Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Facts of Modern Slavery

What are the real facts regarding slavery in our world today? How many slaves are there? How many are in the United States? How much is the slave trade worth today? Who is being trafficked?

These are questions one needs to understand in order to fully comprehend the impact of slavery in the world.

First off, let's define slavery.  The following is the definition found on CNN's Freedom Project.

“Slavery occurs when one person completely controls another person, using violence or the threat of violence to maintain that control, exploits them economically, pays them nothing and they cannot walk away.”

This includes, but is not limited to...
  • Debt Bondage
  • Bonded Labor
  • Attached Labor
  • Restavec
  • Forced Labor
  • Forced Prostitution
  • Indentured Servitude
The following is a list of facts gathered from the U.S. State Department, United Nations, university studies and NGO's Free the Slaves and the International Labour Organization.  You can see a visual of these facts in the slideshow below.
  1. According to the United Nations, modern slavery is estimated to generate over $32 billion dollars per year. It comprises the 3rd largest illegal activity behind drug and arms trafficking. To give you an idea of how much money that is, that's more than the combined annual profits of Google and Nike.
  2. Using statistical analysis similar to that used to number endangered species, the International Labor Organization and Free the Slaves estimate that there are 10-30 million slaves worldwide today. 
  3. In a 2005 report, the U.S. State Department estimated that between 14,500 - 17,000 people are trafficked into the United States each year.
  4. According to the U.S. State Department, between 600,000 - 800,000 people are trafficked across international borders each year. 70% of these are female and 50% are children.
  5. In 1809, the adjusted price of a slave for our day would be $40,000. Today the average price of a slave is just $90. This creates an economic factor not seen in the African slave trade.
  6. In the United States, a runaway will be contacted by a trafficker within 48 hours of running away.
  7. 2010 study of Chicago area pimps found that 48% of pimps in the Chicago area ran away as a child to avoid abuse. 88% of the pimps were abused as children and 76% were sexually assaulted as children. 


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