Modern-day slavery is a global issue that affects just about every country in some way. But the circumstances often vary because of geography, local laws and cultural traditions.
Here’s a look at a few of the countries struggling with the problem. What exactly are they dealing with, and how are they coping?
In India, the vast majority of modern-day slaves are what’s known as bonded laborers.
Essentially, these people become property of wealthy landowners because they or even their forefathers have borrowed money from the landowner. The landowner expects them to work off the debt, but the debt never seems to go down.
For generations, there are people who have been working for no wages - only a little bit of food to sustain themselves. Many of the people who are in this situation are low caste. They have no education and they have no real power, so they often just don’t know to fight against this.
Today, bonded labor is illegal in the country. Law enforcement officials have conducted many raids, sometimes freeing entire villages at a time. But the practice is still widespread, especially in rural India. It’s sometimes very easy to pull someone physically out of a situation but very difficult to change mindsets that have been there for generations.
- From CNN’s Sara Sidner
Tens of thousands of visitors come to Spain every year to see landmarks such as La Plaza Mayor in Madrid. But many other visitors, from places like Brazil, Romania and Nigeria, never get that sightseeing opportunity.
These immigrants are hidden away in the shadows, often working in clandestine factories with poor working conditions. Others are forced to work as prostitutes.
In August, police broke up a ring that allegedly tricked young Brazilian men to come into the country and forced them to work as male prostitutes. Authorities said the men were threatened with death and plied with drugs to keep them available for sex 24 hours a day.
The government revised its penal code last year, so the hope is that it will now be easier to get convictions against those who traffic in people and organize forced-labor schemes.
- From CNN’s Al Goodman
Poverty is one of the major reasons why slavery is a problem in Kenya and surrounding African countries.
Human traffickers target slums with the promise of a better life abroad. The residents are convinced to travel to the Persian Gulf, where they are told there will be money and jobs.
When they get to Dubai or Jeddah, often their passports are taken away and they’re paid nothing. And the only way they can get out is to escape.
There are slaves living within African countries, too.
For decades in Sudan, there were Arab tribes coming from the north and stealing people from their families as slaves. Now that peace has come in Sudan, there are thousands, perhaps tens of thousands of people living as slaves. Some of them are branded like cattle.
- From CNN’s David McKenzie
One of the challenges for Colombia is forced labor, especially when it comes to children.
In the provinces of Antioquia, Caldas and also the northern coast, children as young as 8 are often forced to work in coal and gold mines.
Because many of these mines are illegal, working conditions there are often dangerous. Among the risks are chronic disease and also death. Physical abuse is also common.
It is against the law for children under 14 to work in Colombia, and teenagers between 14-18 can work with their parents’ permission. But because of its clandestine nature, the exploitation of children can be hard to track.
- From CNN’s Rafael Romo
Authorities in China are grappling with the dark side of the country’s economic growth: the exploitation and enslavement of workers.
The mentally ill are some of the most vulnerable. Just a month ago, there was a case where mentally ill people were saved from a factory. They had been working without pay, no protective gear, and they had even been fed dog food.
The government has been trying to get on top of this issue and root out some of these underground labor practices. But because there is no social safety net here, a lot of mentally ill people fall through the cracks, are sold off or even forgotten.
Slavery is not a new issue to China. It wasn’t until the early part of the 20th century that it was actually outlawed.
“People poachers” can nab people fleeing North Korea’s oppressive regime.
Picture this: A fearful woman comes down to the river’s edge under cover of darkness. She knows she must make it from North Korea, across to the other side, to China. In the darkness, she is seized by people poachers waiting to kidnap women crossing the border. They are sold to the highest bidder as wives or maids.
- From CNN’s Eunice Yoon and Stan Grant
Like many things in Cuba, the issue of modern-day slavery and human trafficking is a political minefield. On the one hand, the U.S. accuses its ideological enemy of not doing enough to stop the trafficking of women and children in prostitution. On the other hand, Cuba has very clear laws that prohibit prostitution, procurement and the abuse of minors.
