Human Trafficking & Modern-day Slavery

Lecture Resources




Resources for Classroom Presentations to students 13 to 15 years-old


Some of the published articles listed below may prove to be useful in preparing talks intended for youth, 13 to 15 years-old.  They were culled from the Human Trafficking Lecture Resources page, and made suitable for this age group by removing articles with references to sexual activity and other topics that may not be suitable for 13 to 15-year-olds.  Innovative educational programs in the public schools may be key to solving part of the problem by reducing the scale of local domestic trafficking.  If we can teach youth, in a sensitive way, about how they may be targeted for exploitation, and how they can raise a fuss and get help from people around them when/if they sense that they are being entrapped, their chances of escape are greatly enhanced.  It is important for them to learn not to allow themselves to be enticed by seemingly friendly acquaintances and making bad decisions that can have terrible consequences.


Commodification of Children - Albania

For Albanians, It's Come to This: A Son for a TV

Nicholas Wood, The New York Times, Durres, Albania, November 13, 2003

[accessed 18 January 2011]

Fatmira Bonjaku's husband is in jail, accused by the police of selling their 3-year-old son to an Italian man in return for the television set that six other children watch in the family's dimly lighted room. The police also say her husband had plans to sell their newest born, whom she is breast feeding.

Over the past 12 years, since the collapse of Stalinism here, a substantial trade in children has established itself in Albania, Europe's most impoverished and long most isolated country.



Commodification of Children - Morocco

Street Life

BBC World Service, 1st July 2000

[accessed 21 February 2011]

SLAVE TRADE - The neglect of Morocco's street-children is just the tip of the iceberg of Morocco's child crisis. Across the kingdom, I encountered dozens of children treated as commodities, just as the slave trade of old.  'Parents are raising their children for sale,' says Bashir Nzaggi, news editor with the respected Moroccan newspaper, Liberation. 'They send them to work in the towns, and never see them except to collect their pay-packets.



Debt Bondage - India

The Enslavement Of Dalit And Indigenous Communities In India, Nepal And Pakistan Through Debt Bondage [PDF]

UN Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights, February 2001

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 6 September 2011]

SUMMARY - This paper describes the gross and continuing violation of the rights of millions of people in India, Pakistan and Nepal, who are trapped in debt bondage and forced to work to repay loans. Their designation as persons belonging outside the Hindu caste system is a major determining factor of their enslavement. Evidence from all three countries shows that the vast majority (80%-98%) of bonded labourers are from communities designated as “untouchable”, to whom certain occupations are assigned, or from indigenous communities. In the same way that caste status is inherited, so debts are passed on to the succeeding generations.



Debt Bondage - Pakistan

Slavery in the 21st century

Alan McCombes, Scottish Socialist Voice, November 2001

[accessed 21 December 2011]

Bonded labour otherwise known as debt slavery is rampant in Pakistan. The system works as follows. Desperately poor families go to a feudal employer usually a brick kiln owner or a carpet manufacturer and ask them for a loan, perhaps to pay for medical treatment for a sick child.

In return for the loan, the entire family is turned into the private property of the employer. They are forced to work long hours for pitiful wage and half of these wages are kept by the factory owner as payment towards the loan.  The loan may take a generation or more to pay off. But until it is paid, the family are held in slavery.

Iqbal had been sold by his mother to a carpet manufacturer at the age of four. For years he spent twelve hours a day, seven days a week working in carpet factories for a pittance.  He eventually rebelled against his conditions and became a major figure in the BLLF. At the age of 12 he was traveling Pakistan addressing mass meetings and leading demos of thousands of children against industrial slavery.  To this day, his murder has never been satisfactorily explained.



Deception of Parents - Burkina Faso

Children saved from 'slavery'

Agence France-Presse AFP, Ouagadougou, 2004-05-08

[accessed 24 January 2011]

The traffickers had managed to win the confidence of the children's parents by convincing them that the youngsters were to be taken to Mali to study the Qu'ran, a police officer told reporters.

Many Muslim children from Burkina Faso undergo religious studies in neighbouring country.

The official daily Sidwaya reported that the real fate of such victims, snatched in several provinces in Burkina Faso, was to work on agricultural plantations during the day and left to forage for their own food at night.



Deception of Parents - Gabon

Written statement from Anti-Slavery International for agenda item 13 of the provisional agenda

UN Economic and Social Council, Commission on Human Rights, 56th Session, Geneva, 20 March- 28 April 2000

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 5 September 2011]

Traffickers promise good money and training in order to persuade the parents to send their children abroad. However, after the children arrive in Gabon neither the child nor their parents are paid for the work they do. The children interviewed in Gabon often told harrowing stories of their journey from Bénin to Gabon and many complained of bad working conditions and being deprived of food once they arrived. Over half of the children interviewed said that they had been beaten by their employers

Even where children are rescued from these conditions, they are likely to encounter feelings of alienation from their own family and culture and must undergo a long and difficult task of reintegration.


Deception of Victims - Malaysia

Kin of human trafficking victims seek Government intervention

Asian News International ANI, Kendrapara Orissa, June 10, 2007

[accessed 20 February 2011]

"Our brothers (in Malaysia) are being tortured by their employers. They get meals only once a day and are made to work for more then 12 hours a day," Behra added.

A Bhubaneswar-based placement agency lured seven youths of Kendrapara District's Mangalpur and Raghunathpur villages with an offer of lucrative job at Omega Wood Industry in Kuala Lumpur.  The youths also paid the placement agency over 100,000 rupees for a job in Malaysia.

