Saturday, December 10, 2011

Modern Day Slave Trade

Human trafficking is perpetrated in every country, rich or poor, and is the second largest, fastest growing organized crime in the world. Free the Slaves estimates that there are currently 27 million people toiling as modern day slaves around the globe.

Modern-day slavery looks different in North America than it does in Africa or Asia, the industry is nevertheless alive and thriving in all its forms.
Modern-day slaves are often hard to identify – anyone from a dishwasher in a restaurant, to a domestic or agricultural worker, to an adolescent runaway.  These people are all illegally bought and sold to sinister underworld figures who have total control over the falsely indebted slave.

Many low income workers are brought in from extremely poor foreign countries with promises of work.  When they get the United States their passports and cell phones,  when they have them, are seized, severing them from all outside contact.  Then, with threats of violence, rape, and death the newly indentured slaves are forced into all types of prostitution and sex work.

Yearly revenues of SLAVE trafficking are currently estimated at $5 billion to $9 billion US dollars.    The United States Department of State estimates 1,600,000 to 1,820,000 men, women, and children are sold into SLAVERY each year, approximately 70 percent are women and girls and up to 50 percent are minors.   The data also illustrates that the majority of transnational SLAVES are sold into the international sex trade.

Currently, enslavement of young men from middle eastern and African countries are being sold into SLAVERY for the sole purposes of free manual labor.   Back breaking labor exploitation is often hidden behind the facade of guest foreign labor, such as has been the case in Abu Dhabi.  At least 12.3 million people around the world are trapped in forced . Forced labor is often known as debt bondage. The victims are very poor migrants trapped in debt bondage-SLAVERY- such as, sweatshops, farm workers, day laborers, kitchen help, dishwashers, household servants, etc.  They are kept there by violent and illegal tactics and are generally paid nothing.

I am just one person, what can I do to stop modern day Slavery? 

The Somaly Mam Foundation (  is a nonprofit charity committed to ending modern day slavery in North America and around the world.

Human trafficking, a multi-billion dollar industry, is the fastest growing criminal enterprise in the world. With over two million women and children sold into sexual slavery each year, it is a global crisis that must be stopped. More resources are critically needed to support the rescue and rehabilitation of these young victims.

Co-founded by sexual slavery survivor,  Somaly Mam, the Foundation works to eradicate human trafficking, liberate its victims, and empower survivors so they can create and sustain lives of dignity. The Foundation supports survivor rescue, shelter, and rehabilitation programs globally with a special focus on Southeast Asia, where the trafficking of women and girls, some as young as five, is a widespread practice. The Somaly Mam Foundation also runs awareness and advocacy campaigns in the United States and around the world that shed light on the crime of human trafficking and focus on getting the public and governments involved in the fight to abolish modern day slavery.

If you KNOW a victim  of human trafficking call the toll-free National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline is available to answer calls in over 170 languages from anywhere in the country, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every day of the year.


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