The abomination of human slavery did not end more than 200 years ago when the Britain banned the transatlantic slave trade, nor did it end at the conclusion of the American Civil war. Human trafficking and Slavery is widespread today, and is a major human rights issue, with devastating impacts for millions of people directly or indirectly every year.
It is estimated that there are currently up to 30 million people involuntarily trapped in forced labour, bonded labour, forced prostitution or child soldiering, (however the figures in reality would be much higher) even though slavery is prohibited pursuant to Article 4 of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states “No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms”.
It is estimated that the trafficking of people sits alongside arms as the second largest source of income for organised crime, (exceeded only by the trafficking of drugs), annually netting an estimated $28bn illicit profits in the sex industry, and $21bn in other non sex forced and bonded labour. In 2009, slave owners made more money than Google, Starbucks and Nike combined. Human trafficking has now become the fastest growing crime in the world. Often it is the doorway to slavery.