The moment they landed in Kuala Lumpur on January 10, their passports and visas were snatched by a member of the placement agency.  They were then taken to the jungles. But instead of getting an office job, they were forced to do physical labour and were kept in inhuman conditions.



Deception of Victims - Taiwan

Taiwan cracks human-trafficking ring, rescues 35 Indonesian women

Deutsche Presse-Agentur (German Press Agency) DPA, Taipei, 21 Mar 2007

[accessed 29 August 2014]

According to police, the ring arranged for the Indonesian women to come to Taiwan in arranged marriages, but turned them into slaves after they had arrived on the island.  'They would confiscate the Indonesian women's passports and force them to work in factories, sometimes for up to 18 hours a day, and hand over part of the salary to the human traffickers,' Lai Ching- tzung, spokesman for the Keelung Police Bureau, told reporters

Luciana, one of the victims, said she did not know it was a trick because she had a bona fide wedding with her Taiwanese husband in Indonesia.  'But after he had brought me to Taiwan, he vanished, and the criminal ring forced me to work in a factory in central Taiwan,' she said on TV.



Deception of Victims - Tonga

Former Human Trafficking Victim Speaks Out

KGMB CBS 9 News - May 3rd 2008

[accessed 11 June 2013]

HAWAII - This young Tongan named Francis came here in 2001, Lueleni Maka promised him $240 a week. He was paid only $20.  "I ask him about the rest of my money. Said he sent em back to my family, so I called my parents and they said they never get nothing from him," said former victim Francis.

Maka told Francis he would turn him into immigration if he tried to escape the pig farm he stayed at.  "He make me afraid of him. He hit me a couple of times. yeah. metal frames, I get scars on my back from him. Get guys they worse than me. He beat 'em up till blood coming out their mouth and nose. it's very sad. We cannot do nothing. we so scared of him," Francis said.



Deception of Victims - Viet Nam – China

Trafficking of men appears in border provinces

VietNamNet Bridge, September 27, 2007-- Source: VTV

[accessed 15  August 2012]

Two months ago, a woman came to Phu’s hamlet to recruit workers to work in China with a monthly income of VND3.6 million ($220). Eight young boys, including Phu went with the woman to China but only Phu and another boy named Phan Van Lin could escape from the brick kiln.  “We didn’t know that we were sold till we arrived at the brick kiln. If we didn’t work, we would be beaten by the brick kiln owners,” he said.

Trafficking of women is popular but trafficking of men is still very strange to both the people and state agencies. Young boys like Diu and Phu want to denounce the woman who sold them to China but the Vietnamese laws don’t have regulations on this crime yet.



Disappearances – Children & Adults - El Salvador

El Salvador: Where are the "disappeared" children ?

Amnesty International, Index Number: AMR 29/004/2003,  28 July 2003

[accessed 24 February 2015]

Thousands of people disappeared in El Salvador during the armed conflict that shattered the country between 1980 and 1991. Hundreds, probably thousands, of them were children. Their families have been looking for them, as experience has shown that many are alive but unaware of their circumstances and identity. Government authorities are not helping.

Some were taken to orphanages and other institutions, others were held at military bases or kept in the houses of the soldiers and their families. Yet others were put up for adoption (both within the country and abroad). These are the disappeared children of El Salvador, whose families have been searching for them ever since.



Exploitation of Aboriginals - CAR

Crime & Society -  Comparative Criminology tour of the World - Central African Republic

Dr. Robert Winslow, San Diego State University, A Comparative Criminology Tour of the World

[accessed 28 January 2011]

TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS - The indigenous Ba'Aka often are coerced into agricultural, domestic, and other types of labor within the country. The Ba'Aka often are considered to be the slaves of other local ethnic groups, and subjected to wages far below those prescribed by the labor code. Additionally there have been credible reports of three cases in which persons obtained a Ba'Aka child by deception and subsequently sent the child to Europe for adoption. One of the cases reportedly involved the implicit cooperation of government authorities.



Exploitation of Children - Mali

Chocolate and Slavery: Child Labor in Cote d'Ivoire

Samlanchith Chanthavong, Trade & Environment Database TED Case Studies Number 664, 2002

[accessed 20 February 2011]

[accessed 12 June 2017]

SLAVERY AND THE LINK TO CHOCOLATE - Slave traders are trafficking boys ranging from the age of 12 to 16 from their home countries and are selling them to cocoa farmers in Cote d'Ivoire. They work on small farms across the country, harvesting the cocoa beans day and night, under inhumane conditions. Most of the boys come from neighboring Mali, where agents hang around bus stations looking for children that are alone or are begging for food. They lure the kids to travel to Cote d'Ivoire with them, and then the traffickers sell the children to farmers in need of cheap labor (Raghavan, "Lured...").



Exploitation of Children - Tanzania

Helping Children Reclaim Their Lives [PDF]

14 February 2006

[accessed 28 December 2010]

In rural Tanzania, one out of three children between the ages of 10 and 14 work outside the family. They labor as farm workers, miners, domestic servants, and prostitutes, often under abusive and exploitive conditions.

