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The Facts: Modern Human Slavery & Trafficking

The Numbers
Articles and Information
Organizations Dedicated to Ending Human Slavery & Trafficking
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A literature search shows that modern slavery and human trafficking are currently, and have been for decades, a global problem that should be of global concern. The addition of GIS and location-based services may in the future be used to enhance and/or streamline these illegal and unethical business practices, but the fact that exploitation of humans is already a significant problem and detriment to society cannot be ignored. These practices need to be dealt with now- swiftly and decisively.

The following provides background into modern human slavery and trafficking,
including some statistics and organizations that are dedicated to helping victims and
stopping the atrocities of slavery and trafficking. These practices often include (but are by no means limited to) the utilization of minors as soldiers, camel jockeys, prostitutes, and beggars, none of which are how a child should spend their days.

In technical terms, slavery is the forced exploitation of a human being against
his or her will whereas trafficking specifically pertains to the transportation of this person in a fraudulent manner, for the purpose of enslavement, most often in illegal activities.

For more information regarding modern forms of slavery please refer to
Fact Sheet No. 14
from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights from the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights at the United Nations.

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The Numbers:

  • 600,000-800,000 trafficked internationally each year(1)
  • 14,500-17,500 into the U.S every year(1)
  • 80% of these are women and children(1)
  • $9 billion business worldwide (Paulk, 2005)
  • In the top 3 revenue earners for organized crime (Leach, 2004)
  • 1.2 million children trafficked every year (2)
  • 27 million slaves world wide (Leach, 2004)
  • In 1850 slaves cost $40,000 (todays dollar), today they only cost $30
    (Bales, 1999)
  • 2004: 7000 traffickers prosecuted, 3000 convicted (3)
  • Most common type: debt bondage
  • Fastest growing: trafficking
  • Maximum Jail Time for trafficking: 20 yrs-life, depending on offense (4)
  • Convicted traffickers must "provide full restitution to victims" (4)
  • Tier classifications by Country
  • Definitions of Tiers from TVPA 2000
  • U.S. Trafficking in Persons Report, 2005
  • TVPA Fact Sheet

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Articles and Information:

The web site is designed to bring government and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) together to fight human trafficking in the highly affected regions of East Asia and the Pacific. Included are sections on prevention, protection, and prosecution, as well as reintegration- an exceedingly important part of cleaning up this horrific practice.

The U.S Department of State considers human trafficking one of the "Global Issues"
we must face. The following are links to U.S. governmental pages that contain information, facts, and lists of current and past court cases. Learn more about what the U.S is doing to fight trafficking.

A Code of Conduct for "a socially responsible travel and tourism industry." Please consider supporting these vendors when planning travel; they are working to ensure that our children have childhoods.

In 1948 the United Nations composed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (within the UN) is " mandated to promote and protect the enjoyment and full realization, by all people, of all rights established in the Charter of the United Nations and in international human rights laws and treaties."

On November 27, 2005, the Chicago Sun-Times ran a news story by Shamus Toomey on geofencing/human tracking (link posted by Jerome Dobson on Angel).

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Organizations Dedicated to Ending Human Slavery & Trafficking:
How You Can Help

There are many organizations, both big and small, that are working to end slavery and human trafficking. These organizations are based in the United States as well as in other countries. Education of citizens most at risk for being coerced into an indentured situation is crucial, and is a primary goal of many of these organizations (along with aiding those who have gotten out of a position of enslavement). Private Organizations, both social and religious, exist whose sole purpose is to work toward ending human trafficking and slavery. They offer assistance to victims who have been freed from slavery. They inform the public through their websites about human slavery abuses.

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Bales, K. 1999. Disposable People: New Slavery in the Global Economy University of California Press, Los Angeles, California.

Leach, SL. 2004. Slavery is not dead, just less recognizeable, The Christian Science Monitor.

Paulk, RN. 2005. Human slavery concerns stressed: Lee officials promise vigorous prosecution.

Smith, CH. 2002. Modern Slavery, The Washington Times.

(1): US Department of State TIP Report

(2): UNICEF, "All children deserve protection from exploitation and abuse"

(3): United States mission to the OSCE: Statement on trafficking in human beings. 2005.

(4): Trafficking in Persons: A guide for non-governmental organizations.

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