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Slavery still exists today. Whether it is called human trafficking, bonded labor, forced labor, or sex trafficking, it is present worldwide, including within the United States 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, with as many as 17,500 people trafficked into the United States. Nearly three out of every four victims are women. Half of modern-day slaves are children.
2. The value of slaves has decreased.
A slave in 1850 in American South cost the equivalent of approximately $40,000. According to figures published by FST, the cost of a slave today averages around $90, depending on the work they are forced to carry out. Photo by saibotregeel A young adult male laborer in Mali might only fetch $40, whereas an HIV-free female might attract a price of up to $1000.
3. Slavery still exists in the US.
Estimates by the US State Department suggest up to 17,500 slaves are brought into the US every year, with 50,000 of those working as prostitutes, farm workers or domestic servants. According to the CIA, more than 1,000,000 people are enslaved in the US today. Thousands of cases go undetected each year and many are difficult to take to court as it can be difficult to prove force or legal coercion.
4.Slavery is hidden behind many other names, thus disguising it from society.
These names are chattel slavery (the traditional meaning of slavery), bonded labor, trafficking, forced labor, and forced marriage, amongst others.
5. The least known method of slavery is the most widely used.
Bonded Labor occurs when labor is demanded in order to repay a debt or loan and the cyclical nature of debt and work can enslave the person for the rest of their life.
6. Human trafficking has recently been described as “the fastest growing criminal enterprise in the world.”
This shocking claim was made by former Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright. The UN estimates trafficked human cargo generates around $7 billion dollars a year.
7. To buy all bonded laborers out of slavery could cost as little as $40 per family.
8. Free the Slaves believe it is possible to end all slavery within 25 years.
9. Many slave-produced goods might reach your home without you realizing their origin.
Industries where slave labor is often highly suspected include cocoa, cotton, steel, oriental rugs, diamonds and silk. Currently the only way to ensure the products you buy are slave-free is to buy Fair Trade certified goods.
10. Your actions affect global slavery.
By buying fair trade, learning more about modern slavery, spreading the word, and joining a movement such as Free the Slaves, Anti-Slavery International, or the American Anti-slavery group, you as an individual can help abolish slavery completely.