“We were only there to work. It felt like I was in jail”. Laboni, Nepal
We believe everyone, everywhere has the right to a life free from slavery. But right now, millions of children and adults are trapped in slavery in every single country in the world. Including yours.
Modern slavery is the severe exploitation of other people for personal or commercial gain. Modern slavery is all around us, but often just out of sight. People can become entrapped making our clothes, serving our food, picking our crops, working in factories, or working in houses as cooks, cleaners or nannies.
From the outside, it can look like a normal job. But people are being controlled – they can face violence or threats, be forced into inescapable debt, or have had their passport taken away and are being threatened with deportation. Many have fallen into this oppressive trap simply because they were trying to escape poverty or insecurity, improve their lives and support their families. Now, they can’t leave.
40 million people are estimated to be trapped in modern slavery worldwide:
- 1 in 4 of them are children.
- Almost three quarters (71%) are women and girls.
- Over 10,000 were identified as potential victims by the authorities in the UK in 2019.
Join us for freedom
Everyone, everywhere, should have the freedom to make safe, dignified choices about their lives.
Forms of modern slavery
Modern slavery takes many forms. The most common are:
- Human trafficking. The use of violence, threats or coercion to transport, recruit or harbour people in order to exploit them for purposes such as forced prostitution, labour, criminality, marriage or organ removal.
- Forced labour. Any work or services people are forced to do against their will under threat of punishment.
- Debt bondage/bonded labour. The world’s most widespread form of slavery. People trapped in poverty borrow money and are forced to work to pay off the debt, losing control over both their employment conditions and the debt.
- Descent–based slavery. Most traditional form, where people are treated as property, and their “slave” status was passed down the maternal line.
- Slavery of children. When a child is exploited for someone else’s gain. This can include child trafficking, child soldiers, child marriage and child domestic slavery.
- Forced and early marriage. When someone is married against their will and cannot leave. Most child marriages can be considered slavery.
People end up trapped in modern slavery because they are vulnerable to being tricked, trapped and exploited, often as a result of poverty and exclusion. It is these external circumstances that push people into taking risky decisions in search of opportunities to provide for their families, or are simply pushed into jobs in exploitative conditions.
Freedom for everyone, everywhere, always.
Anti-Slavery International works with a movement of like-minded organisations to secure freedom for people in, or vulnerable to, modern slavery. We change the systems that enable people getting trapped in slavery – social, economic, legal, political – so that people can live free from fear of being cruelly exploited.
By working together, untangling person after person from slavery and dismantling the systems that enable exploitation, we can deliver true freedom to people across the globe.
Learn more about slavery
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