Monday, October 04, 2010
A Global Investigation, an effective tool for raising awareness about modern slavery. Millions of men, women and children around the world are forced to lead lives as slaves. Although this exploitation is often not called slavery, the conditions are the same. People are sold like objects, forced to work for little or no pay and are at the mercy of their 'employers'.
Common characteristics distinguish slavery from other human rights violations. A slave is:
* forced to work -- through mental or physical threat;
* owned or controlled by an 'employer', usually through mental or physical abuse or threatened abuse;
* dehumanised, treated as a commodity or bought and sold as 'property';
* physically constrained or has restrictions placed on his/her freedom of movement.
Most people know that it is illegal to buy or sell another human being anywhere in the world and therefore assume that slavery no longer exists. Yet, despite the fact that there is international agreement that slavery should be prohibited and eradicated in all its forms, many millions of people continue to live in slavery.
The practices which constitute slavery today are defined in various international standards. The great majority of contemporary slavery practices contain a forced labour component, that is to say, the individual is compelled to work against their will under the threat of some form of punishment.
According to the ILO (International Labour Organization) the minimum estimate of the number of people who are living in forced labour internationally is 12.3 million. This is in spite of the fact that, with the exception of China, every country in the world has specifically committed itself to prohibiting the use of forced labour.