March 8, 2011

7 Facts About Modern Slavery

Did you know that there are more slaves today than there were before the civil war?  While legal slavery in the US ended with emancipation, throughout the world and even in the US, slavery continues.   I'm not talking about people paid too little, or "enslaved" by their circumstances, but slavery in the traditional sense, where people are forced to work or prostitute themselves and kept enslaved through  fraud, coercion and threat of violence.

This page formerly listed 10 facts about modern slavery, but new research has caused the need for an update (this post was updated in January 2014).  Here are 7 updated facts from recent reports about modern slavery.
  1. There is an estimated 27 million people in the world enslaved today.  
  2. Human trafficking is the modern term for the "slave trade."
  3. Traffickers maintain control of their victims through various means, including violence, coercion  and threats of harm to loved ones.  
  4. 27% of known trafficking victims are children. 
  5. Sex trafficking accounts for 58% of all human trafficking.  Forced labor makes up around 38%.  Other forms of human trafficking include forced marriage, transportation of people for organs, and forced enlistment of child soldiers.  
  6. Victims of  forced labor have been found in nearly every job setting imaginable...including factories, restaurants, private homes, medical facilities, farms, and construction sites. 
  7. While poverty can leave people more vulnerable to enslavement, this is not just a third-word problem.  Slavery is present even in developed nations like the United States.

SOURCES:  U.S. State Department Trafficking in Persons Report - 2013 (1, 3, 6, 7)  Polaris Project (2) UNDOC Global Report on Trafficking in Persons - 2012  (4,5)

    Would you like to do something to stop slavery?  One simple thing you can do is spread the word!  Please feel free to copy this list and share it on your blog, tweet about it, etc.   I don't require any credit or back-link, but if you use this list verbatim, please also let others know that they may share this list.

    For more things that you can do to fight modern slavery, click here

    References:   Below are links to the sites where I found this info.  Unfortunately some of articles I used as references have since been removed.

    1. AlterNet 2. BBC Ethics Guide: Modern Slavery 3. 4. Wikipedia  5 - 8. International Justice Mission's Sex Trafficking Fact Sheet 9. Traffic 911 10. Free The Slaves.


    1. That's true, most people think of the 1800s when they hear the word slavery. Interesting post! Thanks for linking up.

    2. Certainly! This information is quite serious. To fight against an evil of human trafficking join us today at to save your innocent children,teenager girls and women from human traffickers.Our aim is to find various solutions on how to stop human trafficking and raise awareness among people.

    3. Shocking and sad. But important to know.

    4. I'm surprised by how low the percent is of children trafficked. I would have thought they'd be a larger percent. Still sucks though.