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  • Writer's pictureNatalie Tai


Updated: Jul 17, 2021

There are more people in slavery right now in comparison to any time in history.

The following article is published under the pure innocence of a young teenager and is not meant in any intention of offense. If you find any of the below content insensitive, inappropriate, or dangerous to audience members, feel free to contact me by filling in the message section via the bottom of the main page, please. If any of the below content is being utilized as a reference or any other personal gains, please cite the source. Thank you.

Article Overview

Slavery is not abolished.

More than $150 billion in profits are generated annually by businesses employing slavery and exploitation. This is bigger than the revenues of Google, Microsoft, Apple, Exxon Mobil, and JP Morgan Chase — combined (Anti Slavery Org).

Human trafficking is the 3rd largest international crime.

99% of humans trafficked are women and girls.

40.3 Million people are in slavery today. 10 Million of them are children.

4.1 Million of them are exploited by governments.

Forced marriage is slavery. A girl marries every 2 seconds.

An Introduction

The recent #endslavery movement has sparked conversations internationally. While bringing attention to the topic of slavery, most of us might recall learning about the slave trade in Africa during the 15th century precedent to the abolition of slavery in the 19th century. However, the cultural and historical significance of this event along with people’s lack of proactivity for looking into subsequent matters brings a misguidance into communities as slavery continues to exist today.

What defines slavery? Slavery that remains in the world today is coined as contemporary slavery and oftentimes includes the act of human trafficking: the interstate and external transporting of individuals for economic transactions and various other personal gains.

Why Though?

While the classification of contemporary slavery is arguably subjective four primary categories can group the topic: Organ Harvesting, domestic servitude, sexual exploitation, and forced labor.

Organ harvesting is predominantly done with the measures of human trafficking whiles intent is to, without consent or authority’s certification, extract and sell human body parts such as the liver, tissues, or even the human eye.

A victim of domestic servitude is an individual forcefully obligated to carry out services, usually tasks similar to those of a migrant worker, but is deprived of the rights to change their working circumstances nor are they granted the legal ability to quit.

In sexual exploitation, individuals are trafficked and compelled to participate in sex work, oftentimes under the pressure of physical and psychological dominance, while frequently running the risks of threat and violence accompanied by substance abuse, deception, and grooming.

Lastly, forced labor is the action of constraining someone to do physical labor under the pressure of severe penalties such as physical or financial compensation. Many sects of slavery underlie forced labor, including descent-based slavery (born into a certain caste) and debt bondage.

We Just don't See it

With this crisis being seemingly distant, it may come to a shock to us that human trafficking is ranked the third largest international crime. In fact, the Not for Sale Campaign explains that profits gained from human trafficking and slavery are so large, it exceeds the revenues of Google, Microsoft, Apple, Exxon Mobile, and JP Morgan Chase combined.

Statistically, debt bondage stands as the most commonly committed form of slavery. Victims under this act are pledged to carry out services in repayment for a debt or other commitments whilst deprived of the rights to control the amount and type of work carried out. Other widely practiced forms of slavery include: child slavery, the enslavement of youths for gains other than their own; and forced marriage, which is most commonly practiced among sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and Latin America. In fact, a female minor marries every two seconds with researchers estimating more than 150 million girls being wedded as children before 2030 (Plan International Organization).

Perhaps one of the biggest issues in this topic that needs to be addressed is the underlying gender norms that put the vulnerable in danger. Statistics show 99% of human trafficking victims being women and girls, clearly manifesting the effects of a poorly structured society that emphasizes the weaknesses and sex roles of the female population (Anti-Slavery Organization). Ultimately, the primary destination of these women is those that promote sexual tourism with the Dominican Republic coming in first and Thailand coming in second (Dress Ember Organization).

What Can I Do?

Contemporary slavery grows day by day with its increasing demand continuously eroding humanity and its basic ethicalities. Fortunately, people all over the world are starting to realize the existential consequences of this crisis, fighting to change the status quo.

Facilities and groups such as the Anti-Slavery Organization, the Hope For Justice Organization, and the Not For Sale Campaign offers amazing information, donations, and volunteer/employee recruitments to help make a difference. Great ways we, together, could join the battle against contemporary slavery and human trafficking includes the spreading of public awareness, supporting girls to get an education, and enforcing laws to protect children, women, and all affected by this crisis.

Remember how we are all interconnected? Everything we consume, from the clothing we wear, to the food we eat, to the sanitary products we use daily, human exploitation is hidden somewhere beneath. If you are interested in making a difference against this crisis, feel free to click on the links provided below.


Works Cited

"Child Marriage", Plan International Organization,, March 7 2020.

"What is modern slavery?", Anti Slavery Organization, 2020,, March 7 2020.

"Why exploitation", Not For Sale Campaign, 2020,, March 7 2020.

"Modern Slavery", Hope For Justice Organization,, March 7 2020.


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