June 7th, 2011
01:58 PM ET

How to help: Bonded labor around the world

Last week, on Connect the World, we explored different forms of bonded labor around the world.  Victims of bonded labor may be held captive, threatened by excessive violence, or forced to pay off an impossible debt.  They can be found working in mines and factories across the globe, hidden behind doors or even hidden in plain sight.

We’ve shown you the story of Sadat, an eight year old Afghani boy forced to make thousands of bricks a day to help repay his family’s debt.  The debt was incurred when his father needed to borrow money after he lost a limb in a landmine explosion, and later made even larger when his grandfather fell ill.  It will take years to pay off what they owe.

We then shared the stories of two young women, who wish to remain unidentified, as well as Yemane Tesfom.  They left Eritrea separately and headed to Israel in hopes of a better life.  The young women were beaten, starved and raped during their 40-day travel to Sinai.  Yemane Tesfom was also abused by those who smuggled him to Israel.  He was made a slave, forced to dig ditches, was tortured and permanently injured.  He only made it to Israel when his friends paid his $4,000 ransom.  Their stories aren’t unique.  “In 2010 alone, more than 14,000 African migrants made their way across Israel’s southern border with Egypt.”

Organizations working in Afghanistan include: UNICEF, UNIFEM, and Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission; and in Israel: Freedom Foundation and Isha L’Isha.

Viewers around the world have been touched by stories like these and have pledged to take a stand against slavery.  We encourage you to submit your own video to iReport.com.