DETRIMENTAL WORKING CONDITIONS - Commercial agriculture in Tanzania employs large numbers of these youngsters. They provide much of the manual and machine-based labor on tobacco, coffee, tea, sugarcane, and sisal plantations. (Sisal is a fibrous crop from which rope is manufactured.) For example, in one area of the coastal region, 30 percent of the sisal plantation workers are children aged 12 to 14. They labor up to 11 hours per day with no specific rest periods, six days a week. Their wages are half that of adults, while nourishment and lodging are inadequate. Only half have completed primary school. Some plantations require as much as 14-, 16-, or even 17-hour work days. Mines and quarries also employ large numbers of youth who spend most of their days toiling above or below ground in very hazardous conditions. They risk injury from dust inhalation, blasting, mine collapse, flooding, as well as illness from silicosis.



Exploitation of Children - Togo

HRW Report:  Togo - Borderline Slavery - Child Trafficking in Togo

Human Rights Watch, 1 April 2003

[accessed 30 December 2010]

SUMMARY - TOGO'S TRAFFICKED GIRLS - Girls interviewed by Human Rights Watch were typically recruited into domestic or market labor either directly by an employer or by a third-party intermediary. Most recalled some degree of family involvement in the transaction, such as parents accepting money from traffickers, distant relatives paying intermediaries to find work abroad, or parents handing over their children based on the promise of education, professional training or paid work.

SUMMARY - TOGO'S TRAFFICKED BOYS - Boys interviewed by Human Rights Watch were for the most part recruited into agricultural labor in southwestern Nigeria. A small number worked on cotton fields in Benin, and one child was recruited into factory work in Côte d'Ivoire. Traffickers tended less to make arrangements with boys' parents than to make direct overtures to the boys themselves-tempting them with the promise of a bicycle, a radio, or vocational training abroad. Contrary to expectation, they were taken on long, sometimes perilous journeys to rural Nigeria and ruthlessly exploited. Most were given short-term assignments on farms where they worked long hours in the fields, seven days a week. "When we were finished with one job, they would find us another one," one child told Human Rights Watch.

Boys worked from as early as 5:00 a.m. until late at night, sometimes with hazardous equipment such as saws or machetes. Some described conditions of bonded labor, whereby their trafficker would pay for their journey to Nigeria and order them to work off the debt. Many recalled that taking time off for sickness or injury would lead to longer working hours or corporal punishment.



Forced Begging - Bulgaria & Greece

Human Trafficking Scheme from Bulgaria Busted in Greece

Sofia News Agency, August 16, 2012

[accessed 17 August 2012]

Police in Greece have cracked a network for human trafficking from Bulgaria, in which Bulgarians were forced to beg.

The undisclosed number of Bulgarians were held in an apartment in the central Greek city of Larissa.

The Bulgarians were among the country's poor, and were lured with promises for work in Greece.   After that, they were forcefully held, were made to beg in various European countries, and were severely beaten at each attempt to escape.

Greek police discovered the network, after a 58-year-old male Bulgarian was hospitalized after being abandoned outside the city following such a beating.



Forced Begging - France

Romanian Premier Interviewed in 'Le Monde'

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty RFE/RL Newsline, 02-08-05

[accessed 5 February 2011]

[69] ROMANIAN PREMIER INTERVIEWED IN 'LE MONDE' - Prime Minister Adrian Nastase said in an interview to the French daily "Le Monde" on 2 August that Romania finds itself in an "extremely delicate and difficult situation" as a result of the Romany criminal networks allegedly engaging in human trafficking and forcing handicapped children into begging in France.



Forced Begging - Guinea Bissau

Guinea-Bissau-Senegal: On the child trafficking route

UN Integrated Regional Information Networks IRIN, Bafata, 23 November 2007

[accessed 1 March 2015]

Children, brought from Guinea-Bissau to Senegal years ago, line up at the airport in Dakar to return home after years of beatings and forced begging.

100,000 CHILD BEGGARS - In 2004, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) estimated there were up to 100,000 child beggars in Senegal (close to one percent of the population), the majority of them talibés. The head of UNICEF in Guinea-Bissau, Jean Dricot, says most of those child beggars come from Guinea-Bissau.  “They don’t have schools. They don’t have access to healthcare. They sleep 40 or 50 to a room. They spend all day on the street getting money that they have to hand over at night,” Dricot said.  Jorge, the young talibé, is now back in his country, owing to the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and a Senegalese government-run welcome centre called Ginddi, two of many institutions assisting in the repatriation of children to Guinea-Bissau.



Forced Begging - Yemen – Saudi Arabia

Children in Poor Countries Need Help

International Herald Tribune, July 29, 2010

[accessed 4 December 2011]

GANGS SMUGGLING YEMENI CHILDREN TO SAUDI ARABIA - Saudi and Yemeni officials said gangs in Yemen are kidnapping children and sending them to Saudi Arabia as beggars. Some families "rent their children" to these gangs for want of money. Children are mostly sent to Makkah and Madinah.



How to get Help - USA

Anti-Human Trafficking Resources - 888-3737-888

Homeland Security

[accessed 8 January 2011]

VICTIMS - If you are a victim, or believe you might be a victim, of human trafficking, seek help. The toll-free National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline is available to answer calls in over 170 languages from anywhere in the country, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every day of the year.

Call for help. Call with questions - Any time - Any language - 888-3737-888

Call 911 if you are experiencing an emergency



Kidnapping - China

China Arrests Nine for Human Trafficking

Xinhua News Agency, July 25, 2007

[accessed 28 January 2011]

Chinese police raided a human trafficking ring and arrested nine people for kidnapping and selling children in northwestern and central China, state media reported on Wednesday.

The traffickers snatched more than 20 children and sold some in Hongtong county in the northern province of Shanxi, where kidnapped teenagers and children were found working as slaves in brick kilns in a widely publicised scandal, the Xinhua news agency said.

