Slavery has been outlawed everywhere, but it has not been eradicated. Tens of millions are trapped in modern-day slavery: They toil at mines, quarries, farms and factories, on fishing boats, in brothels and in private homes. They are forced to work, without pay, under threat of violence, and they cannot walk away.
Slavery isn’t legal anywhere, but it happens nearly everywhere. About 25 percent of today’s slaves are children. It is a result of vulnerability: The poor, the marginalized and the uneducated are easy prey. People migrating for work get tricked and trapped by traffickers and are most at risk to be forced into slavery.
Founded in 2000, Free the Slaves is widely regarded as a leader in the modern abolition movement. The US-based NGO continues the work that earlier generations of abolitionists started. Their team of 25 confronts slavery in strategically-selected hot spots in India, Nepal, Ghana, Congo and Haiti—operating in partnership with locally-based organizations.
The mission of Free the Slaves is to help those in slavery escape the brutality of bondage, prevent others from becoming trapped by traffickers and help officials bring slave holders to justice. Survivors of slavery are supported and endorsed to rebuild their lives, reclaim a perspective for themselves, their families, and their communities and restore their dignity.
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Graphic art: © 2014 Daniel Garcia