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Modern day slavery

Many people who consider slavery as a historic relic would not fathom that December 2 is celebrated as the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery. The truth is that slavery did not end with abolition in the 19th Century, but rather changed its forms and continues to affect people around the world.
There are an estimated 40 million people in modern slavery around the world today including ten million children. The fact that slavery is not a thing of the past despite laws and global treaties outlawing the practice can be attributed to several factors. Today, slavery is less about literally owning people but more about being exploited and completely controlled by someone else or without being able to leave.
Modern slavery can affect people of any age, gender, or race, and is more likely to occur in countries with weak rule of law where corruption is rife. It most commonly affects vulnerable people and communities. Whether its women forced into sex trafficking, men working in agriculture or factories, or even girls forced to marry older men in abusive households, their lives are controlled by their exploiters; they no longer have a free choice and are bonded in servitude.
Although modern slavery is not defined by the law, its covers practices such as forced labour, debt bondage, forced marriage, and human trafficking. A modern slave can also be someone living in poverty with no employment prospects, thus forced to accept a job that turns out contrary to his expectations.  They can even be some from a marginalised community who borrows money from a wealthy feudal lord, and is forced into debt bondage for decades with no help from corrupt authorities.
The fact that there are still people in slave-like conditions is an affront to the international community. The right to be free from forced labour is a fundamental human right but yet the scourge exists. This new slavery does not trap an individual with iron chains and auctions, but restraints in other forms e.g. lack of documentation, work benefits, and threat of deportation for migrants. The modern slaves are the people producing many of the goods that keep the global economy going. Modern slavery and human trafficking is a criminal enterprise generating $150 billion a year in illicit profits.
Slavery is not just a problem in developing countries but rather no country is free from modern slavery. Everyone needs to be aware of slavery and know how to fight against it.  The global community needs widespread commitment to end forced labour and protect people who are abused, exploited and denied their freedom.
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