Xinhua said two of the kidnappers, Wang Aizhong and Li Caimei, tricked kids to get on to their motorcycle on their way to school or broke into houses to snatch babies.



Kidnapping - Laos

Powell Cites Exploitation In 10 Nations

Associated Press AP, June 15, 2004

[accessed 17 February 2011]

Khan was 11 years old when she was kidnapped from her home in the hill country of Laos. She was taken to an embroidery factory in Thailand, and with dozens of other children was made to work 14 hours a day for food and clothing. They received no wages.



Labor - Adult - Armenia

Gyumri’s Human Trafficking Victims

Varduhi Zakaryan, Hetq Online, January 15, 2007

[accessed 5 September 2014]

“Seven of us lived in one room, where we didn't even have the most basic facilities. We would be kept partly hungry almost all the time – there would be days when we would eat dry bread, cabbage stems and even days when we would go hungry. We had already been working in those conditions for eight months when we learned that Ararat had not sent any money back to our families, even though he would swear on his brother's grave that our families were receiving payments regularly each month,” narrated 42-year old Robert Karapetyan, a resident of Gyumri.



Labor - Adult - Bahrain

Confronting the Taboo of Human Trafficking

John Defterios, Khaleej Times Online, 13 March 2009

[accessed 18 August 2015]

Forty-year-old Suryavathi Rao fled the home of her employer that morning shoeless with only a nightgown and bible to her name.

The years of domestic labour have taken their toll.  She could easily pass for 60 if not a few years older.  After working 16 hours a day, seven days a week for a year and a half, Suryavathi could not take it anymore. 

She said through a translator that her meagre salary of $108 a month had not been paid for six months.  She complained about not being fed meals and surviving on the generosity of her neighbour another domestic worker who pulled together leftovers to get by. 

Suryavathi could not get through three sentences without breaking into tears.  As a result of her fleeing for protection, she has become a runaway worker with no rights.  Her employer holds her passport.  The best she can hope for is to get the passport back and hope that the shelter can give her enough money to buy a ticket and fly home to Southern India.  It is not that simple of course, since back home Suryavathi fears she won’t be welcomed back due to her “failure” to send back money and keep a job.

This is the life of a forced labourer and the complex world of human trafficking.  Technically, Suryavathi was not trafficked.  She had a sponsor agency that she paid $1100 to back in India and is still charging here 5 per cent a month interest on the balance.  But she certainly did not expect slave like conditions when she arrived. 



Labor - Adult - Botswana

Botswana in sweat shops, human trafficking crisis

Gowenius Toka, Sunday Standard, 21-10-2007

[accessed 23 January 2011]

[accessed 28 May 2017]

The Sunday Standard turned up further information that another company, Zheng Ming, which operated a sweatshop in Ramotswa, was part of an international trade in modern day slavery. Industrial Court Judge, Elijah Legwaila, would later rule that “it appears that Chinese nationals pay large sums of money to recruitment agencies who send them abroad with all sorts of promises and that some Chinese nationals even leave China with promises of work in developed countries and that by the time such people land at any destination they have neither the money nor the bargaining power to protect their rights.

“These Chinese nationals are then housed and fed in compounds at the pleasure of the employer. Their passports, air tickets, work and residence permits are retained by the employer.”   Legwaila was passing judgment in a case in which Bin Quin Lin, a Chinese national working for Zheng Ming Knitwear, was held in forced labour without pay. Chinese investors are the biggest investors in the textile industry which exports garments to America under the lucrative AGOA agreement.



Labor - Adult - El Salvador

Testimony of Sonia Beatriz Lara Campos

The National Labor Committee, October 1999

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 5 September 2011]

About 800 people work there.  There are 8 production lines, with 60 to 63 people in each, plus other sections.   The work shift is Monday to Friday, beginning at 6:50am.  They give us between 12 and 12:55 for lunch, with no other break.  Leaving time is 7pm.  On Saturdays we worked from 6:50am to 4pm. 

Last year in April we began to work at night.  We worked from Monday to Friday 6:50am to 7pm, and from 7:30pm to 10:30pm.  On Saturdays we worked from 6:50am until 7pm.  And on Sunday we worked from 6:50am to 5pm.  Or, if we weren’t going to work on Sunday, we would work on Saturday all night until 5:00 on Sunday morning.  

The overtime hours, and working on Sundays, was obligatory.  As an inspector, I was required to work all these hours on my feet.



Labor - Adult - Eritrea

Eritrea 'like a giant prison', claims human rights group

Xan Rice in Nairobi, The Guardian, 16 April 2009

[accessed 4 February 2011]

Government's policies on torture, conscription and mass detention creating refugee crisis, Human Rights Watch says.   Eritrea is becoming a "giant prison" due to its government's policies of mass detention, torture and prolonged military conscription, according to a report published today .   Human Rights Watch (HRW) said state repression had made the tiny Red Sea state one of the highest producers of refugees in the world, with those fleeing risking death or collective punishment against their families.

There is no freedom of speech, worship or movement in Eritrea, while many adults are forced into national service at token wages until up to 55 years of age.



