Slavery in the world today


Slavery is outlawed under international law and in most parts of the world, but there are still nearly 30 million slaves in the world today, according to the anti-slavery organization WalkFree.  These are literal, not metaphorical, slaves—forced laborers, child soldiers, forced prostitutes and others held in bondage.

Some are debt slaves, sold into slavery to pay their own or their parents’ debts.  Some are unauthorized immigrants, lured by false promises of a job and then trapped in a country where they have no legal rights.   Some are simply victims of force.

The map above shows the estimated number of slaves in each country.  Nearly half of the world’s slaves—an estimated 14 million people—are in India.   But few countries are completely without slaves, and the USA is not one of them.

The map below shows the estimated proportion of the population of each country that is enslaved—about one out of every 25 people in the nation of MauritiusMauritania, one out of 48 in Haiti.  The percentage of slaves in the United States is small, but that is still 60,000 people.  India is near the top in the prevalence of slavery as well as absolute numbers.


Click on Globalization and the world slave work force for a post on how global companies benefit from slave labor. [added 10/23/13]

Click on This map shows where the world’s 30 million slaves live | There are 60,000 in the U.S. for background by Max Fisher of the Washington Post.

Click on – The Movement to End Modern Slavery for more information and suggestions for action.   Hat tip to occasional links and commentary.

Tags: , , ,

One Response to “Slavery in the world today”

  1. dattaman Says:

    I appreciate how you write about a variety of issues that are important for people think about, and you do so without sensationalizing or exaggerating the facts.

    This is one more issue that people need to be aware of — and more, need to do something about.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: