20.9 Million People Still Enslaved, Many Of Them People of Color

When many people think about slavery, the Trans-Atlantic Slavery Trade which brought African slaves to the West Indies and America is what most often comes to mind.  For this reason, many are under the false notion that slavery was completely abolished in the 19th century; however, this is simply not true.  Despite the fact that slavery is illegal in all countries and was prohibited by the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the 1956 UN Supplementary Convention on the Abolition of Slavery, the Slave Trade and Institutions and Practices Similar to Slavery, millions of people are still trapped in the bondage of modern day slavery.

A report by the International Labor Organization estimates that there are currently 20.9 million people in the world forced to live as modern day slaves.  Nearly 68 percent of these people are forced into labor exploitation in agriculture, construction, domestic work, and manufacturing.  Another 22 percent live as s*x slaves.  This slave labor is estimated to yield around $99 billion in global profits every year.

The men, women, and children who are held as slaves are still sold as property and held at the mercy of their ‘masters.’  Someone is considered a slave when they meet on of these four conditions: being forced to work through mental or physical threat, being owned or controlled by someone usually though mental or physical abuse or the threat of abuse, being dehumanized by being bought and sold as a commodity, and/or being physically constrained with freedom of movement being restricted.

Check out the following video clip published by Walk Free, a non profit whose goal is to end modern day slavery.  The video highlights the top ten countries who have the highest number of modern slaves.

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