Slavery in the Modern World

To some, forced labor is a relic of the past; yet, illicit markets across the world continue to partake in the modern day slave trade impacting millions of people every year.  While countries with relatively low GDPs may witness high rates of slavery, this issue in not limited to developing nations.  Even countries with robust anti-slavery mechanisms in place can do more to protect vulnerable populations across the world including young women and children from impoverished countries as well as economic migrants who cross international borders in hopes of finding adequate living wages.  A new report released by the Walk Free Foundation highlights the current realities of slavery in 2018, including the countries doing the most to counter the slave trade as well as countries who are doing relatively little.  This comprehensive report includes the countries where slave trades originate as well as destination spots across the globe.  Particularly of note are the non-state institutions such as multi-national corporations who can also be held partially responsible for illicit slave trades by not properly researching, or deliberately ignoring, sources of funding that are connected to money laundering schemes.

Additionally, this document puts forth several policy solutions to mitigate and counter the spread of the slave trade including:

  • Government prioritization of human rights when considering international partnerships.
  • Governments partake in active measures to counter existing slave trades.
  • Governments improve domestic slave trade markets.

In its evaluation, this report also addresses several ways developed and developing nations can utilize domestic strategies and form international partnerships to achieve these goals.