International: Global effort needed to free modern slaves

The U.S. State Department’s annual report on global trafficking in persons, released on June 19, paints a grim picture of the lives of trafficking victims, sometimes called “modern day slaves.”

At the same time, the report upgraded the standing of 29 countries that have improved in their handling of trafficking.

Modern day slaves haul fish onto Thai boats, scrub floors in Dubai apartments, and paint nails in salons in Boston.

They are slaves, not by the nature of their job or its location, but by the fact that they are powerless to leave it.

According to latest figures from the International Labour Organisation, at least 20.9 million men, women, and children around the world suffer in forced labour, though the actual number could be closer to 27 million.

The organisation estimates that 55 per cent of victims of forced labour are women and girls as are 98 per cent of sex trafficking victims.

“While many countries, including the United States, still have a long way to go, the increased attention and pressure to bring modern day slavery to light helps all of us on the front lines,” says Jesse Eaves, World Vision U.S.’s senior policy advisor for child protection.

Jesse says the report is a reminder that the U.S. should continue to be a global leader in the fight against trafficking.