We tried to talk to independent watchdog groups but they say they don’t have enough reliable sources of information to comment. As far as child prostitution is concerned, it’s really hard to gauge if it exists and if so, how widespread it is, in part because the local media simply doesn’t talk about it.
On an anecdotal level it’s fairly common to see police questioning young Cubans who hang out outside hotels and bars and markets. Embassies will also say that authorities do crack down on sexual tourism and have put foreigners in jail for it.
- From CNN’s Shasta Darlington
I'd like to suggest to you to check here in Brazil, where I live, most specifically on north, States like Pará e Maranhão, how many people live in "slavery condition". Unfortunately seems like anybody wants to do something here looking for help those people, which is horrible. Who knows with the CNN support we can start to change this situation or at least, makes more and more people knows about this tragic reality in my country.
Yes, it's definitely a problem in Brazil, too. Unfortunately, it's a problem in too many countries, so many, in fact, that it'd take a much larger article to touch the tip of the iceberg. Do what you can in Brazil. My mother and I used to go to favelas and help as much as we could. She also taught at a school for children from one of the most violent favelas in Rio. There are people that want to help. Unfortunately, they may not be in the north due to the levels of poverty there. You can also pay your maid a fair, decent wage (much more than is "fair" by Brazil standards), if you have one. And you should definitely contribute to their social security pensions.
I'm not sure what you talking about. I'm talking about SLAVERY and not poor people living in favelas, which even living like a rats they can at least coming and go for free, is it to difficulty to understand it?
Nigeria is one of the biggest sex sal
very country in the world
Get this: look around you, listen to the news, read newspapers and you will find that this 'snt a problem of one country. Not even the problem of developing countries alone
How come USA is missing? Teen prostitution. Every country is a criminal so every countryman must work against crimes.
Of course you HAD to mention Cuba! There is so much sexual slavery in Europe not just France...a bunch of countries you forgot to mention.... but you had to mention Cuba which most probably has NO slavery at all.
CNN you are a propaganda machine!
Do you live in Cuba? Is that why you are ignorantly assuming that they have no slavery? I suggest you come up with some evidence before you post misinformed and oblivious comments.
You are the misinformed one, honey.
maria is right. clearly Carla and AugustSpies have never been to Cuba. I have, and i can assure you, there is most definitely human trafficking for the purposes of prostitution. all one needs to do is talk to the Cuban people about their problems. clearly Carla and AugustSpies have done no such thing.
Where do these people get sold? Isn't that in Western Europe?
Anywhere where there is profit to be made from it really. And eg. in Europe, many victims are scared into never approaching authorities to avoid deportation (back to eg. a village where everyone put their money together so one or two persons could make it to Europe for 'just' a few thousand Euro) since their status is that of illegal immigrants.
What about the US and its present slave trade
I think you gave a varied overview of the countries where human trafficking is an issue, including underlying the unique aspects within each of these countries. However, I find it interesting that you did NOT mention the USA – where some estimates put the number at over 400,000 directly involved in the sex trade and mostly under the age of 18 – and also many Western European countries, such as France and the Czech Republic. Nevertheless, I do applaud your efforts to get the word out to the public and I hope that CNN will take the cause forward well beyond the Year 2011.
and where's is the usa in all this...as if we're immune??? it's ok to scrutinize other countries but we dare not look at the situation in our own country?!
Mentioning Cuba is not only a cheap shot but historically blind. The Cuban revolution happened in part because the United States was using Cuba as its little playground. Pre-Castro Cuba was a place to go for unlimited prostitution, gambling and drug use. The revolutionaries took Cuba back from all that in order to clean it up. And they did. Journalists, you should, every now and then, read a history book. Everything you heard in right wing propaganda class ain't necessarily so.
"The revolutionaries took Cuba back from all that in order to clean it up."
