Slavery in the World Today


Slavery was common in the nineteenth century and earlier during the colonization era. The form of slavery during that time involved working in farms without pay or adequate provision of basic needs such as food and shelter. It is shocking to realize that slavery is still practiced in contemporary society. However, modern-day slavery may be difficult to detect because it happens in other forms and perspectives that are different from the typical 18th century and earlier slavery. In this way, it becomes difficult for even the victims to realize that they are enslaved. The “End Slavery Now” organization lists various forms of slavery today to include domestic servitude, sex trafficking, forced labor, bonded labor, child labor, and forced marriage. According to Gold (3), there are about 35.8 million slaves in the world today. This figure is slightly higher than that cited by “End Slavery Now,” which is approximated at 20.9 million. The figure is alarming regardless of the disparity, which calls the need for awareness and intervention. The parts of the world most affected are Asia, Africa, and parts of Europe in countries such as China, Nigeria, and Russia respectively (Gold, 3). This discussion will focus on two perspectives of slavery today, which include domestic servitude and sex trafficking.

Domestic Servitude

This form of slavery is common among private domestic workers. According to the information gathered in the “End Slavery Now” their employers exploit website, domestic workers such as nannies in such a way that they are detained in the compound and not allowed to leave the job at free will. The common victims of this form of slavery are migrant workers who are promised favorable working conditions and proper compensation only to be shortchanged when they arrive in their country of destination. For instance, there are additional costs that are added by the employer, which is always deducted from their payslip. In this way, they are left very little cash that cannot sustain them, leave alone send some back to the families. According to (Gold, 3), 29% of slaves in the world today cross borders. This means that they work in foreign lands where they cannot advocate for their rights because some of them do not have legal immigration documents (Gold, 4).  Similarly, “End Slavery Now” states that the situation is worsened when the employers of foreign domestic workers confiscate their legal immigration documents or do not process them. In such circumstances, the domestic workers survive at the mercy of the employers, depriving them any freedom the freedom. This form of slavery is common in Haiti and the US.

Sex Trafficking

Sex trafficking targets marginalized communities where individuals are promised a better life elsewhere only to be exploited sexually for the financial benefit of their hosts or employers. “End Slavery Now” estimates the number of sex slaves in the world at about 4.5 million people. Gold (4) states that sex trafficking accounts for 22% of slavery today. The victims risk being charged with criminal activities when caught or contract sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV/AIDS. Sex trafficking is prevalent in developed worlds such as the US, German, Japan, and the Netherlands which act as destinations. On the other hand, most countries where victims come from include India, the Philippines, Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, and Thailand. These countries or not developed economically and are home to some of the world’s most impoverished communities. The traffickers take advantage of the situation to exploit women and children.


Slavery is still a significant concern in the world today going by the statistics which is approximately thirty million individuals worldwide. The primary challenge that also acts as a catalyst for slavery in the contemporary world is the lack of awareness and restrictive policies. The leaders of the world should come together and enact universal laws and policies with strict measures to stop slavery.

Works Cited

Gold, Stefan, Alexander Trautrims, and Zoe Trodd. “Modern slavery challenges to supply chain management.” Supply Chain Management: An International Journal 20.5 (2015).

End Slavery Now. “Slavery Today”(n.d). Accessed March 4, 2019, from