa
  •  2.1 million people are in slavery in the Americas
  • 1.5 million people are in slavery in developed economies
  • 16 million slavery victims are exploited in economic activities
  •  4.8 million people are in forced into sexual exploitation
  • 99 percent of people trafficked for sexual exploitation are women and girls
  • 4.1 million people are exploited by governments

You are part of modern slavery

While you might think you are not a slave, you might be contributing to the creation of modern slavery instead. For example, many labours are forced to make the clothes you wear, jewellery you use, and everyday material you purchase. With low payment and dangerous workforce, modern slavery is created. Therefore, it is important to know that you are creating the demand for a slave to make goods for you every day without a fair contract. Thus, to end this, you should change your demand from the market, advised End Slavery Act.

You can help those who are trapped in forced labour

One way is by changing your demands to market, boycott anything that is made from unfair contract. You can also help by taking care of those who are in poverty and financially-underprivileged. Most people who are trapped in slavery are those who are poor. They are promised a good job but end up working tirelessly in order to feed their family. You can also act by stopping traffickers from their actions. Usually, poor family are being lured by big money if they work abroad. They were asked to pay in advance for documents and travel expenses by the traffickers. However, the victims will end up being a slave and cannot go back to home country because they need to pay debt accrued during the travel.

Read also: Singapore to Carry Out Labour Curbs Due to Skills Shortage