Modern slavery is a complex and nuanced issue. We hope that this resource can help individuals, churches and communities work to end Modern Slavery and Exploitation around the world.
Modern slavery is not legal anywhere, but it happens everywhere. That’s why it’s so important for churches to be alert to this issue and respond to modern slavery wherever it appears in our society.
What is Modern Day Slavery?
Modern Slavery is a broad term that covers a variety of forms of exploitation. Although slavery and the slave trade have been made illegal across the world, millions of people are still being exploited as slaves today. Slavery has not ended. Rather, it has taken on news forms for the modern day, and often remains hidden due to its illegal nature.
Some of the forms of exploitation included in modern slavery are:
- Forced Labour – Work or services that people are forced to do against their will, while under the threat of some form of punishment.
- Bonded Labour – Sometimes called “Debt Bondage” – this is the most common form of slavery. It happens when people borrow money, are unable to repay. Consequently, they are forced to work to pay off their debt, without getting any (or very little) payment of their own. This ties people into their slavery because they no longer have control over their income, or ability to know when the debt will be repaid.
- Domestic Servitude – Home based bondage. This is where people are forced to work as domestic servants (such as maids, cooks and/or nannies), and are unable to leave. Due to this form of slavery happening inside the home, it is often very difficult to find and trace.
- Human Trafficking – The transportation and harbouring of people with the aim of exploiting them. People can be forced into being trafficked through abduction, violence, threats towards the individual or their family, and/or coercion by the trafficker through the promise of a better life. Learn more about Human Trafficking
- Forced and Early Marriage – Being forced into a marriage against someone’s will.
- Descent-Based Slavery – Considering someone to be a slave because they were born to slave parents. This is slavery from birth.
- Child Slavery – This is separate from child labour. Child labour is the using of children for labour in exchange for a tiny, and often not legal, wage. Child slavery is when a child is exploited for someone else’s gain, through the form of child soldiers, child marriage, domestic slavery and/or trafficking.
(Information from Anti-Slavery International and The Borgen Project)
How Different Groups Can Get Involved:
Click on the text in the images below to learn how different people and groups can get involved with ending modern slavery and exploitation.