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A global challenge

There are many forms of slavery: sex trafficking, forced labor, debt bondage, involuntary domestic servitude, forced child labor, child soldiers, and child sex trafficking. Slavery is found in all parts of the world. There are an estimated 1,000,000 people enslaved in the USA alone.

Disturbing statistics
Slavery affects the world’s poorest. There are an estimated 27 million slaves worldwide.
-Source: Free the Slaves

  • Each year, 600,000 to 800,000 people are trafficked across international borders.
  • 14,500 - 17,500 people are trafficked into the US annually.
  • The average cost of a slave has fallen from $40,000 in 1809 (adjusted for today’s inflation) to around $90 today.
  • Slave trade generates profits of around and an estimated $32 million annually.
    -Source: CNN website includes facts and related articles

Since slavery is often hidden, some feel the above numbers should be much higher.

Who is affected?
Men, women, and children are enslaved. Both immigrants and citizens can become victims. Slavery exists in developed and underdeveloped countries.

Why this is important to us
Slavery is often a direct result of extreme poverty. Poverty makes people more vulnerable to enslavement. Many choose to sell themselves or their children into slavery because they have no other way to survive.

Increased demands for lower priced products has led to increased use of slaves, unsafe working conditions, and exploitation of workers. Globalization and unequal trade regulations for developing nations worsen working conditions.

Ending slavery is a major step towards ending poverty.

What you can do about slavery

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by Christine Strahl and Ping Hu, Hearts & Minds volunteers
Copyrights: Entire website 1997 - 2015 by Hearts and Minds Network, Inc., This web page - http://www.heartsandminds.org/poverty/articles/slavery.htm online April 5, 2012, latest changes April 12, 2012


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