And in the process destroyed the country. Yeah, that worked real well. My family's from there – they had an up close and personal taste of the revolution and realized they had been dropped out of the pan and into the fire.
carla, i sternly suggest you put down the history book and get out of your house once in awhile. i've been to cuba, and i can say definitively that while the ideal of the revolution was certainly altruistic, the people there are oppressed, very poor, and very hungry. they in some ways revere Fidel, but most of the educated people (since education is free to PhD level, this includes a vast majority of the citizenry) feel Fidel and Raul have lost their way. and... the country is certainly not "cleaned up". prostitution is rife and in-your-face there. seriously, it is you Carla who is spreading propaganda.
Sounds like the ONLY books you read are the one party communist propaganda books from Fidel and Raul. Get your head out of your ......
You sure it is correct to mention SPAIN in that list?
A country with a much better social system then the US ever had, where slavery is a more marginal problem of crime.
India certainly doesn't belong at the top of your list. You've missed the elephant in the room, good ol USA. Another place you should have looked at for your "face of the slavery" article is a mirror
Yes, the USA (and countless other countries) belong on that list. India has earned its spot on such a list. India has quite a terrible slavery tradition.
Do you mean to tell me that slavery is not caused by the dreaded Confederate flag!!!!! NAACP please do something!!!!
I hope CNN will expose the Economic Slavery practiced in America. The U.S Constitution prohibits involuntary servitude, but several states in America allow Lifetime Alimony which is involuntary servitude with the threat of imprisionment. How states can make a law that overrides the U.S Constitution is simple, because lawyers and judges make money off this system their lobbiest will never allow it to change. If one person is forced to work and pay another person its slavery clear and simple and the person working has no chance of freeing themselves– its slavery clear and simple. This injustice is permitted because anything that makes lawyers money will never be changed. I do support Alimony for a specified period of time to allow the other person to update their working skills. I fought for America for 20 years to allow Americans to continue to enjoy their freedom and that same system took away my freedom. I am a Slave too without the right to do with my hard earned money as I see fit and I cannot retire without the threat of imprisonment. I wish CNN would contact me as a modern day slave in what once was the land of the free and home of the brave or is it slave.
this is beutiful project CNN,thank you and I believe the purpose of bringing this evil to an end shall be achieved.I want to believe that this project shall leave no stone unturned and reports without bias.Government generating revenue in this(including that of the US)should also be exposed and individuals who have become rich in it should be exposed also.I am in full support of this!
Thank you for the article however it would also be nice to see one specifically targetting the rampant sex slave problem in America or perhaps one on the LRA abducting children in Africa to become soldiers.
Attention all NAACP type crybabies squawking about slavery here over 150 years ago. Shut up already! Slavery happens all over the world now to people of all colors. You act like you are still oppressed, you have no flipping clue about the reality of now.
Haiti still has slavery. Nobody wants to talk about it because Haiti is poor.
Slavery is pretty much everywhere. That this is so is why I was dismayed to hear that Texas was planning to remove reference to the U.S.'s history of slavery from its textbooks (this matters because textbooks are expensive to produce, Texas is a big state, and what is approved in Texas impacts what is available for use in other markets). We shouldn't be deleting slavery from our study of history but rather broadening and updating our approach to the subject. Slavery both pre-dates and survives the "Triangle Trade" between Africa, the New World, and Europe. One thing new about slavery associated with the Triangle Trade was that it descended into massive legalized total possession with NO rights at all for LIFE which was not the case in other times and places including in Africa where Africans sold other Africans into the trade but had no way to guess or understand the true fate they were sending people to. In any event, how is it that some human beings have no qualms at all about treating other human beings as property? Whether to perform labor or for sex or to feel powerful or for whatever reason. It seems important that we acknowledge once and for all this part of human behavior – I hate to call it "human nature" – and try to understand it better, the better to recognize and eradicate it. One thing is certain, that respect for human life is an ideal not yet realized but one we have to choose to aspire to.
Have you ever visited India and seen the way people of all castes enjoy their lives interacing with each other and with the wealth they have? Yes, some people have borrowed too much and they have to pay back. Sometimes the government intervenes and excuses their debts- fair or not. Sometimes debts get carried down to next generation. This is irrespective of caste. It is economy and how they plan their expenses. See India in its growth stage and look at their problems with consideration and not derision. The problems in India are created by politicians, corrupt ones.
