“Forced labor slavery is the use of deception or violent coercion to compel someone to labor without pay or for no pay beyond the substance necessary to continue the labor. Modern-day slaves face brutal conditions in rock quarries, rice mills, brick kilns, fisheries, garment factories and many other industries around the world. Victims of slavery are often deprived of the freedom of movement, unable to leave the facility where they are forced to work and unable to seek employment elsewhere. Forced laborers are also often victims of violent physical and sexual abuse.

Debt bondage is a common method used to entrap victims of slavery. In this illegal scheme, an employer offers a small loan (often as low as $25) to a laborer, with the understanding that the loan will be repaid through work at the owner’s facility. The perpetrator ensures this repayment is impossible by inflating the loan through exorbitant interest rates, false charges and denying requests for information on the status of the loan. The laborer is forbidden to leave the work facility until the loan is repaid in full. The employer becomes the laborer’s owner – and the loan’s conditions are often extended to relatives of the victim, including children, who are forced to work off a false and ever-growing debt.”

THE FACTS

• There are an estimated 27 million slaves in the world today—more than any other time in history. (Bales, Disposable People)

• Children below the age of 18 years represent between 40 to 50% of all forced labor victims. (ILO)

• In a recent, wide-reaching survey conducted by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, 40% of countries had not registered a single conviction against perpetrators of trafficking and slavery, which is crucial for deterrence. (UNODC)

*(Taken from IJM’s Website)

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