Slave Labor

    By Sammy Witt, UN Youth Rep

    The UN wants to be a forerunner in political trends and social developments. Thus, Human Trafficking, a great problem, is moving up on their agenda. Seventy-five percent

    of trafficked humans are females, which makes the subject even more relevant to feminist and female-focused NGOs such as FAWCO.1

     Human trafficking is a very uncomfortable subject to talk about, but an important one, as there are 21 million people in forced labour globally.2 Seventy-two percent of these people are adults, meaning the common assumption, that it is primarily a child-related problem, is a fallacy.3

     Though the dynamics of child trafficking are different to those adults face, both primarily occur because people in need believe lies about better futures. Either parents with their child's best interest at heart or adults who have their own best interests in mind. Slave labor occurs all around the globe and in every country. It often targets immigrant workers. They are forced to live with their “employer” and often do not speak the local language, making it impossible to go and seek out help.

    The types of work do not just include sexual exploitation and prostitution, but also agriculture, fishing, domestic work, construction, mining, manufacturing, processing, packaging, market trading and illegal activities, such as working as a drug mule. Additionally, very early forced marriage and the worst forms of child labor are also generally considered slave labor. It is not always private corporations, groups or businesses that are behind modern day slavery. Sometimes it is also (governmental) states! In Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, prisoners of the state produce most of the exported cotton, one of the main sources of income for both countries.

    The issues of human trafficking and slave labour are being touched on by several of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, but some think the UN is not doing enough.

    Inform yourself on what your contribution to the end of slavery could be. It might be easier than you think.

    Get some inspiration here:


    1 Financial Tribune; 24 December 2016;

    2 ILO 2012 Global estimate of forced labour Executive summary; 2012;

    3 United Nations; 21 December 2016;

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