Labor - Adult - Haiti

Slavery: Worldwide Evil

Charles Jacobs, President, American Anti-Slavery Group

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 5 September 2011]

HAITI: SUGAR SLAVES - Next time you add sugar to your coffee, think of Andre Prevot. A Haitian, Prevot met a man who promised him a good job nearby in the Dominican Republic (DR). But, as we've seen with the Asian slavers, this is a classic lure. "He took me across the border and sold me to the Dominican soldiers for $8," explains Prevot. Once in their custody, he suffered the fate of thousands of his countrymen who are forced against their will to cut cane for six or seven months — from December to June — for little or no money.

Though many Haitians work willingly in the Dominican sugar plantations (Haiti is one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere), there is a perennial shortfall at harvest time. The State Sugar Council, known as the CEA, fills the gap with a system that violates nearly every internationally recognized labor code against forced labor. Although political turmoil in Haiti has put an end to cross-border recruiting, the enslavement of blacks continues.



Labor - Adult - Indonesia

Indonesia's Footwear Workers Too Thin For Aerobics

Charles Wallace, Los Angeles Times, Tangerang, 17 October 1992

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 6 September 2011]

Suyatmi, a shy, 20-year old factory worker, is too poor to know much about sneakers. She's never heard of Bo Jackson and is too skinny to care about aerobics.      Her world consists of a rented, 5-foot sqaure room in a shantytown where she sits on the concrete floor with three other young women.      Every day a t 7 a.m., Suyatmi begins work at P.T. Hardaya Aneka Shoes Industry, one of six companies in Indonesia making shoes for Nike Inc., the spectacurly successful U.S. sporting goods company. Her production "line" of 30 workers produces 350 pairs of Nike's glitzy footwear a day.      Suyatmi and her co-workers earn a base salary of 1,900 Indonesian rupiahs a day, the equivalent of $1.15. Working a six-day week, with a least two hours of overtime each day, she takes home about $17 per week. The company also gives her lunch and a bus ride to work.      "Some days it's hard," she said. "But I'm just happy to have a job."



Labor - Adult - Indonesia

Human Trafficking, Migrant Labor Often Linked in Indonesia

News Blaze, June 11, 2007 -- Source: U.S. Department of State

[accessed 24 August 2014]

More than 2.5 million Indonesians from poorer regions support their families every year by traveling overseas seeking work as domestic servants and laborers. Most work in Malaysia and Saudi Arabia, but hundreds of thousands of others also can be found in Singapore, Japan, Syria, Kuwait, Taiwan and Hong Kong.

Some of these individuals find work through officially sanctioned recruiting agencies. But Susilo estimates that more than half of would-be migrant workers bypass these programs for the deceptive ease of working through less reputable recruiters who, like traffickers the world over, confiscate passports, trap would-be workers with exorbitant loans to travel abroad and force them into laboring in dangerous and abusive work environments in a futile effort to repay their unmanageable debts before sending money home to their families.



Labor - Adult - Japan

Forced Labor?  Male Migrant Workers In Japan Have It Tough

Suvendrini Kakuchi, Inter Press Service IPS, Tokyo, Jun 9, 2005

[accessed 16 February 2011]

[accessed 7 June 2017]

"While the problems of human trafficking focuses on women forced into sexual slavery in Japan, there are many cases of coerced male labor in the country, a situation that still goes ignored and needs urgent attention," said Tomoyuki Yamaguchi, a counselor at the Asian Peoples' Friendship, a non-governmental organization (NGO) supporting migrant workers.

He points out that complaints by male workers sound very similar to those of trafficked women, such as low wages, long and exhausting working hours, and violence from their bosses.  The bulk of complaints are over unpaid overtime, sometimes running into years, and injuries in the workplace. The counselor said many of the workers were reluctant to confront their bosses for fear of being deported for violating their tourist visas.



Labor - Adult - Poland - Italy

Human Trafficking Ring Raided in Italy

Associated Press AP, Rome, 19 July 2006

[accessed 28 August 2014]

"Gangsters working in Poland recruited people looking for seasonal jobs picking fruit and vegetables in Italy through announcements in local newspapers," Bienkowski told a news conference.  He said workers had to pay travel costs and a one-time work-finders fee of up to $280. But once in Italy, their situation quickly deteriorated. The workers were promised $6.30-$7.50 per hour before leaving, but received only $1.25 an hour after arriving, Bienkowski said.  They were quartered in barracks with horrible sanitary conditions and had to pay for food and board, which pushed most of them into debt.



Labor - Adult - Russia

Trafficking in Russia

Anti-Slavery International

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 11 September 2011]

CASE STUDY: SERGEY'S STORY - Sergey is 27 years old and from Perm in Russia. In 2001 he saw an advert in a local newspaper for a job agency recruiting construction workers to work in Spain. The salary offered was US$1,200 per month. This was much more than his monthly salary of just $200 and more than he could ever hope to earn in Perm. He applied to the agency who booked his plane ticket to Madrid on the condition that he would pay back the money when he started work.

On arrival in Spain, Sergey was picked up by a person from the "agency" who took his passport. He was taken to Portugal and forced to work on a construction site without pay for several months. The site was surrounded by barbed wire. Without his passport he was afraid that the Portugese authorities would arrest him. One day Sergey managed to escape and begged his way to Germany. Because he did not have a passport the German authorities arrested him. He stated the police beat him and took away what little money he had before deporting him to Russia.