Wow. I have to assume you're a part of one of the higher castes in India. Can you honestly be so blind to the slavery that is all around you? Do you honestly think those women digging holes in the side of the road that can barely feed themselves, let alone their children, getting spat at, etc, etc, are enjoying their lives as much as someone in a higher caste? Or do you choose to not recognize when it's an untouchable that is in slavery because you don't consider them human? I understand you feel you need to defend your country, but at least others (Americans, Europeans, Brazilians like myself) can recognize that slavery is indeed a problem in all our countries, whether it makes us proud to be Indian, American, Brazilian or not.
USA has financial slavery as result of greed from wall street and also from US banks ...Financial dictatorship..
As usual, CNN( Continuous Nonsense News).
If you consider shedding light on a very serious issue most people are more comfortable sweeping under the rug "nonsense", then I guess this is the right article for you to show your dissatisfaction with the "nonsense" CNN publishes. Do you realize that there are white Americans in slavery right here in the good ol' USA? Open your eyes!!
democratic slavery where leaders do not give two hoots about the rest and leaders use hypocrasy to start wars based
on hearsay and planted evidence.
Exploitation slavery where highly industrialised developed countries invade poor countries,set up factories,pay locals
cheap labour to manufacture their products,then sell their products at an enormous profit to them and to the rest of the world.They then claim its for R+D.
Slavery is very bad in the Gulf countries (UAE, Saudi, etc.) where women (blondes especially) from Europe (and even the US) are imported by wealthy interests to be used for sex purposes, there is no accountability whatsoever.
Men and Women and a string of Christmas Lights: Interesting thohgut here. I think it is usually true, but I don't think it should be. 5 Surprising Ways to Improve Your Marriage in 2011: Some great ideas here. Leave A Comment 2010 Daily Generous Husband Tips. All Rights Reserved.Also see The Generous Wife and The Marriage Bed.
The freedom project is a noble idea but it seems to be based on bias and heresay. Most of your correspondents seem not to have really researched their sources but that is expected since you really want the ratings.
McKenzie get over your high horse for once and report something that is worth your profession. "locked up and forgotten" was a great expose but that said you really got it wrong about Kenya. Go back to US and add another degree or something. Oh! Wait they seem useless to you.
@ Sara Sidner, Have you ever been to India, or you are still reading about india in books which were printed 50 years ago. Have a look. Go to any village. See there and then write..... India is not the same as you are portraying it
In a deeper sense "marriage" is also a kind of licensed SLAVERY across may religions all over the WORLD
Because we humans have freedom to express are doing so....but how about the monkeys in research labs that are subjected to all kinds of inhuman things and bears trapped in cages for their life....very very disgusting and sad ....situation that pulls any body down.....Let good sense prevail among we humans on this planet.
In the developed countries today, modern day slavery has taken a twisted turn in which the government supports companies and organizations to put their citizens into slavery. To for example, The Netherlands in Europe. Companies make people sign agreements not letting them see the secret behind this contracts and with time the customer is made to pay beyond what they bargained and these companies cooperate with government agencies to frustrate people who get into these contract by inflating the amount from time to time. At the end these people become slaves to these companies and the government. Which get these money at what ever means from its people.
Everyone is a slave to his/her own sin. Jesus gives us freedom by His truth. Everyone needs Jesus. Anyone who is able must work to liberate fellow humans.
== In the USA ==
On August 5, 2008
U.S. Justice Department Inspector General Glenn Fine uncovered discrepancies in a program dedicated to cracking down on human trafficking, McClatchy Newspapers report. Former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales spent millions of dollars on combating the international trafficking of indentured servants and sex slaves, including by creating task forces across the U.S. that identified and helped victims. Over four years, the department paid $50 million to the task forces and other groups. Conservative groups, who pressured the administration to go after sex trafficking more aggressively, applauded his efforts.
