May 31, 2016

Number of slaves in the world today: 45.8 million.

 According to the Walk Free Foundation. The number is up 28% in the last 2 years.
Unlike historical definitions of slavery in which people were held as legal property, a practice that has been universally outlawed, modern slavery is generally defined as human trafficking, forced labor, bondage from indebtedness, forced or servile marriage or commercial sexual exploitation.
According to this definition, even the United States has slaves — 57,700 (0.02% of the population).
[In the United States,] the most reported venues/industries for labour trafficking included domestic work, agriculture, traveling sales crews, restaurants/food service, and health and beauty services. In 2015, the most reported venues/industries for sex trafficking included commercial-front brothels, hotel/motel-based trafficking, online advertisements with unknown locations, residential brothels, and street-based sex trafficking.

47 comments:

Brando said...

Yeah, that definition sounds pretty expansive. Even in the old days, if you were indebted to someone you were considered an "indentured servant", not a "slave." What really separates a "slave" at least in our common usage was that the person was chattel, and had no legal rights as a person. Being a sex worker in fear of a pimp, or an indentured worker with no real means of escaping grueling work, is not the same thing even if it is an awful situation to be in.

sdharms said...

venues for slaves in the U.S.: "domestic work, agriculture, traveling sales crews, restaurants/food service, and health and beauty services." Slave, they keep saying that word. I don't think it means what you think it means.
What is their definition of SLAVE???? did they have to expand it to make sure the U.S. would be included? I am not so naïve that I think human trafficking does not go on in this country, I think it does. but by including "traveling sales crews, restaurants/food service, and health and beauty services." you DEVALUE the concept of slavery.

Expat(ish) said...

Oddly they do not include the vast majority of Chinese "citizens" who are not allowed to travel internally.

-XC

David Begley said...

Good post-presidency project for Obama. Stop slavery.

Ken B said...

Hasn't been universally outlawed at all. Legal in parts of the Islamic world, under sharia.

Constitutional Insurgent said...

That can't be right, the social justice police tell us that the only slavery that matters ended in 1865, but the scourge of historic symbology that makes special snowflakes feel bad remains to this day.

The Drill SGT said...

brown people indentured by other brown people

n.n said...

Selective standards. Selective dignity. Selective value. It's Pro-Choice.

eric said...

They are being a bit broad in their definition.

We always expect trafficking and it isn't uncommon for governments to mistake smuggling for trafficking.

You have people around the world who wish to come to the West for the opportunity. This is very expensive. I met a young Chinese guy, 19 years old, had been here for two years illegally. He had three jobs washing dishes and such and lived in a small apartment with 8 others. He told me the village in China he comes from gathered together 60,000 dollars to pay for his travel to the United States. In the two years he had been here, he had already sent back over 50,000 of that, working off his debt. That 60k was just the price he paid for documents and travel. Was he a slave? I don't think so. He saw opportunity and took it.

Many women around the world willingly become sex workers in order to get to the West. What's willingly? If they were offered a free ride, would they have chosen sex work? Probably not. But are they then slaves?

They also categorize married women as slaves. These are women whose husband's beat them or mistreat them in some way but they are afraid to leave. Are they slaves, or just in a bad marriage?

There is slavery in the world. But 50k slaves in the USA?

I guess it just depends on what you mean by slave.

eric said...

Also, there are immigration advocates out there who want to define deviancy down so that they can get their clients legal documents to live in the West.

Ann Althouse said...

Clearly there are sex slaves. There are domestic worker slaves. Those who are keeping people enslaved are violating the law, so it's radically different from a system where there is legal recognition of a property interest in another person.

Curious George said...

Quick, time for another hashtag campaign!

Ann Althouse said...

"They also categorize married women as slaves. These are women whose husband's beat them or mistreat them in some way but they are afraid to leave. Are they slaves, or just in a bad marriage?"

Why don't you look at the website at the second link and see what level of marriage is regarded as slavery?

Ignorance is Bliss said...

