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Forced Labour Slavery

Slavery is illegal almost everywhere—but today millions of children, women and men
are trapped as slaves around the world.

Traffickers and slave owners use deception, threats or violence to force these families to work for little or no pay. Modern-day slaves are often denied adequate food or sleep, and they’re barred from leaving for school or medical care.

In India, whole families are forced to work in brick kilns, rice mills, garment factories and other places—some up to 20 hours per day. In Ghana, children as young as 4 suffer as slaves in the brutal fishing industry. In Cambodia, impoverished people are trafficked into industries like agriculture, construction and fishing, both inside the country and across borders.

"We wanted to leave the mill and live freely but I never thought that would happen in my lifetime."

Rajeswari a survivor of slavery rescued by IJM​​

"It was a moving sight to see those little hands holding the hammer while they should've been in school holding pencils—now, they're free and can go back to school."

IJM Social Worker​​
The Facts
  • One of the most common techniques used to entrap laborers is through false debts. An owner lures a poor person into slavery by offering a small advance payment for their labor. The owner then ensures it is impossible for slaves to ever repay by inflating the debt owed with exorbitant interest charges, not paying the victim the promised wages and prohibiting him or her from working anywhere else. These false debts can be passed from one generation to the next; we have identified entire families (from grandparents to parents to children) who have been forced to work for years after accepting advance payments as low as $20.There are an estimated 40.3 million people held in slavery today. [1]
  • An estimated 90% of forced labor takes place in the private economy—homes, local businesses and multinational supply chains. [2]
  • 1 in 4 victims of modern slavery is a child. [3]

[1] Global Slavery Index & International Labour Organisation."ILO 2012 Global estimate of forced labour: Executive Summary."

[2] Human Rights Watch

[3] Global Slavery Index & ILO

Understand The Issue

One of the most common techniques used to entrap laborers is through false debts. An owner lures a poor person into slavery by offering a small advance payment for their labor. The owner then ensures it is impossible for slaves to ever repay by inflating the debt owed with exorbitant interest charges, not paying the victim the promised wages and prohibiting him or her from working anywhere else. These false debts can be passed from one generation to the next; we have identified entire families (from grandparents to parents to children) who have been forced to work for years after accepting advance payments as low as $20.

Our Response

IJM combats forced labor slavery in Cambodia, Ghana, India, and Thailand.

RESCUE VICTIMS
We identify people trapped in slavery, partner with local authorities to conduct rescue operations and ensure each victim is legally emancipated and receives government support.

BRING CRIMINALS TO JUSTICE
We advocate for police reports to be filed against owners or traffickers, and support prosecution of slave owners.

RESTORE SURVIVORS
We create individualized care plans for each person to respond to trauma and pursue dignifying jobs and educational opportunities.

STRENGTHEN JUSTICE SYSTEMS
We provide hands-on mentoring for law enforcement, government officials and partner organizations. We also create social demand and advocate with state and national leaders to make ending slavery a top priority.

Help survivors of slavery today.

You can send help to those trapped in slavery.

Media Contact

We're here to answer your questions. Please fill out the form below and someone from our team will follow up with you soon.

More Information

Petra Kooman

Director of Marketing and Public Relations
pkooman@ijm.ca
519.679.5030 x.229

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