No, slavery isn't a thing of the past.
Most people think of slavery as a thing of the past, but sadly, that isn't true. Modern slavery in Asia and the world is more pervasive than you'd think.
That's more than any other time in history. (Global Slavery Index)
Two-thirds of this figure, or US$99 billion, comes from commercial sexual exploitation. US$51 billion comes from forced labour, including domestic work, agriculture, and other economic activities. (International Labour Organization)
The countries with the highest numbers of people in modern slavery are India (18,354,700), China (3,388,400), Pakistan (2,134,900), Bangladesh (1,531,300), and Uzbekistan (1,236,600).
Note that a few of these countries use low-cost labour to produce consumer goods for industrialized markets like the United States and Western Europe.
In terms of proportion to population, however, North Korea tops the list, with 4.3% of its population in modern slavery. It is followed by Uzbekistan (3.9%), Cambodia (1.6%), India (1.4%), and Qatar (1.3%). (Asian Century Institute)
Women and girls also represent 99% of victims forced into the commercial sex industry. (International Labour Office)
21% of victims of commercial sexual exploitation are children. 18% of those subjected to forced labour are children. (International Labour Office)
Today is #MyFreedomDay, a day where students around the world campaign to raise awareness about human trafficking and modern slavery.
Raising awareness is a crucial part of the battle to stop human trafficking and modern slavery. But what else can we do?
Reach out to organizations who make it their mission to stop human trafficking and modern slavery and see how you can help. Some examples are International Justice Mission, Hagar Singapore, and Called to Rescue Philippines.
Educate yourself about the signs of human trafficking. According to Hagar Singapore, some of these include:
What is your government doing to combat human trafficking? Lobby for politicians to adopt policies that prevent and punish modern slavery, and support the government in its fight against modern slavery.
Some of the products we use every day are made with slave labour. Educate yourself about where your products come from and avoid those that come from questionable sources.
Featured image: Shutterstock
What will you be doing to help combat modern slavery in Asia and the world? Let us know in the comments!
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