Critics have questioned whether the problem was being hyped. Fine found in an audit issued that the task forces and other groups set up to help were 'significantly' overstating the number of victims they served. By examining a sampling of cases, Fine found the task forces had exaggerated by as much as 165 percent. Making matters worse, the inflated numbers were included in annual reports to Congress.
== In the United Kingdom ==
In October, 2009 – The biggest ever investigation of sex trafficking failed to find a single person who had forced anybody into prostitution in spite of hundreds of raids on sex workers in a six-month campaign by government departments, specialist agencies and every police force in the country. The failure has been disclosed by a Guardian investigation which also suggests that the scale of and nature of sex trafficking into the UK has been exaggerated by politicians and media.
Nick Davis of the Guardian newspaper writes:
Current and former ministers have claimed that thousands of women have been imported into the UK and forced to work as sex slaves, but most of these statements were either based on distortions of quoted sources or fabrications without any source at all.
===In India and Nepal===
If media reports are to be believed, there would be no young girls left in Nepal. Oft-quoted figures such as 5,000-7,000 Nepali girls being trafficked across the border to India every year and 150,000-200,000 Nepali women and girls being trapped in brothels in various Indian cities, were first disseminated in 1986, and have remained unaltered over the next two decades. The report that first quoted these statistics was from the Indian Health Association, Mumbai, written by AIDS Society of India secretary general, Dr. I S Gilada, and presented in a workshop in 1986. Subsequently, a version of this report was published as an article in The Times of India on January 2, 1989. To date, the source of this figure remains a mystery. Unfortunately, such a lack of clarity is more the norm than the exception when it comes to reporting on trafficking in women and girls.
There needs to be a distinct separation of
1. Child sex trafficking
2. Adult sex Trafficking
3. Adult consensual
4. Sex Slavery
They are not the same. Adult Women are NOT children.
Media coverage of trafficking and adult women's migration and sex work is confused and inaccurate. The media wrongly uses the terms 'sex work' and 'trafficking' and adult sex work and child sex trafficking synonymously, perpetuating stereotypes and stigmatization, and contributing to the violation of women's right to free movement and livelihood options. They assume that if any woman moves from place to place for sex work that they are being trafficking. The media, politicians, aid groups, feminist, and religious organizations does not take into account that she may do this of her own free will. Too often women are treated like children. Adult women are not children.
Most migrant women, including those in the sex industry, have made a clear decision, says a new study, to leave home and take their chances abroad. They are not "passive victims" in need of "saving" or sending back by western campaigners.
Sex Trafficking/Slavery is used by many groups as a attempt to outlaw all prostitution around the world by saying that all women are victims even if they do it willing. This hurts any real victims because it labels all sex workers as victims.
This is done by the media, aid groups, NGO’s, feminists, politicians, and religious organizations that receive funds from the government. There are very strong groups who promote that all adult women who have sex are victims even if they are willing, enjoy it and go out of there way to get it. These groups try to get the public to believe that no adult women in their right mind would ever go into the sex business unless she was forced to do so, weather she knew it or not. They say that 100% of all sex workers are trafficking victims.
They do this in order to label all men as sex offenders and wipe out all consensual prostitution. Which is what their real goal is. There is almost no one who challenges or questions them about their false beliefs. Therefore, the only voices you hear are of these extreme groups. These groups want to label all men as terrible sex offenders for seeing a willing adult sex worker. No one stands up to say this is foolish, the passive public says nothing.
These groups even say that all men who marry foreign women are terrible sex predators who take advange of these "helpless foreign women wives".
These groups believe that two adults having consensual sex in private should be outlawed. Since they believe that it is impossible for a man to have sex with a woman without abusing the woman in the process.
This is an example of feminists and other groups exploiting the suffering of a small minority of vulnerable and abused women in order to further their own collective interests. For example, getting money from the government and Charity into their organizations. Rather than wanting to find the truth.
