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CIA's Child Sex Slaves


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Greek Dissidents Political Persecution


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Mielke - Chrisochoidis


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Byzantine Atrocities


European Dissidents ALARM


Human Rights' Court


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Open Letter to Andrew Parker, MI5


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My father's death


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Being a German


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Political Asylum

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Honor your father...


Creative Greeks

A pair of Dictatorships

Modern slavery PDF Εκτύπωση E-mail
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Συντάχθηκε απο τον/την Χρήστος Μπούμπουλης (Christos Boumpoulis)   
Δευτέρα, 16 Φεβρουάριος 2015 20:17


Slavery did not end with abolition in the 19th century.

The practice still continues today in one form or another in every country in the world. From women forced into prostitution, children and adults forced to work in agriculture, domestic work, or factories and sweatshops producing goods for global supply chains, entire families forced to work for nothing to pay off generational debts; or girls forced to marry older men, the illegal practice still blights contemporary world.

According to the International Labour Organisation (ILO) around 21 million men, women and children around the world are in a form of slavery.

There are many different characteristics that distinguish slavery from other human rights violations, however only one needs to be present for slavery to exist. Someone is in slavery if they are:

  • forced to work - through mental or physical threat;

  • owned or controlled by an 'employer', usually through mental or physical abuse or the threat of abuse;

  • dehumanised, treated as a commodity or bought and sold as 'property';

  • physically constrained or has restrictions placed on his/her freedom of movement.

Contemporary slavery takes various forms and affects people of all ages, gender and races.


  • Bonded labour

  • Child slavery

  • Early and forced marriage

  • Forced labour

  • Descent-based slavery

  • Trafficking

Many forms of slavery involve more than one element or form listed above. For example, trafficking often involves an advance payment for the trip and organising a promised job abroad which is borrowed from the traffickers. Once at the destination, the debt incurred serves as an element of controlling the victims as they are told they cannot leave the job until the debt is paid off.



Bonded labour is the most widespread – yet the least known - form of slavery in the world. A person becomes a bonded labourer when their labour is demanded as a means of repayment for a loan. The person is then tricked or trapped into working for very little or no pay. The value of their work becomes invariably greater than the original sum of money borrowed. Often the debts are passed onto the next generations.

Many bonded labourers are forced to work to repay debts their employer says they owe, and they are not allowed to work for anyone else. Violence and threats can be used to coerce them to stay, and in some cases they are kept under surveillance – sometimes under lock and key.



Despite the fact that many people believe that slavery no longer exists, the International Labour Organization (ILO) estimated that there are some 8.4 million children in slavery or practices similar to slavery.

They are all in child slavery, as defined by the 1956 UN Supplementary Slavery Convention. In these cases, as well as being in a hazardous situation, there is an intention to exploit these children for someone else’s gain.

This group of children includes:

  • Children who are used by others who profit from them, often through violence, abuse and threats, in prostitution or pornography, illicit activities, such as forced begging, petty theft, and the drug trade;

  • Forced child labour, for example in agriculture, factories, construction, brick kilns, mines, bars, restaurants or tourists environment;

  • Children who are forced to take part in armed conflict. They don't only include child soldiers but also porters or girls taken as “wives” for soldiers and militia members. There are about 300,000 child soldiers involved in over 30 areas of conflict worldwide, some even younger than 10 years old. Children involved in conflict are severely affected by their experiences and can suffer from long-term trauma;

  • Child domestic workers, many of whom are forced to work long hours, in hazardous and often abusive environments, for little or no pay, and often far from home.

Child and forced marriage

Marriage involving children under 18-years-old remains a widely culturally accepted practice in many corners of the globe. Estimates suggest that 11% of women worldwide were married before reaching the age of 15 (UNICEF 2012). Although boys can be affected by the practice, a great majority who suffer slavery as a consequence of child marriage are girls.

There has been growing awareness about the negative consequences of child marriage, especially for girls, including the impact of marriage on children’s education, and risks to their physical and psychological health.

It should be noted that many marriages involving children will not amount to slavery, particularly between couples aged 16 to 18 years.

However, little has been said about child marriage act as to shield slavery and slavery-like practices.

Child marriage can be said to be slavery, if the following three elements are present:

  • If the child has not genuinely given their free and informed consent to enter the marriage;

  • If the child is subjected to control and a sense of “ownership” in the marriage itself, particularly through abuse and threats, and is exploited by being forced to undertake domestic chores within the marital home or labour outside it, and/or engage in non-consensual sexual relations;

  • If the child cannot realistically leave or end the marriage, leading potentially to a lifetime of slavery.

Children are in a weaker position to give free, full and informed consent to marriage than adults, even if they appear to ‘agree’ or don’t express refusal.

