Slavery now 63

Britain passed the Slavery Abolition Act which set free all the slaves and abolished the institution of slavery throughout its empire in 1833.

The United States Congress freed all the slaves and abolished the institution of slavery throughout the Union in 1865.

People had been enslaved by other people for as long as there had been people on the earth. No power had ever before 1833 abolished slavery and made enslavement a crime.

So now, in the 21st. century, slavery is long over and gone?

No.

There are tens of millions of people trapped in various forms of slavery throughout the world today. Researchers estimate that 40 million are enslaved worldwide, generating $150 billion each year in illicit profits for traffickers.

Labor Slavery. About 50 percent toil in forced labor slavery in industries where manual labor is needed—such as farming, ranching, logging, mining, fishing, and brick making—and in service industries working as dish washers, janitors, gardeners, and maids.

Sex Slavery. About 12.5 percent are trapped in forced prostitution sex slavery.

Forced Marriage Slavery. About 37.5 percent are trapped in forced marriages. 

Child Slavery. About 25 percent of today’s slaves are children.

New slavery has two chief characteristics—it’s cheap and it’s disposable. Slaves today are cheaper than ever. In 1850, an average slave in the American South cost the equivalent of $40,000 in today’s money. Today a slave costs about $90 on average worldwide. (Source: Disposable People: New Slavery in the Global Economy. See all Free the Slaves books.)

Modern slaves are not considered investments worth maintaining. In the 19thcentury it was difficult to capture slaves and transport them to the United States. But today, when someone in slavery gets sick or injured, they are simply dumped or killed.

So there are at least forty million slaves in the world. (“At least” because it can fairly be said that the populations of all Communist countries are held in slavery.) A quarter of the forty million are children. And the number of child slaves will grow because more are continually being born in slavery.

In 2017, a coalition of states and non-government organizations estimated that there were some 40 million people enslaved worldwide, as well as 152 million child laborers.

Modern slavery

Total

40 m

Forced labor in the private sector

16 m

Forced marriage

15 m

Forced commercial sexual exploitation

5 m

Forced labor imposed by state authorities

4 m

Child labor

Total

152 m

Agriculture

108 m

Children living in middle income countries

84 m

Hazardous work

73 m

Children (ages 5-14) outside the education system

36 m

An estimated 40.3 million men, women, and children were victims of modern slavery on any given day in 2016. Of these, 24.9 million people were in forced labour and 15.4 million people were living in a forced marriage. Women and girls are vastly over-represented, making up 71 percent of victims. Modern slavery is most prevalent in Africa, followed by the Asia and the Pacific region.

Although these are the most reliable estimates of modern slavery to date, we know they are conservative as significant gaps in data remain. The current Global Estimates do not cover all forms of modern slavery; for example, organ trafficking, child soldiers, or child marriage that could also constitute forced marriage are not able to be adequately measured at this time. Further, at a broad regional level there is high confidence in the estimates in all but one of the five regions. Estimates of modern slavery in the Arab States are affected by substantial gaps in the available data. Given this is a region that hosts 17.6 million migrant workers, representing more than one-tenth of all migrant workers in the world and one in three workers in the Arab States, and one in which forced marriage is reportedly widespread, the current estimate is undoubtedly a significant underestimate.

The 10 countries with the highest prevalence of modern slavery [and the predominant religion in each of them] are: 

North Korea [Communist]

Eritrea  [Christian and Muslim]

Burundi [Christian] 

Central African Republic  [Christian]

Afghanistan [Muslim] 

Mauritania [Muslim] 

South Sudan [Christian] 

Pakistan  [Muslim]

Cambodia [Christian] 

Iran [Muslim]

Mauritania and Cambodia remained in the top 10 in 2018. Mauritania continues to host a high proportion of people living in modern slavery. …

The practice is entrenched in Mauritanian society with slave status being inherited, and deeply rooted in social castes and the wider social system. …

In Cambodia, men, women, and children are known to be exploited in various forms of modern slavery – including forced labour, debt bondage and forced marriage. … The government has been slow to improve their response to modern slavery.

Both ISIS and Boko Haram (the Nigerian affiliate of ISIS) have captured and enslaved untold thousands. The number of Yazidi women and girls enslaved by ISIS is estimated at about 7,000. Some who escaped or have been freed as ISIS has been defeated, have reported what they had to endure.

One story in particular haunts us (and it is certainly one of many as terrible.) A little Yazidi slave girl, 5 years old, got sick and wet her bed. Her ISIS Muslim owners in Iraq, a man and his German wife, punished her by putting her, chained up, out in the scorching heat and letting her thirst to death.

Posted under Afghanistan, Africa, Arab States, Cambodia, communism, Iran, Islam, Labor, North Korea, Pakistan, Slavery by Jillian Becker on Monday, January 21, 2019

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