Slavery is a Problem Now More than Ever

Girls at work in a red light district in India

There are more than 30 million slaves in the world today. More than any other point in human history, according to the UNCHR and UNICEF. Yesterday, the U.S. President gave a speech at The Clinton Global Initiative where he vowed he would use all resources to end the global trafficking of children and women. We don’t often realize that the clothes we might wear or the chocolate we might eat are made by young people sold into slavery.

In South Asia alone, millions of people from India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Pakistan are trafficked for forced labor or prostitution. The traffickers are often the people the children know well–neighbors or relatives.

From the map, we can see the highest incidence of trafficking in Russia, Central Asia, Eastern Europe, and then in South Asia and Latin America. A mainstream movie like Taken opened our eyes to the seamy underbelly of trafficking in glittery Paris, while Slumdog Millionaire showed us what it means to poor, powerless and young in urban India. So, what can anyone do to make a difference and stop this ongoing crime? Many sites have a step by step guide of what we can do to be more aware of people who are traffickers and those who are trafficked. A major step is lobbying congressmen and industries to enact laws and measures that will target traffickers. With stricter laws and more rigorous border patrol at high-risk areas it’s harder for people to be trafficked out of a country without their consent.

Check out the Not For Sale campaign, where you can see what might be done


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