If someone is treating you like their property, and you can't go to the police because the police would turn you back over to the person who is treating you like property, then you are a slave.

If you are kept locked in a basement or a warehouse so you have no chance to get to the police, you are a slave.

If you have the opportunity to go to the police, but you don't because you are afraid they will arrest you or deport you, then you are not a slave, you are a criminal.

Ann Althouse said...

From the Walk Free page on India (which has by far the most enslaved persons):

"More than 50 percent of women are married in India before the legal age of 18. Despite the illegality of sex-selective termination of female foetuses, the introduction of sex determination by ultrasound has seen some areas of India experience significant gender disparity and a dearth of available brides. The subsequent demand for brides, particularly in rural communities where many girls of marriageable age have migrated to cities for employment, has fuelled the trafficking of women for forced marriage. It is reported that in some instances, girls are forced into marriage and then used as unpaid labourers—local day labourers cost $140 USD for a season but a bride can cost only $100 USD as a once off payment... The Walk Free survey questions have been carefully designed to draw a very clear distinction between arranged marriages (which are not in scope), and forced marriages (which are in scope). Cases of forced marriage were identified through the survey process."

Ignorance is Bliss said...

I should note that my comment was about this country, or any other civilized country where slavery is effectively outlawed.

zipity said...

B-b-b-b-but...

LIGHTWORKER!

FUNDAMENTALLY TRANSFORMED!

THE OCEANS RECEDED!

CHRIS MATTHEWS THRILLED LEG!

Has America apologized for inventing SLAVERY yet?

/sarcasm

Mike Sylwester said...

Unlike historical definitions of slavery in which people were held as legal property ....

If we use the historical definitions, how many people are slaves?

Scott M said...

So the definition of slavery has been expanded quite a bit. Looks like we need new Affirmative Employment Consent legislation asap.

Oso Negro said...

Professor Althouse - Can you tell us where the sex slave market is located in Madison? Other than Facebook, I mean.

Dan Hossley said...

Interesting bit of cultural chauvinism embedded in the clearly undefined term "modern slavery". Looks like an NGO in search of additional funding funding to me.

Rick said...

While India is home to more enslaved people than any other country, the Walk Free Foundation report said it had made “significant progress” in measures to address the problem.

How is it the country with the largest number of slaves is "making progress" along with other countries even as the total number is increasing by 28% (over 10 million) in two years?

This is a propaganda effort, feeding the BS survey to colluding media trying to create the appearance of public outrage. Politicians can then use media reports to push through legislation that won't have any impact on the issues claimed in the survey but allow them to attack anyone against them as pro-slavery.

The Cracker Emcee said...

"They also categorize married women as slaves. These are women whose husband's beat them or mistreat them in some way but they are afraid to leave. Are they slaves, or just in a bad marriage?"

So every Muzzie woman. Every woman in a hankie-head mobocracy where they treat women like human toilet seats. Of course, the people that put this report out would never dare say that.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

I wonder--how does the # of slaves in the U.S. right now compare to the # of transgender children in public K-12 schools?

Is one of those topics more worthy of government action, Media coverage, moral outrage, legal action, protests, etc?

Just kidding!

David Smith said...

Sounds to me like "slavery" has just been defined away the same way that "rape" has been. Not a good thing, IMHO. One should not trivialize evil.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

The UN 2013 Global Slavery Survey puts the number at 29.8M people wordwide which is still a hell of a lot of people.
That survey says 3.78% of all slaves are held in North & South America, and ranks the US 134/160 ranked spots.

eric said...

Ann Althouse said...
"They also categorize married women as slaves. These are women whose husband's beat them or mistreat them in some way but they are afraid to leave. Are they slaves, or just in a bad marriage?"

Why don't you look at the website at the second link and see what level of marriage is regarded as slavery?


Because they write things like, "It has been reported" and I'm too skeptical to take that at face value.

Birkel said...

How many of them were on Jeffery Epstein's island?

How many did Bill Clinton abuse?

Gahrie said...