Many children have little or no control over their movements or person within marriage, including over sexual relations. Girls in particular are commonly controlled through violence, threats and humiliation, as well as experience isolation and loneliness.

Children may not realistically be able to leave their marriage however difficult the situation may be. For example, they may not be able to support themselves financially or may fear repercussions from in-laws and the wider community, as well as their own families.

Girls who leave their marriages without support are often vulnerable to other forms of slavery and exploitation. In this way, entry into slavery through marriage as a child is likely to lead to a life in slavery for the adults they become.



Forced labour is any work or services which people are forced to do against their will under the threat of some form punishment. Almost all slavery practices, including trafficking in people and bonded labour, contain some element of forced labour.

Forced labour affects millions of men, women and children around the world and is most frequently found in labour intensive and/or under-regulated industries, such as:

  • Agriculture and fishing

  • Domestic work

  • Construction, mining, quarrying and brick kilns

  • Manufacturing, processing and packaging

  • Prostitution and sexual exploitation

  • Market trading and illegal activities



Descent-based slavery describes a situation where people are born into a slave class, caste or a group viewed as being in slavery by other members of their society. If one’s mother is in slavery, one is born into slavery.

People born into slavery face a lifetime of exploitation and abuse, and are forced to work without pay for their so-called ‘masters’ throughout their lives, primarily herding cattle, working on farmland or as domestic servants.

They are treated as property by their ‘masters’. They can be inherited, sold or given away as gifts or wedding presents. Any children born are automatically considered property of the ‘masters’, many children can be taken away from their mothers at an early age.

They often suffer from degrading treatment, are excluded from education and politics, and are not allowed to own land or inheriting property. Often they can’t even choose who they want to marry, and certainly are not able to marry outside of their caste.

Girls are typically sexually abused by men in the household and may be forced to marry at a young age. Many young girls and women are sold into sexual and domestic slavery as the unofficial wives to wealthy men known as ‘wahaya’.

Those who escape slavery also face ongoing discrimination because they are part of the ‘slave’ caste and therefore have few opportunities for employment away from their ‘master’.

Even though slavery is prohibited by international law descent-based slavery can be so culturally ingrained in a society that challenging its existence is very difficult.



Human trafficking involves men, women and children being brought into a situation of exploitation through the use of violence, deception or coercion and forced to work against their will. People can be trafficked for many different forms of exploitation such as: Forced prostitution, forced labour, forced begging, forced criminality, domestic servitude, forced marriage, forced organ removal.

When children are trafficked, no violence, deception or coercion needs to be involved: simply bringing them into exploitative conditions constitutes trafficking.


People trafficking and people smuggling are often confused. People smuggling is the illegal movement of people across international border for a fee and upon arrival in the country of destination the smuggled person is free.

People trafficking is fundamentally different as the trafficker is facilitating the movement of that person for the purpose of exploitation. There is no need for an international border to be crossed in cases of trafficking, it occurs also nationally, even within one community.


Being a slave means, being forced to work - through mental or physical threat; being owned or controlled by an 'employer', usually through mental or physical abuse or the threat of abuse; being dehumanised, being treated as a commodity or being bought and being sold as 'property'; being physically constrained or having restrictions placed on his/her freedom of movement; being born into a slave class or group (race, family, etc.) viewed as being in slavery.

According to the International Labour Organisation (ILO) around 21 million men, women and children around the world are in a form of slavery.

Seriously? Only 21 million people?

What about all those who become victims of systemic:

  • Misuse of laws?

  • Misuse of (authentic or adulterated) social foundations?

  • Organized crime?

  • Adulterated democratic foundations?

  • Forced economic colonization?

  • Illegitimate international influence?

  • Cultural adulteration?

Shouldn't all of them be counted, also, as modern slaves?

Nowadays, almost each and every people (actively or passively) disdains slaves; and almost each and every social foundation (actively or passively) disdains getting involved in resolving the problem of modern slavery. At the same time, both people are imagining, and social foundations are claiming, that they value freedom, peace, friendship and prosperity.

Which may be, the obvious and, probably, inescapable consequences of the discrete and/or collective disdain of modern slavery?

Lately, I see a lot of disputes going on, about both National, as well as, International interests. How many, of all those who dare contributing to those disputes, have they ever felt mere modern slavery upon their own skin?

Probably, show disputes; show foundations; show military conflicts; show... everything else, and after all, show lives, are going to prevail intermittently until we, discretely and collectively, choose to become sincere, dignified and humane human beings.

We Shall Over Come - Mahalia Jackson

Note: the photo was found here.




Τελευταία Ενημέρωση στις Κυριακή, 22 Φεβρουάριος 2015 14:56