Slavery is for many people connected with Africans who were taken to America for forced labour. Slavery has always been present on the Earth, and it is shameful that it has never been uprooted. At present, tens of millions of people are in various forms of slavery – they have their owners for whom they must work and breathe.
According to expert estimates, there are around 45 million slaves all around the world who earn the human traffickers around US$ 150 billion per year.
Around 78 percent of slaves are abused for heavy manual labour, and the remaining 22 percent is used mainly in sexual slavery. Manually working slaves work predominantly in agriculture, mining, manufacture of building materials, they are servants (male as well as female), work in dry-cleaner’s, factories, including chemical ones.
Slavery is a real problem of today’s, and the very shocking fact is that a significant portion of slaves are children. 26 percent of all sex slaves are children forced into prostitution. Statistics are kept by the UN and the organisation annually issuing the Global Slavery Index.
Modern slavery on the rise
Slavery has existed for thousands of years, but economic and social forces have allowed its alarming recovery in the last few decades. Population explosion represents a contributing phenomenon to the rise of slavery as the population almost tripled especially in developing countries. The number of people often grows faster than the economy and makes them easily vulnerable victims. Fires, floods, droughts, medical emergency and hunger force many people to become victims of loan sharks who are not afraid to enslave them.
Migration as a disaster
Millions of people are currently on their way to a better life. It is difficult for the migrants to communicate in their new home with a foreign language, they are without means, far from families and friends, they are weak and vulnerable. Their situation is misused by smugglers who offer them a legitimate job that is, however, slavery. Much of the slaves consist of migrants, and the world’s organisations are failing to find an effective solution to prevent the enslavement of people who are far from home.
In many countries, slavery is a common phenomenon despite the fact that it is illegal. Official authorities are often aware of this fact but do not act actively against it. Many slaves do not have any police or legal protection and are still abused for forced labour. In many countries, discrimination is also involved in slavery, and it is not just discrimination including race, but also sex, gender or caste.
Modern slavery creates single-use slaves
Slavery is continuously gaining strength, instead of weakening, and the prices at which slaves are sold represent one of the leading causes. It has always been true that human power is the cheapest factor, and it is still true even today. In 1850, the average price for a slave in the US was about US$ 40,000 (converted to today’s money). Today, the slave price is only around US$ 90, just over CZK 2,000.
You can find traces of slavery at every turn
Slaves are currently used for a wide range of work, even in offices. In West Africa, countless slaves are working to harvest cocoa that we eat in the chocolate. In Brazil, slaves work in massive coal mining, and that coal is then used in ironworks, where steel is produced for our cars. If you like to buy tuna, shrimps, cotton, diamonds, iron, sugar, or gold, you purchase products or raw materials marked by slavery.
Currently, there are more slaves than ever in the history, and yet it stands on the edge of interest because it still targets only a small part of the total population. This is a global issue that is mostly unknown to the majority society. Human trafficking gains strength every day, and if anyone wants to take an active part in reducing this horrid business, what needs to be done is, in particular, awareness-raising campaigns. The more you talk about the issue, the higher the chance is that it will finally be resolved.