Solve a problem, like say slavery, and the gravy train stops. Answer: Redefine the problem so it can never be solved.

The March of Dimes was a ground breaker with this strategy. The March of Dimes was formed to help fight polio. Yeah we won! Time for the March of Dimes to fold up their tent and go home, right?

Think again. They shifted their fight to birth defects, a problem that will never be solved.

Oso Negro said...

The young folks have all been pumped full of "human trafficking" horror stories, but so far none can direct me to the marketplace where the the sales take place.

Achilles said...

zipity said...

"/sarcasm"

You don't need that here. If you catch someone with a particularly witty piece of sarcasm it provides us with enjoyment.

Achilles said...

They missed half a billion women that live in Muslim countries. But can you call them a slave if they hold each other down on a table in turns and cut off each others clitoris's?

Terry said...

Blogger sdharms said...
. . . but by including "traveling sales crews, restaurants/food service, and health and beauty services." you DEVALUE the concept of slavery.

What galls me is the PC term 'sex worker.' Any person who works for a living should be outraged at being classed with women and men who engage in prostitution because they have to feed a drug addiction or because they have psychological demons to keep at bay.
You might as well call hired thumpers 'assault workers.'

Jupiter said...

Althouse said,
"Despite the illegality of sex-selective termination of female foetuses, the introduction of sex determination by ultrasound has seen some areas of India experience significant gender disparity and a dearth of available brides."

We call that "a man's right to choose", Althouse. Do you have a problem with a man's right to choose?

Gabriel said...

@Terry:What galls me is the PC term 'sex worker.'

Should women who refuse "sex work" be denied unemployment benefits?

Sounds insane, no? But the logic is clear. There's nothing immoral about it, hence should not be illegal and women doing it should face no stigma, so how is it different from waiting tables?

Gabriel said...

1) Take a word that carries condemnation within it, such as "racism", "torture", "rape", "slavery".

2) Redefine it to be far more expansive.

3) Confront the public with stats reflecting the expanded definition, but using only the original word.

4) Demand all the same sorts of action that you demanded before you selectively redefined the word; accuse all opponents of favoring the original word.

Quaestor said...

Unlike historical definitions of slavery in which people were held as legal property, a practice that has been universally outlawed...

Universally outlawed? Evidently the Walk Free Foundation fears the avengers of Muhammad.

Michael K said...

In James Clavell's novel, "Whirlwind," which is about the Iran Revolution, he has a scene where a mountain war lord in Iran has a TWA stewardess in his harem. A friend of mine who sailed with us had a TWA stewardess as a girlfriend who flew to Egypt. She said the TWA had a rule that stewardesses could not go shopping in smaller groups than four and were strongly encouraged to stay out of bazaars. She knew several stewardesses who had disappeared in the Middle East while shipping.

That was only 30 years ago.

Michael K said...

"Shopping,"

Mark said...

Number of slaves in the world today: 45.8 million

And what is the response of this country and practically the rest of the world?? It is the same response they give to the hundreds of millions dead from genocide, and the same response to rape, plunder, firebombings and more.

It is the response that has been summed up by our president and by the probable Democrat nominee for president -- and we can add in too the libertarian faction -- So? So what? Those things are not an existential threat to us. So it's not our problem. Rather, it is the responsibility of the people in those areas. It's up to the weak and powerless to do something about it.

El Rondo said...

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Proof Trump Is Stealth Democrat

Don't be fooled by this impostor!

damikesc said...

Plenty of "Traditional" slaves in Africa to this day. Mauritania has a long-time problem in this field. And it's really weird since whites aren't buying slaves. But activists don't seem to worked up over this. I cannot fathom why. Mauritania didn't outlaw slavery until 1981 and didn't allow slaveowners to be punished until 2007. The slave population is between 4 and 17% of the total population. It's consistently bad.

The leaders claim that discussions of slavery existing is caused by Jews, so they'd fit in well in most college campuses nowadays.

