modern day slavery facts

P.O. Box 95, Merrimac, MA 01860
617-996-9050; [email protected]
What is the difference between human trafficking and modern day slavery?
Human trafficking is the transport of a person from one place to another for the purpose of
exploitation. Modern day slavery refers to forced labor without pay under the threat of
violence. Today, these terms are used almost interchangeably.
How many slaves are there in the world today?
Experts estimate between 12 and 30 million men, women, and children are trapped in slavery
today. 80% of this figure is comprised of women and girls.
Where does slavery still exist?
Everywhere. From forced agricultural work in the United States to domestic slaves from Sri
Lanka, from child camel jockeys in Saudi Arabia to sex slaves in Belarus, there are more
estimated slaves today than at any other point in recorded history.
What kinds of slavery exist today?
Slavery exists in basically every industry. Some types include:
Chattel slavery: a person is bought, sold, and traded as a piece of property
Debt bondage: a person is held as collateral against a debt they or a family member owes
Sex slavery: a person is forced to perform sexual acts for their slaveholder’s profit
Forced labor: other forms of slavery which may overlap with the above categories, including
forced domestic, agricultural, factory, construction, and other work.
Why would a trafficker assist in the buying and selling of human beings?
Profit. Human trafficking is the second most profitable international crime, second only to
drug trafficking. Buying, selling, and keeping slaves as a work force demands very little
investment and yields exponential returns.
600,000 Sri Lankans currently work as housemaids outside of the country, primarily in the
Middle East. 20% of them are estimated to be held as slaves. In 2005, the bodies of 203
women laboring as migrant workers were returned to Sri Lanka for burial under suspicious
circumstances. Beyond the prolific and lucrative trafficking of Sri Lankan women for
domestic labor, other forms of slavery exist inside the country, including child labor in the
agricultural and sex industries. The Nivasa Foundation stops the cycle of slavery by
providing aid to the children of victims of human trafficking, keeping the women safe
and ensuring their children have more opportunities to lead healthy and happy lives.