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The Causes of Modern Slavery

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A study into the causes of modern slavery and human trafficking. Human Trafficking Project - 1st Likeyo Kalyvia (Athens, Greece) and Liceo Classico-Linguistico "F. Petrarca" (Trieste, Italy)

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The Causes of Modern Slavery

  1. 1. Modern slavery #humanrightshumanwrongs
  2. 2. According to the ILO studies nowadays there are 21 million enslaved human beings, the majority is exploited in the private economy. State imposed forced labour is rapidly declining due to the development of legislation against it. How many? More than half is made of women and girls working as prostitutes or as domestic workers. The remaining percentage is made of enslaved men working in various industries (textiles, constructions) or in agriculture.
  3. 3. The Asia-Pacific region accounts for the largest number of forced labourers, 56 %. In Africa we have evidence of 660,000 forced labourers especially in the Sahel region, working in unbearable conditions. Talking about Latin America, we also have data (1,3 million people) about forced labourers, such as trash pickers, prostitutes, baby prostitutes and youths forced into racket. Even though the issue may seem really far from us, we have to remember that the products we use are often made by slaves and human trafficking is something that concerns the European Union. The eastern nations are frequently used as routes for smugglers to traffick slaves into the western part of UE. Where?
  4. 4. Who? ILO studies tell that modern slavery and human trafficking are often linked to organized crime and corruption. The strongest sector in these activities is the private one, since new laws and legislations are restricting state-imposed forced labour. To give an idea of the strength of the private sector, we have to say that in the Asian Pacific region, there are recruitment agencies, that ‘employ’ slaves. Even though we know that state-imposed slavery is declining, because of corruption politicians too are sometimes involved in human rights violations ( also because the remittances are paid in a foreign currency). This means that in certain countries the ones who hold the power are not interested in fixing this issue, because they make profits out of it.
  5. 5. Why? Analyzing the economic and social factors that drive a person into slavery or human trafficking, there are five main causes: 1.poverty 2.income shocks 3.lack of education 4.gender 5.migration
  6. 6. Poverty and income shocks hail from social mobility and unequal distribution of income. In many emerging countries, we often see opposite situations, such as unbelievable wealth and heart-breaking poverty. Poverty Income shocks While for us losing a few pence is not a tragedy, in emerging countries it means not having the possibility of eating or having running water. Therefore subjects are willing to work even in unbearable conditions to make ends meet.
  7. 7. Gender Migration We just need to look at the data to understand why gender is listed among the causes. More than half of the enslaved human beings is made of women and girls working in the so called sex industry or as domestic workers, two of the most cost- effective sectors. Moreover in many countries, women are less protected than men, from a legal point of view. Migration is mostly linked to human trafficking and smuggling. Having said this, it is strictly linked to gender and lack of education too. To gender because really often the first to move is the woman, who migrates to work in the domestic field. Often these women reach their destination, but are foisted into prostitution. Very often it also happens that to extinguish the debt of the journey, the migrants are forced to work for their smugglers.
  8. 8. Lack of education is not only linked to slavery but also to social mobility (how easily a subject can improve his/her social status) and migration. This link is due to the fact that migrants, once they have reached their destinations, are often threatened of physical and psychological abuse, which has a certain impact on an illiterate subject, whose knowledge comes from religion. Its link to social mobility lays in the fact that without education a slave does not have the tools to gain his/her rightful freedom. Lack of Education
  9. 9. www.ilo.org www.antislavery.org #humanrightshumanwrongs www.freetheslaves.org www.lisakristine.org Bibliography To learn more International Labour Organization The Universal Declaration of Human Rights #humanrightshumanwrongs Ed Kashi photography Lisa Kristine photography

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