Labor - Adult - USA

Indian workers' struggle shines light on human trafficking, slave labor

Sunil Freeman, Party for Socialism and Liberation PSL, July 4, 2008

[accessed 18 June 2013]

[accessed 26 February 2018]

The plight of immigrant Indian workers who were deceived into virtual slavery has brought attention to the vile practice of human trafficking.  Indian workers protest slave-like conditions before the Department of Justice, Washington, D.C., June 11.  The workers took jobs with Signal International to work on the U.S. Gulf Coast following the devastation of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The Indian workers were told they would receive "green cards," allowing them permanent legal residence in the United States. Many who left their families behind in search of better wages had been told they would be able to bring their relatives.  The promises were all lies. Instead of receiving permanent legal status, the workers—who had paid fees of up to $20,000 to Signal—received 10-month H-2B temporary worker visas.  The workers were essentially trapped, and their employers knew it. Their documents were stolen and wages were withheld. For all practical purposes, slavery had returned to Louisiana.



Labor - Adult - USA

Human trafficking cases increase in El Paso

Louie Gilot, Libertas, November 12, 2006

[accessed 8 January 2011]

Gardes showed the photograph of a field worker standing on top of a large farm truck -- a scene common across the Southwest. His name is Ricardo, she said. He was smuggled across the border in Arizona and abandoned in the desert for eight days with only three days' worth of food and water. He was found by another smuggler who offered to guide him, for a fee. When Ricardo couldn't pay, the smuggler sold him to a Florida labor contractor for $1,100.  This became Ricardo's debt. He worked in a field for $80 a week to repay it. At the same time, his trafficker overcharged him for rent and other necessities. Gardes said he was never meant to be able to repay the debt.  One day, another trafficking victim escaped, was recaptured and was beaten in front of Ricardo and the others. "At this point, Ricardo realized this was really slavery," Gardes said.



Labor - Adult - Vietnam

Boycott "Blood Cashews" From Vietnam

Press Release, BPSOS - Boat People SOS, June 13, 2012

[accessed 16 February 2016]

At a recent hearing before the US Congress, Dr. Nguyen Dinh Thang, Executive Director of Boat People SOS (BPSOS), reported that Vietnamese prisoners, including political prisoners, have similarly been subjected to forced labor:   "One Montagnard, jailed from 2002 through 2009, had to do this for 7 years.  His hands were injured by the caustic resin from the cashew nuts because he was not allowed to wear gloves."

Speaking for CAMSA, Mr. Vu Quoc Dung, Secretary General of Germany-based International Society for Human Rights, denounces the dangerous cashew work in prisons such as the Z30A Prison in Xuan Loc, where political prisoners are forced each to process 32 kg of class B cashews daily. Some prisoners have developed blindness as a result. Many have suffered injuries to their faces and hands. Those failing to meet the assigned quota would be beaten with a whip and kicked. Political prisoners who oppose forced labor have reportedly been shackled and held in solitary confinement.



Labor - Child - Afghanistan

Afghan carpet weavers are unpaid slaves, rights activist says

Syrian Arab News Agency SANA, December 1, 2005

[accessed 18 January 2011]

AFGHANISTAN: CARPET WEAVERS ARE UNPAID SLAVES, RIGHTS ACTIVIST SAYS - Thousands of women and girls who weave world famous Afghan carpets are treated as unpaid slaves by their male relatives, a rights activist said.  The women and girls, some as young as 11, spend up to 18 hours at wooden looms in dusty, dark and wet rooms.



Labor - Child - Argentina

Global March Worst Forms of Child Labour Report 2005

The US Dept. of Labor's 2003 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labour

[accessed 16 August 2012]

CHILD SLAVERY - . In a recent raid by the police, Bolivian boys were discovered working as slaves in an Argentine factory; These boys were forced to work 19-hour shifts, they are prohibited from leaving, and they are often beaten to keep up the pace. Authorities are still investigating how these undocumented youths slipped past the border. The minors continued to work for almost two years, still receiving no pay, and falling into further debt imposed by their 'owners.' All too often those who risk coming to the city center find themselves working in factory jobs in conditions of contemporary slavery.



Labor - Child - Bulgaria/Austria

How the new Fagins are bringing child slavery to Britain

Olga Craig, Bojan Pancevski and David Harrison, The Telegraph, 04/06/2006

[accessed 24 January 2011]

Two years ago, when she was 10, Dochka lost what was left of her innocence when she was sold to a band of child traffickers by her mother and aunt in Bulgaria. Bewildered and terrified, the little girl was transported to Austria, forced to learn the skills of a pickpocket and put to work.



Labor - Child - Egypt

Egypt - Underage And Unprotected: Child Labor In Egypt's Cotton Fields

Human Rights Watch Reports, Egypt, January 2001

[accessed 3 February 2011]

Each year over one million children between the ages of seven and twelve are hired by Egypt's agricultural cooperatives to take part in cotton pest management. Employed under the authority of Egypt's agriculture ministry, most are well below Egypt's minimum age of twelve for seasonal agricultural work. They work eleven hours a day, including a one to two hour break, seven days a week-far in excess of limits set by the Egyptian Child Law.1 They also face routine beatings by their foremen, as well as exposure to heat and pesticides. These conditions violate Egypt's obligations under the Convention on the Rights of the Child to protect children from ill-treatment and hazardous employment. They are also tantamount to the worst forms of child labor, as defined in the International Labour Organization's Convention 182, which Egypt has not yet ratified. Children were forcibly recruited to take part in pest management as recently as ten years ago, and some farmers continue to believe that they will be fined if they resist their children's recruitment. However, most children today are compelled to work by the driving force of poverty.



