A Worldwide Demand
Slavery is not something that happens to a certain type of person or certain culture. It affects people across continents and from all socio-economic backgrounds. As seen in the table that contrasts "old" slavery and "new" slavery, people are less likely to be targeted due to race or nationality and more likely victimized due to their vulnerability. This vulnerability can be physical, psychological, financial, cultural, emotional - anything that a trafficker can use to exert complete control over the victim. Because of the worldwide demand for slaves' services or the cheapness of slave-made goods, traffickers seeking a profit take advantage of that vulnerability every day, in nearly every country.
"There is a growing recognition of the links between labor trafficking, regulation of supply chains, and the power of the consumer to end widespread exploitation by choosing goods that aren’t tainted by forced or child labor. The US Department of Labor has identified 122 goods produced with forced labor, child labor, or both, in 58 countries."
A Worldwide Problem
Modern day slavery is a global issue. From the crime of debt bondage to the atrocity that is sexual exploitation, these human rights offenses are far too common. While many misconceptions circulate regarding what area of our world hosts the most exploitation, this injustice exists in all countries and affects every citizen of the world. As traffickers contemporize slavery to capitalize on victims' physical and psychological vulnerabilities, this issue only proliferates. There are 45.8 million people enslaved today, and not every country has taken steps to lessen that statistic. In 2012, many areas, including Iraq, Kenya, Uganda, Haiti and Argentina had little or no legislation in response to the crime of human trafficking. Yet other countries with legislation often face other issues such as cultural divisions or a lack of law enforcement. Every country, every demographic, every culture is affected by human trafficking. It's a worldwide problem, but we can be part of the worldwide solution.
A Worldwide Solution
Anti-trafficking action can take many forms, from written word to advocacy to prevention and intervention. While legislation, support services for survivors, and stronger societies on the most fundamental level can attribute to the eradication of human trafficking, individuals also play a significant role in furthering this cause. Across the world, countless activists have taken up the call to fight this global atrocity. Read about some of these internationally recognized and effective activists below.
Kailash Satyarthi: India
Kailash Satyarthi is an advocate for children who fall victim to forced labor. He works tirelessly with projects such as the Global March Against Child Labor, Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA), and South Asian Coalition on Child Servitude (SACCS). Satyarthi is credited with saving tens of thousands of lives and was honored with the Nobel Peace Prize in 2015. While Satyarthi began his activism in India, his message and mission now spans across the world.
Syeda Ghulam Fatima: Pakistan
Fatima gained worldwide fame and support when Brandon Stanton, the photographer behind the Humans of New York blog, traveled to Pakistan in 2015. After meeting Fatima and learning more about her work to end bonded labor in the Pakistan brick kilns, Stanton created a fundraiser for her organization, the Bonded Labor Liberation Front. This fundraiser raised more than two million dollars and will allow Fatima to continue her work in ending bonded labor in Pakistan.
Sydney Skov: United States of America
Sydney Skov, a local Portland artist, infused her love for dance with bodily empowerment to found the Freebody Project. This dance project is a movement that combats human trafficking and gender-based violence through art and motion.