Slavery in numbers… but more than statistics!
Martin Luther King’s, ‘I Have a Dream’ speech and the Civil Rights Act in the United States is perhaps known as one of the key milestones in the 20thCentury for creating systemic change, ending exploitation of one kind, and fighting for a more just world. For most of us, the fact that slavery existed at all is preposterous, but we are comforted to learn that there were active groups of people fighting against it – doing away with justifying human rights abuses and instead seeking to bring about justice. However, what many people fail to realise is that slavery is still an ongoing issue today—in 2018. Not just in the United States, but all around the world… In fact, the estimated number of slaves around the world today (over 40 million) far surpasses the number of slaves throughout history, including during the trans-Atlantic slave trade between the 16-18thcenturies (Source: BBC).
Not convinced? That’s where the Global Slavery Index comes in. The recently released report highlights slavery in numbers in different countries and regions around the world. It does comprehensive analysis of the types of slavery and trafficking, the causing factors, company supply chains, trade, consumer contribution and government action.
These statistics show us the conspicuous nature of modern slavery – we can no longer pretend that we don’t know about what’s going on around the world. In fact, we find ourselves in the same position as William Wilberforce during the abolition of the slave trade, who famously said:
“You may choose to look the other way but you can never say again that you did not know.”
The traditional and historical form of slavery that we are taught in classrooms may have been eradicated, but we can no longer deny the new, modern form of slavery that has emerged and instituted itself within societies around the world. Modern slavery has taken multiple forms including forced labour, forced marriage, and sexual slavery. 71% of the 40 million victims are women and girls, largely from impoverished backgrounds and exploited for domestic work or prostitution.
These shocking statistics urge us to continue in the fight against modern slavery. The Freedom Project, like many other organisations, are working around the world to address these gross injustices of exploitation. We currently work in some of the world’s darkest places to bring hope and light to vulnerable communities through prevention, rescue and restoration, including India, Philippines and Myanmar.
To support our work and help us end slavery one life at a time, please donate today. For $20 a month, you can change a life by keeping one child in our soccer and mentoring program.
All statistics and images are from the Global Slavery Index (released June 2018).