Category Archives: Slavery, Forced Labor

The International Labor Organization estimates that 40 million people are victims of modern slavery. This includes 25 million people in forced labor and 15 million people in forced marriage. This means that there are 5.4 victims of modern slavery for every thousand people in the world, about 0.5 percent (one half of one percent).

Those in forced labor they were being forced to work under threat or coercion as domestic workers, on construction sites, in clandestine factories, on farms and fishing boats, in other sectors, and in the sex industry. They were forced to work by private individuals and groups or by state authorities. In many cases, the products they made and the services they provided ended up in seemingly legitimate commercial channels.

Most victims of forced labor suffered multiple forms of coercion from employers or recruiters as a way of preventing them from being able to leave the situation. Nearly one-quarter of victims (24 per cent) had their wages withheld or were prevented from leaving by threats of non-payment of due wages. This was followed by threats of violence (17 per cent), acts of physical violence (16 per cent), and threats against family (12 per cent). For women, 7 per cent of victims reported acts of sexual violence.

Those in forced marriage were living in a forced marriage to which they had not consented. That is, they were enduring a situation that involved having lost their sexual autonomy and often involved providing labor under the guise of “marriage”.

Women and girls are disproportionately affected by modern slavery, accounting for 28.7 million, or 71 per cent of the overall total.

One in four victims of modern slavery were children.  (ILO 2017)

Slavery, Forced Labor 2019

29 rescued from forced labor slavery Justice Ventures International May 14, 2019

Behind illicit massage parlors lie a vast crime network and modern indentured servitude Nicholas Kulish, Frances Robles and Patricia Mazzei New York Times March 2, 2019

Slavery is not a thing of the past, it still exists today affecting millions Shannon Scribner Inter Press Service February 28, 2019

Forced labor, child work, low wages: the lives of home-based garment workers in India Marjorie van Elven Fashion United February 6, 2019

Photo: Children from rural areas and disempowered homes are ideal targets for trafficking in India and elsewhere. Credit: Neeta Lal/IPS

Discrimination against women 2019

Women are fleeing death at home. The United States wants to keep them out. Azam Amhed New York Times August 18, 2019.
“To win asylum in the United States, applicants must show specific grounds for their persecution back home, like their race, religion, political affiliation or membership in a particular social group. Lawyers have sometimes pushed successfully for women to qualify as a social group because of the overwhelming violence they face, citing a 2014 case in which a Guatemalan woman fleeing domestic violence was found to be eligible to apply for asylum in the United States. But Mr. Sessions overruled that precedent, questioning whether women — in particular, women fleeing domestic violence — can be members of a social group. The decision challenged what had become common practice in asylum courts.”

Teenage brides trafficked to China reveal ordeal: ‘Ma, I’ve been sold’ Hannah Beech New York Times August 17, 2019

In Pakistan, a feminist hero Is under fire and on the run Jeffrey Gettleman New York Times July 23, 2019

Afghan women waiting to vote in 2009 elections.
Afghan women waiting to vote. Credit UN Photo/Eric Kanalstein.  www.unmultimedia.org/photo/ Photo ID 406878. 20/08/2009. Kabul, Afghanistan Also see Flickr.

‘Women here are very, very worried’ Susan Chira New York Times March 22, 2019
Afghan women used to be championed by almost everyone. Now they’re all but forgotten.

Many firms in developed countries, countries which have significant worker protections, contract out parts or all of their production to contractors in developing countries, where labor protections are much less. Here is an example.
Made for next to nothing. Worn by you? Elizabeth Paton New York Times February 6, 2019 br>See full report Tainted Garments. The exploitation of women and girls in India’s home-based garment sector by Siddharth Kara (60 page PDF file)

Sex trafficking is a horrible example of forced labor.
‘The Monsters are the men’: Inside a thriving sex trafficking trade in Florida Patricia Mazzei New York Times February 23, 2019
“The sweep led to criminal charges last week against several rich, prominent men, including Robert K. Kraft, the billionaire owner of the New England Patriots; John Havens, former president and chief operating officer of Citigroup; and John Childs, founder of the private equity firm J.W. Childs Associates. Beyond the lurid celebrity connection, however, lies the wretched story of women who the police believe were brought from China under false promises of new lives and legitimate spa jobs. Instead, they found themselves trapped in the austere back rooms of strip-mall brothels — trafficking victims trapped among South Florida’s rich and famous.
“I don’t believe they were told they were going to work in massage parlors seven days a week, having unprotected sex with up to 1,000 men a year,” said Sheriff William D. Snyder of Martin County, whose office opened the investigation. “

Asia’s expanding illicit market: brides Tharanga Yakupitiyage Inter Press Service January 25, 2019

She wanted to drive, so Saudi Arabia’s ruler imprisoned and tortured her Nicholas Kristof New York Times January 26, 2019 (opinion)

An 11-year-old pleaded for an abortion after she was raped. She was forced to give birth. Michael Brice-Saddler Washington Post February 28, 2019

Shedding light on forced child pregnancy and motherhood in Latin America Mariela Jara Inter Press Service January 14, 2019
Research and campaigns by women’s rights advocates are beginning to focus on the problem of Latin American girls under the age of 14 who are forced to bear the children of their rapists, with the lifelong implications that entails and without the protection of public policies guaranteeing their human rights.

Recorded increase in human trafficking, women and girls targeted Tharanga Yakupitiyage Inter Press Service January 9, 2019

Photo: Children from rural areas and disempowered homes are ideal targets for trafficking in India and elsewhere. Credit: Neeta Lal/IPS See accompanying story.