What is modern slavery?
Slavery did not end with the abolition in the 19th century, the practice still continues today in one form or another in every country in the world.
From women forced into prostitution, children and adults forced to work in agriculture, domestic work, factories and sweatshops to produce goods for global supply chains, entire families forced to work for nothing to pay off generational debts, or girls forced to marry older men, the illegal practice still blights our contemporary world.
According to the International Labour Organisation (ILO) around 21 million men, women and children around the world are in a form of slavery.
There are many different characteristics that distinguish slavery from other human rights violations, however only one needs to be present for slavery to exist. A person is considered to be in slavery if they are:
- forced to work - through mental or physical threat
- owned or controlled by an 'employer', usually through mental or physical abuse or the threat of abuse
- dehumanised, treated as a commodity or bought and sold as 'property'
- physically constrained or have restrictions placed on their freedom of movement
Contemporary slavery takes various forms and affects people of all ages, gender and races.