By Manav Tanneeru, CNN
Slavery still exists. Of that there isn’t much dispute, if any. But how widespread is what many experts call modern-day slavery?
Estimates range from about 10 million to 30 million, according to policymakers, activists, journalists and scholars.
The International Labour Organization, an agency of the United Nations that focuses on, among other things, labor rights, put the number at a “minimum estimate” of 12.3 million in a 2005 report.
Kevin Bales, a sociologist who serves as a consultant to the United Nations and has authored several books about modern-day slavery, estimated the number was 27 million people in his book “Disposable People: New Slavery in the Global Economy.” The book was published in 1999.
There is yet another estimate. Siddharth Kara, a fellow on trafficking at Harvard University and also an author, recently told CNN that his calculations put the range between 24 million and 32 million. That number was current as of the end of 2006, he said.
There are several reasons behind the variance in numbers, said Ben Skinner, who published a book about modern-day slavery – “A Crime So Monstrous: Face-to-Face with Modern-day Slavery.”
“There are two big problems with the count,” Skinner, a Senior Fellow at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University, said during a telephone interview. “The first is that the people we are counting are, by definition, a hidden population.
“The second problem is more of a theoretical one where the definitions are not in place. We don’t have a common definition still as to what slavery is.”
U.S. anti-human trafficking Czar Luis CdeBaca talks with CNN about the role of governments and businesses in fighting slavery and also the historical context of slavery in the United States.
"One of our big problems with this under-reported crime is to not only find it, but then recognize it when we see it," CdeBaca says. FULL POST
(CNN) -- If you have $90 then you could own your slave.
Depending on the kind of person you are that sentence could be at once shocking, saddening or darkly comical. However you might feel though, it’s the plain truth, says Kevin Bales.
The modern-day slavery expert explained to CNN that the current $90 rate for a human slave is actually at an historic low. Two hundred years ago, a slave cost about $40,000 in today’s money. The reason for this price slide: a massive boom in the world’s population, especially in developing countries, has increased the supply of “slaveable” people. FULL POST
Slavery takes on many different forms, from the child soldier to the child prostitute on the street. But wherever there's slavery it doesn't just happen in isolated instances. Its invisible tentacles may touch you in ways you may not even know.
By Tony Maddox
Executive Vice President and Managing Director of CNN International
You know that moment when you read something, and then immediately have to re-read it because you cannot believe it is true? That happened to me when I read that the levels of slavery and people trafficking today are greater than at any point in history.
Surely that cannot be right? FULL POST
In 1809, the average price for a slave was $40,000 (adjusted to today's money). Two hundred years later, in 2009, the average price was just $90, according to Kevin Bales of freetheslaves.org.
In the United States, the number of trafficking victims is roughly equivalent to the number of murders each year, according to "The Slave Next Door" by Kevin Bales. And while 90 percent of murder cases are solved, only 1 percent of trafficking cases ever reach prosecution.