No, slavery isn't a thing of the past.
Most people think of slavery as a thing of the past, but sadly, that isn’t true. Modern slavery in Asia and the world is more pervasive than you’d think.
Here are some numbers about modern slavery in Asia and the world that will shock you.
1. There are around 45.8 million slaves in the world today
That’s more than any other time in history. (Global Slavery Index)
2. Every year, the industry makes US$150 billion
Two-thirds of this figure, or US$99 billion, comes from commercial sexual exploitation. US$51 billion comes from forced labour, including domestic work, agriculture, and other economic activities. (International Labour Organization)
3. Around 75% of human trafficking victims come from Asia
The countries with the highest numbers of people in modern slavery are India (18,354,700), China (3,388,400), Pakistan (2,134,900), Bangladesh (1,531,300), and Uzbekistan (1,236,600).
Note that a few of these countries use low-cost labour to produce consumer goods for industrialized markets like the United States and Western Europe.
In terms of proportion to population, however, North Korea tops the list, with 4.3% of its population in modern slavery. It is followed by Uzbekistan (3.9%), Cambodia (1.6%), India (1.4%), and Qatar (1.3%). (Asian Century Institute)
4. 71% of modern slavery victims are women and girls
Women and girls also represent 99% of victims forced into the commercial sex industry. (International Labour Office)
5. 25% are children
21% of victims of commercial sexual exploitation are children. 18% of those subjected to forced labour are children. (International Labour Office)
What can you do to stop human trafficking?
Today is #MyFreedomDay, a day where students around the world campaign to raise awareness about human trafficking and modern slavery.
Raising awareness is a crucial part of the battle to stop human trafficking and modern slavery. But what else can we do?
Reach out to organizations who make it their mission to stop human trafficking and modern slavery and see how you can help. Some examples are International Justice Mission, Hagar Singapore, and Called to Rescue Philippines.
2. Know the signs of human trafficking
Educate yourself about the signs of human trafficking. According to Hagar Singapore, some of these include:
- bruises and other signs of battery
- signs of fearfulness and depression
- fear of revealing immigration status
- being always accompanied by employer
3. Hold your government accountable
What is your government doing to combat human trafficking? Lobby for politicians to adopt policies that prevent and punish modern slavery, and support the government in its fight against modern slavery.
4. Avoid products that facilitate human trafficking
Some of the products we use every day are made with slave labour. Educate yourself about where your products come from and avoid those that come from questionable sources.
Featured image: Shutterstock
What will you be doing to help combat modern slavery in Asia and the world? Let us know in the comments!
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