There is a lot of controversy over the numbers of adult woman who are forced sex slaves. The real factual answer is that no one knows. There is hard evidence that the sex slavery/sex trafficking issue continues to report false information and is greatly exaggerated by politicians, the media, and aid groups, feminist and religious organizations that receive funds from the government, The estimate of adult women who become new sex slaves ranges anywhere from 40 million a year to 5,000 per year all of which appear to be much too high. They have no evidence to back up these numbers, and no one questions them about it. Their sources have no sources, and are made up numbers. In fact if some of these numbers are to believed which have either not changed or have been increased each year for the past twenty years, all woman on earth would currently be sex slaves. Yet, very few real forced against their will sex slaves have been found.
It is not easy for criminals to engage in this activity:
Sex trafficking is illegal and the pentities are very severe. It is very difficult to force someone to be a sex slave, they would have to have 24 hour guards posted and be watched 365 days a year, 24 hours per day. Have the threat of violence if they refused, and have no one notice and complain to the authorities or police. They would need to hide from the general public yet still manage to see customers from the general public and not have the customers turn the traffickers in to the police. They would need to provide them with medical care, food, shelter, and have all their basic needs met. They would need to have the sex slaves put on a fake front that they enjoyed what they were doing, act flirtatious and do their job well.
They would have to deal with the authorities looking for the missing women, and hide any money they may make, since it comes from illegal activity. They must do all of this while constantly trying to prevent the sex slaves from escaping and reporting them to the police. They would need to prevent the general public from reporting them into the police.
This is extremely difficult to do, which makes this activity rare. These criminals would be breaking dozens of major laws not just one. Kidnapping itself is a serious crime. There are many laws against sex trafficking, sex slavery, kidnapping, sex abuse, rape, sexual harassment etc. If someone is behind it, they will be breaking many serious laws, be in big trouble, and will go to jail for many long years. And do you actually think that there is a long line of people who want to have a career as a sex slave kidnapping pimp?
While there are some women who may be true victims. And it is possible for this to happen in rare situations. This is a small rare group of people and that the numbers and scale of this crime is exaggerated. The very nature of someone pulling off a kidnapping and forced sex for profit appears to be very difficult. Since it would be difficult this makes this crime rare. Not impossible, but extremely rare. And do you really think that millions of people are lining up to make a career out of being a illegal violent sex slave kidnapping pimp?
A key point is that on the sidelines the adult prostitutes themselves are not being listened to. They oppose laws against prostitution. But no one wants to listen to the prostitutes themselves. Only to the self appointed experts that make up numbers and stories many of which have never met a real forced sex slave or if they did it was only a few. The media and government never ask the prostitutes themselves what would help them in terms of laws.
Many women in the sex business are independent workers. They don’t have a pimp.
They work for themselves, advertise themselves, and keep all the money for themselves. No one forces them, because there isn’t anyone to force them. They go out and find their own customers, set their own prices, and arrange everything by themselves. Sometimes they may employ others to help them, but these are not pimps. If for example, she hires an internet web design company to make a website for her, does that make the web design company a pimp? If she pays a phone company for a phone to do business, does this make the phone company a pimp? If she puts an ad in the paper, does this make the editor a pimp? If she puts the money she makes into a bank account does this make the bank a pimp?
A lot of anti prostitution groups would say yes. Everyone and everybody is a pimp.
These groups make up lies, and false statistics that no one bothers to check. A big reason they do this is because it provides high paying jobs for them. They get big donations, and grants from the government, charity, churches, etc. to have these groups, and pay these high salaries of the anti prostitution workers.
News night BBC video:
I loved your article post.Much thanks again. Exceptionally Great.
SOUL SLAVERY COULD NOT FINISH IN ONE LIFE!!!
You really make it seem so easy with your pnaeertstion but I find this topic to be really something that I think I would never understand. It seems too complex and extremely broad for me. I'm looking forward for your next post, I’ll try to get the hang of it!
Soul slavery can end and culminate with the supreme soul for an eternal joy without any boundaries in this precious human life which has the qualities of differentiating between good and bad which lacks in other species. Hinduism shows the path to attain this state.
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