It is well accepted that all people have the right to be free from slavery and many people think that this is an issue that has been resolved. When confronted with millions of children and adults that are trapped in conditions that are exactly the same as in historical slavery, people ask – ‘What is modern slavery?’
Modern slavery refers to the extreme exploitation of people for commercial or individual gain. It is just like historical slavery except that it is hidden from view. Slavery inheres, for example, in situations where people are forced to make clothes for a pittance, labor on farms, work as servants and in factories where they do not have a choice. Although it may seem like normal employment, these people are coerced and face threats of violence, huge debts, threats to their families or the loss of their passport, among others, if they do not comply. It is estimated that over 40 million people worldwide are trapped in work conditions that are effectively slavery.