Slavery in the 21st Century

By: Alissa Latteyer

Cause of the Problem:

There are many universal factors that are the cause of human trafficking. Some factors depend on the country or the region for trafficking. For instance, some universal factors are the limits and obstacles to legal migration channels to countries with a better future, the general lack of public awareness of the dangers of trafficking, and the lack of effective anti-trafficking legislation, if such legislation exists then it's the lack of effective enforcement. A good system should be provided by the government to overcome human trafficking. The government and the society should be united to solve the issue.

Main trafficking sources:

The United States has openly reported twelve countries that are failing to do enough to stop modern day slavery. Those countries are Iran, Uzbekistan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, North Korea, Belize, Myanmar, Cuba, Laos, Sudan, Venezuela and Zimbabwe. These countries fail to provide awareness of human trafficking. In 2006 the U.S Secretary of the State Condoleezza Rice called the fight against trafficking "a great moral calling of our time." Yet today that quote still rings true seven years later.


An estimated 2.5 million people are in forced labor:

o 1.4 million – 56% - are in Asia and the Pacific

o 250,000 – 10% - are in Latin America and the Caribbean

o 230,000 – 9.2% - are in the Middle East and Northern Africa

o 130,000 – 5.2% - are in sub-Saharan countries

o 270,000 – 10.8% - are in industrialized countries

o 200,000 – 8% - are in countries in transition

The Profits:

-Estimated global annual profits made from the exploitation of all trafficked forced labor are

US$ 31.6 billion

o US$ 15.5 billion – 49% - is generated in industrialized economies

o US$ 9.7 billion – 30.6% is generated in Asia and the Pacific

o US$ 1.3 billion – 4.1% is generated in Latin America and the Caribbean

o US$ 1.6 billion – 5% is generated in sub-Saharan Africa

o US$ 1.5 billion – 4.7% is generated in the Middle East and North Africa

Types of Trafficking:

There are many forms of trafficking, for instance sexual trafficking. Mainly women and children leave their countries for a promise and a hope for a better life, but most are met with false illusions and find themselves into sexual slavery and held in inhumane conditions and constant fear. There is a growing phenomenon in Asia, Africa, Central and South America, where they are engaging in sexual relations with minors. Sexual exploitation is one major reason for human trafficking, but almost all attention is directed to it.

There are other forms including forced labor, where men, women and children are trafficked and find themselves engaged in slavery doing a variety of jobs including agricultural, construction work, domestic servitude and other labor-intensive jobs.

One last kind of trafficking is the trafficking of organs. In many countries waiting lists for a transplant are very long and many people take the opportunity of desperation. The main problem with organ trafficking is that not many people see the health issues that follow it.

Sex Trafficking in America: A Former Sex Slave's Story of Hope & Forgiveness:"FortheSakeofOne. org"