Yeah, that definition sounds pretty expansive. Even in the old days, if you were indebted to someone you were considered an "indentured servant", not a "slave." What really separates a "slave" at least in our common usage was that the person was chattel, and had no legal rights as a person. Being a sex worker in fear of a pimp, or an indentured worker with no real means of escaping grueling work, is not the same thing even if it is an awful situation to be in.

I don't like stretching terms to mean something else. Trafficking is its own special level of awful, but it is not slavery. It's not BETTER, but it is not the same thing.

Hasn't been universally outlawed at all. Legal in parts of the Islamic world, under sharia.

The "racist" Western civ that activists disdain so is the only one who stopped it. By force of arms, to boot.

But Western civ is "Racist" for...reasons.

More than 50 percent of women are married in India before the legal age of 18. Despite the illegality of sex-selective termination of female foetuses, the introduction of sex determination by ultrasound has seen some areas of India experience significant gender disparity and a dearth of available brides. The subsequent demand for brides, particularly in rural communities where many girls of marriageable age have migrated to cities for employment, has fuelled the trafficking of women for forced marriage. It is reported that in some instances, girls are forced into marriage and then used as unpaid labourers—local day labourers cost $140 USD for a season but a bride can cost only $100 USD as a once off payment... The Walk Free survey questions have been carefully designed to draw a very clear distinction between arranged marriages (which are not in scope), and forced marriages (which are in scope). Cases of forced marriage were identified through the survey process."

Isn't that more "An abhorrent practice leads to unpleasant situations" than slavery? I doubt activists want to see abortion outlawed, even though this is the usual result of it.

And what is the response of this country and practically the rest of the world?? It is the same response they give to the hundreds of millions dead from genocide, and the same response to rape, plunder, firebombings and more.

What do you advocate we do? Outside of invasion, nothing is going to stop it. I love that, ALWAYS, this is somehow OUR fault.

damikesc said...

It is the response that has been summed up by our president and by the probable Democrat nominee for president -- and we can add in too the libertarian faction -- So? So what? Those things are not an existential threat to us. So it's not our problem. Rather, it is the responsibility of the people in those areas. It's up to the weak and powerless to do something about it.

Remember the uproar over the Iraq invasion because they posed no threat to us?

Given how the Left lost their shit --- how can ANYBODY actually justify military action here?

You can thank the Left for insuring nothing can be done. The Right would get no credit, at all, for trying to fix the problem --- so why deal with the headaches?

Robert Cook said...

"What galls me is the PC term 'sex worker.' Any person who works for a living should be outraged at being classed with women and men who engage in prostitution because they have to feed a drug addiction or because they have psychological demons to keep at bay."

What's "pc" about it? It's simply a concise term of convenience that covers all persons who make their income by some form of selling their bodies for sexual services. I suppose you prefer the "un-pc" term prostitute, (because there's nothing like being superior and judgmental when referring to the lengths--or depths--some people by dire necessity or by force must go). Oh, and there are male sex workers, too, bub.

I work for a living; I don't feel "outraged" at all at the term "sex worker," (as I doubt you really are either, unless you're just a prickly jerk), as I understand we're all workers and we all do what we can (or must) to feed, house, and clothe ourselves and our loved ones.

As automation and outsourcing result in the erasure of more and more jobs, "sex worker" will be a job turned to increasingly often by the otherwise can't-find-a-job-ables.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Oso Negro said...

Professor Althouse - Can you tell us where the sex slave market is located in Madison? Other than Facebook, I mean.

I am offended, on the Professor's behalf, by what you are implying.

1) Meade is free to leave anytime he wishes.
2) He was clearly obtained from out-of-state, over the internet, and not from any local market.

Mike said...

Don't tell the BLM kids. They think slavery was born raised and died in the South USA long before they were born. This news could shatter their little safe space world.

Cacimbo Cacimbo said...

In Saudi Arabia a woman needs the consent of her male guardian to even leave the house. I have always thought of the women as prisoners, but "slave" does seem more appropriate.

As a woman I am incredibly grateful that I had the good fortune to be born in the USA.