Labor - Child - Ghana

The Protection Project - Ghana [DOC]

The Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), The Johns Hopkins University

[Last accessed 2009]

FORMS OF TRAFFICKING - Children from Ghana are reportedly trafficked to neighboring countries to work on farms or in fishing villages,  and they are trafficked internally for similar purposes. One boy from Immuna, a fishing village in the Central Region of Ghana, was forced to work without pay for more than 5 years in a fishing community close to Yeji, located on the Volta River. He was one of hundreds of children rescued from forced labor in Yeji fishing communities in 2004 by the International Organization for Migration (IOM).  Akateng, a fishing community in the Manya Krobo District in the Eastern Region, has been identified as a child-trafficking zone by the Ministry of Women and Children's Affairs.  It is estimated that more than 1,000 children are working as slave laborers on fishing boats across the country.  The children are usually told that they are going to live with relatives who will care for them and send them to school; however, they end up working long hours on fishing boats. Boys frequently get stuck in nets at the bottom of the lake.



Labor - Child - Nepal


Nirakar Poudel, Media for Freedom, Nepal, August 5, 2007

-- Source:

[accessed 23 February 2011]

An orphan from an early age, Madan Karki (name changed),14, used to work at his uncle's small farm in Jeevanpur of Dhading District, 50 kilometer west of capital. Madan's job was to take the cattle for grazing the whole day. One day, a family friend approached him with offer for work at his home in Kathmandu with a promise that he will be admitted in a school.

However, the man instead engaged him at a carpet factory in Kathmandu. Working like a bonded labor, Madan was forced to learn knotting wool rugs on heavy wooden looms. His workdays started at 4 am in the morning till 11 at night. The earthen floor of the factory was his bed. When the owner obtained a rush order, he and the other boys would have to work throughout the entire night. Despite his hard work, the owner always scolded and physically abused him.

After working in harsh conditions for about eight months in the factory, Madan –who was not paid - fled the factory to work as a helper in a gas tempo. Now, he earns about Rs 1000 (approximately $15) a month. Madan's case is not a unique one as this is the reality of many child workers in Nepal.

Because Nepal's dependency on child labor is so deeply entrenched, only half of the children are allowed to complete the fifth grade of school. The ILO reports showed that. Children are employed in eighteen different sectors like in brick kiln, coal mines, child prostitution, mug house, leather processing industry, coal mine, stone quarrying, match factory, house-hold helper, bonded labor, street children, mine and carpet factory, drug trafficking, transport sector etc. About 1.4 million children are not provided the salary for their work and 1.27 million children are working in worst forms of labor.



Labor - Child - Sierra Leone

Children working in Sierra Leone mines

Lansana Fofana, BBC News, Freetown, 28 August 2003

[accessed 22 December 2010]

BLESSINGS - Undoubtedly, the children number several thousands, and many of them get the blessing of their parents, who have come to see them as breadwinners of the impoverished families.  Over the past few days, I have been visiting the mine sites here and what I see is incredible.  The children aged between seven and 16 go to the mines as early as 0800 and work through to 1800.  They do hard labour, like digging in soil and gravel, before sifting with a pan for gemstones and shifting heavy mud believed to contain diamonds.



Labor - Child - Uzbekistan

The Curse of Cotton: Central Asia's Destructive Monoculture

International Crisis Group, Asia Report N°9328, Bishkek/Brussels, 28 February 2005

[accessed 16 January 2011]

[accessed 5 October 2016]

The economics of Central Asian cotton are simple and exploitative.  Millions of the rural poor work for little or no reward growing and harvesting the crop.  Forced and child labor and other abuses are common.  Schoolchildren are still regularly required to spend up to two months in the cotton fields in Uzbekistan.  Despite official denials, child labor is still in use in Tajikistan and Turkmenistan.  Students in all three countries must miss their classes to pick cotton. Little attention is paid to the conditions in which children and students work. Every year some fall ill or die.  Women do much of the hard manual labor in cotton fields, and reap almost none of the benefits. Cash wages are minimal, and often paid late or not at all.



Official Complicity - Maldives

Human trafficking in the Maldives?

Maldives Dissent, March 8, 2009

[accessed 20 February 2011]

The Human Rights Commission of the Maldives has in its latest report slammed the country's treatment of migrant workers, warning that the practice of bringing a person in for one job and making them work on another may amount to human trafficking.   Migrant labourers pay as much as 2,000 US Dollars to agents to get into what they think is the lucrative Maldives labour force, only to be hoodwinked into lesser jobs, lesser pay and appalling working conditions. What is even more disturbing is that it is now almost certain that Maldivian government officials and employment agents have profited from this exploitation.

But the dispossessed labourers found themselves in a place that couldn't have been more different to their dreams. Without proper documents they were unable to report to the police and susceptible to exploitation and extortion by unscrupulous Maldivians.



Poverty - Bangladesh

Human Trafficking Becomes Attractive, 11 February 2005 – Source:

Click [here] to connect to the article.  Its URL is not displayed because of its length

[accessed 21 January 2011]

They said tens of thousands of women and children are trafficked out each year from Bangladesh, one of the poorest countries in the world. Poverty provides traffickers with people who have no alternatives for survival. They trust the offers of work or marriage abroad, which promise security but lead them to slavery.



Poverty - Benin

Scale of African slavery revealed

BBC News, 23 April, 2004

[accessed 23 January 2011]

COMPLICITY - Much of this trade in children often has the tacit collaboration of the victims' own families where it is seen not so much as criminal activity but as a way for a large family to boost its poor income.

