what is modern day slavery?

There are more people in slavery today than at any time in human history.



It isn’t legal anywhere but happens almost everywhere - including Europe and the United States.

There are tens of millions of people trapped in various forms of slavery throughout the world today. Researchers estimate that 21 million are enslaved worldwide, generating $150 billion each year in illicit profits for traffickers.

  • Labor Slavery. About 78% are in forced labor slavery in industries where manual labor is needed—such as farming, ranching, logging, mining, fishing, and brick making—and in service industries working as dish washers, janitors, gardeners, and maids.
  • Sex Slavery. About 22% are trapped in forced prostitution sex slavery.
  • Child Slavery. About 26% of today’s slaves are children.

While we may not always directly see slavery, it flows into our homes, closets, offices, and schools through many of the products we buy, which can include cotton, tomatoes, tuna, shrimp, diamonds, iron, sugar, chocolate, and gold. And, don't forget fashion, where slavery exists from fiber to factory.

Slavery statistics come from the U.N. International Labor Organization. 


    The first step to ending modern day slavery is through education about the issues and solutions. Together we can raise awareness in ourselves and others about the existence of modern day slavery and the conditions that perpetuate it, including forced and early marriage, unjust prison systems, and exploitative trade practices. 

    With this powerful knowledge, then we can move into action to eradicate modern day slavery by supporting organizations and programs that help prevent slavery and rescue victims, as well as by making slavery unprofitable by changing our everyday consumption choices. 

    The battle to build a global consensus that slavery is unethical and unneeded has already been won. Now we need to finish the job by ending the practices that allow for slavery, and freeing those still trapped in it.