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Modern Slavery In The 21st Century

697 words - 3 pages

The nature of human trafficking consists of men, women, and children being bought and sold for purposes of forced labor and sexual exploitation. Human trafficking is synonymous with slavery and deprives the victim of basic human rights. It is a process that begins with an individual seeking an opportunity to improve their life through work or immigration, and ends with the person being exploited and enslaved. The United Nations International Labor Organization (ILO) estimates that over 20.9 million adults and children are enslaved at any given time. Human trafficking is becoming increasingly prevalent in developing countries despite being illegal in every nation on Earth. The path towards reducing human trafficking begins with educating the public on the severity of the issue and ends with legislation that will protect the victims of human trafficking while allowing perpetrators to be prosecuted successfully (MTV Exit 2013).
To understand the magnitude of human trafficking one must first be aware of recent trends that have contributed to the increase in this modern slavery. First, the recent explosion of population growth has resulted in triple the amount of people in the world, with the majority of that growth occurring in developing countries. Secondly, rapid economic and social changes have left many people in these developing countries displaced with no job security and no support network to fall back on. Third, corruption in government around the world has allowed slavery to go unpunished; in many cases victims of human trafficking are treated as criminals instead of being advocated for. This confluence of disturbing trends has resulted in more people being enslaved today than at any other time in human history (Free The Slaves 2013).
The rise of modern slavery has been attributed partly to globalization and the ease with which individuals and assets can cross borders (Not For Sale.org 2014). This can be demonstrated by American companies, including Unilever, McDonalds, IKEA and Kraft utilizing child and forced labor in their supply chains. Despite an industry-governed voluntary certification system assuring that consumers are not purchasing products made by forced labor, a Bloomberg investigative report...

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