Slavery Still Exists
I was inspired to create these photos through my involvement with the Appalachian State University campus chapter of International Justice Mission.
IJM works with law enforcement to protect the poor from violence in the developing world. They work through the legal system in 17 countries to fight forced labor slavery, sexual abuse, cybersex trafficking, police violence, and other basic human rights abuses.
The Global Slavery Index estimated that in 2016 there were 45.8 million people in different forms of slavery around the world.
They work in agriculture, factories, fishing, and brothels. Slaves farm the cacao that goes into our chocolate and the cotton that goes into our shirts. Modern slavery exists in 167 countries around the world. The Global Slavery Index estimates that over 18 million people are enslaved in India, and that over 4% of the population of North Korea is enslaved.
According to the International Labour Organization, human trafficking generates $150 billon each year.
They estimate that two thirds of that revenue comes from commercial sexual exploitation, and one third from forced economic exploitation, such as in agriculture, fishing, and factory labor.
According to UNICEF, two million children are exploited in the global commercial sex trade
Two main avenues of this are prostitution and cybersex trafficking. Cybersex trafficking is where children are forced to perform sexual acts in front of a camera to be streamed live to paying viewers around the world. It is especially prevalent in the Philippines.
The United Nations estimates that one in five women will be victims of rape or attempted rape in their lifetime.
What You Can Do
The people at International Justice Mission believe that slavery can end within their lifetime. In the United States, slavery has for a long time been thought of as a thing of the past, abolished in 1865, but it is still very much a thing in the present. I believe that the young people of today have the ability to come together to destroy this evil. My hope is that many people will see these images, and it will spark in them not just thought, but action. Learn how to be an advocate here.
United Nations. "Unite to End Violence Against Women: Fact Sheet." (2008).
UNICEF. State of the World’s Children 2005.
International Labour Organization. “Economics of forced labour.”
Global Slavery Index. Global Findings.