The story

Slavery in the contemporary world


"No one shall be held in slavery or servitude, slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms."

Article IV of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly on December 10, 1948

According to the law, slavery no longer exists. The last country to abolish slavery was Mauretania in 1981. But slavery continues in many countries because the laws are not enforced. They were only made by pressure from other countries and the UN, but do not represent the will of the government of the respective country. Today there are at least 27 million slaves in the world.

When we talk about slave labor, the image we have is a memory of the past, restricted to history books. Unfortunately this is not true. Slavery remains to this day, not only in poor countries but in developed countries. Product of inequality and impunity, it is a serious social disease. In its contemporary form, it comes in a variety of forms: from child prostitution to organ trafficking, from international trafficking in women to the exploitation of illegal immigrants and debt bondage.

Modern law prohibits slavery, but this has not prevented unscrupulous people from benefiting from the work of captive people. No region of the planet is free of this scourge.
The number of enslaved workers in Brazil ranges from 25,000, according to calculations by the Pastoral Land Commission (CPT) to 40,000, by the estimate of the National Confederation of Agricultural Workers (Contag). Livestock and deforestation account for three quarters of the incidence of slave labor. Agricultural, logging, and charcoal activities also report many cases.

In March 2003, the National Plan for the Eradication of Slave Labor was launched in Brazil, which established a national commission to implement it. The plan brings together 76 measures to combat the practice. These include bills to confiscate land where slave labor is found, suspend credit for slaveholders and transfer crimes against human rights to the federal sphere.

In Arab countries and other Muslim countries there are also traditional slaves. The hunting of black slaves, aimed at capturing girls and beautiful children to be domestic slaves or helpers for various jobs, exists mainly in Sudan. In white slavery (human trafficking for forced prostitution) millions of girls are arrested, mainly from countries. poor countries like Ukraine, Moldova, Russia, Africa, India and countries, which prostitution has traditionally weighed heavily, such as Thailand and the Philippines. Girls are enticed with false promises, sold and have to prostitute themselves until the debt (the price for the purchase and additional) is paid. Often the enslaved woman is sold next and it all starts over. A vicious circle unable to escape.

Unfortunately, these statistics do not count millions of women and girls, who by tradition or even the laws in many Muslim countries and other regions are considered property of their husbands or fathers.