The story of Joseph in Benin is fairly typical.  When he was 13 years old, a stranger arranged with his parents for him to go to neighbouring Togo for a better life.  However, he was put to work from 0500 to 2300 each day as a domestic help and was regularly beaten.  It took him three years of saving money to be able to phone home and be rescued by an uncle. Now 16 years old, he is back in school.  "I was so happy to see my little brother again when I returned home to Benin," he says.



Poverty - Benin

African "slave ship" highlights spread of child slavery

Trevor Johnson, World Socialist Web Site, 19 April 2001

[accessed 23 January 2011]

Although there may be a superficial resemblance to the African slave trade of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the driving forces behind this modern form of slavery are entirely new. The roots of today's slave trade are to be discovered in the way that capitalism has developed in Africa during the last few decades.

The conditions of extreme poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa have attracted transnational corporations (TNCs), which can profit from Africa's rich mineral resources and other primary products by exploiting the plentiful cheap labour needed to produce and process them. The TNCs are able to sell these products in Europe and America for many times more than they cost to produce.



Poverty - Cambodia

Child trafficking takes new forms in Southeast Asia

Rafael D. Frankel, Special to The Christian Science Monitor, Battambang Cambodia, December 12, 2001

[accessed 26 January 2011]

When he was 12, his parents in rural Cambodia sold him to a trafficker who forced him to beg on the streets of Bangkok, Thailand, and the resort town Pattaya. He lived with seven other children in one room. All were Cambodian. Some were as young as six.

"The trafficker told my parents he would send them $55 a month," the boy says. "But I would earn $18 or $25 every day or night I begged."

Over the next three years, the boy escaped twice and made his way home. But the trafficker found him, repurchased him, and took him back to Thailand. The second time, his parents sold his younger brother as well.



Poverty - Madagascar

Gem industry in need of regulation

UN Integrated Regional Information Networks IRIN, Ilakaka, 17 September 2003

[accessed 19 February 2011]

One of the most disturbing aspects of Madagascar's gem industry has been the use of children to work in the mines. A report by the International Programme for the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC), a branch of the International Labour Organisation, has warned that children as young as eight are being used in mines - because they can get into the cramped spaces in the mines more easily than an adult.

The report noted that children are often exposed to very serious dangers and can, for example, die of suffocation if the mine caves in.  Dominique Rakotomanga, who works for IPEC in the capital, Antananarivo, told IRIN: "This is a really big problem, especially in Ilakaka. We are trying to raise awareness about the problem, find alternative ways for the children to make a living, and ensure that they don't miss out on their education. But because of the poverty here and elsewhere, it is very tempting for them to work underground."



Poverty - Nepal

Why Nepal's freed labourers want to return to slavery

Sanjaya Dhakal, Kathmandu, OneWorld South Asia, January 27, 2004

[accessed 9 December 2010]

"Between 15 and 20 percent of the families declared free have returned to the same old practice of slavery," says Dilli Chaudhary, president of an NGO called Backward Society Education.

Bonded labourers in Nepal are called "kamaiyas" and belong to the country's backward Tharu community. It is sheer poverty that forces the poor to borrow rice and food from their employers - generally big landlords - and get trapped in slavery.

Under the practice, once indebted, the labourer and his heirs are 'bonded' to the landlord. They had to actually reside on the landlord's property until the debt was completely repaid, which seldom happened.



Slavery in the Home - Domestics - Cameroon to USA

Beatings, Isolation and Fear: The Life of a Slave in the U.S.

Pierre Thomas, Jack Date and Theresa Cook, ABC News, May 21, 2007

[accessed 26 January 2011]

Evelyn Chumbow was once a slave, but not in some distant country. She worked right here in the United States.  Chumbow, now 21, was brought to suburban Maryland in 1996 from her native Cameroon by Theresa Mubang. Mubang promised Chumbow's family that if 11-year-old Evelyn came to America, she would have the prospect of a bright future and a first-rate education, as she had been a top student in her native country.  Instead, after she arrived, Mubang enslaved the child in her home, forcing her to work long hours and depriving her of the education she was promised, and never paid her a dime.



Slavery in the Home - Domestics - USA

Child maids now being exported to US

Associated Press AP, Dec-28-2008

[accessed 12  August 2014]

[accessed 29 June 2017]

Shyima was 10 when a wealthy Egyptian couple brought her from a poor village in northern Egypt to work in their California home. She awoke before dawn and often worked past midnight to iron their clothes, mop the marble floors and dust the family's crystal. She earned $45 a month working up to 20 hours a day. She had no breaks during the day and no days off.

Once behind the walls of gated communities like this one, these children never go to school. Unbeknownst to their neighbors, they live as modern-day slaves, just like Shyima, whose story is pieced together through court records, police transcripts and interviews.

Shyima cried when she found out she was going to America in 2000. Her father, a bricklayer, had fallen ill a few years earlier, so her mother found a maid recruiter, signed a contract effectively leasing her daughter to the couple for 10 years and told Shyima to be strong.

She arrived at Los Angeles International Airport on Aug. 3, 2000, according to court documents. The family brought her back to their spacious five-bedroom, two-story home, decorated in the style of a Tuscan villa with a fountain of two angels spouting water through a conch. She was told to sleep in the garage.   It had no windows and was neither heated nor air-conditioned. Soon after she arrived, the garage's only light bulb went out. The Ibrahims didn't replace it. From then on, Shyima lived in the dark.   She was told to call them Madame Amal and Hajj Nasser, terms of respect. They called her "shaghala," or servant. Their five children called her "stupid."

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