Human Trafficking & Modern-day Slavery

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Labor - Child



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.




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.




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.



Cote D’Ivoire

NGOs: gladiators of freedom [PDF]

L. Corradini & Asbel López, The UNESCO Courier, June 2001

[accessed 30 January 2011]

[page 40]

At five in the morning, well before most children get up to go to school, 12-year-old Abula sets out on a six-kilometre barefoot trek along a road made of mud and stone to work on a coffee plantation in Bouafle, Côte d’Ivoire.

When he gets there, wet and tired, the foreman tells him where he is to plant that day. “You have to work fast because they threaten to punish and starve us if we don’t do the set amount of work,” he says. “If we can’t work because we’re ill, we risk being physically tortured. One day I saw them torture two friends of mine who wanted to escape. Both of them ended up dead.”




Cuba in Revolution --- Escape From a Lost Paradise by Miguel A. Faria, Jr., M.D.

Book Review by Russell L. Blaylock, MD -- Source:, Jan. 11, 2002

[accessed 17 July 2013]

The stories of immense human courage, while bringing you to tears, also fills you with hope for the world, knowing that there are still men left in the world of such a caliber. Particularly touching was the story of the young Pedro Luis Boitel thrown in a prison where he was starved, beaten daily and tortured beyond human endurance for the crime of disagreeing with the supreme leader. During imprisonment his legs became infected secondary to the torture wounds. At that point he weighed a mere eighty pounds. He was denied medical attention and eventually both of his legs had to be amputated. He still refused to yield to his torturers. Not satisfied, Castro ordered him thrown in an even worse dungeon where he soon died. This story was to be repeated thousands of times.

As proclaimed by Hillary Clinton in her book, It Takes a Village, Castro also boldly stated that the children belong to the State. Forced labor and indoctrination disguised as education was enforced with a gun. Children were forcibly taken away from their parents at a tender age and made to do hard labor in the cane and tobacco fields. The American media saw it as Cuban patriotism, as did the useful idiot American students who travel to Cuba with the Venceremos Brigades.




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.



Equatorial Guinea

Child Labor Increasing in Equatorial Guinea

afrol News (African News Agency), 21 November 2000

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

[accessed 13 June 2013]

According to a report released today by the Global March Against Child Labour documenting child labour all over the world, there is no escape for children suffering the "worst forms of child labour" in Equatorial Guinea. This includes child trafficking, child prostitution and other labour by children which should be attending school classes.

Equatorial Guinea is also reported to one of the destinations for regional child trafficking. The report mentions "networks that feed the domestic labour market" in Equatorial Guinea with children from Benin, Ghana, Nigeria and Togo. Equatorial Guinea has a long history of forced labour, both domestic and on plantations, going continuously back to early colonial times




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.




Police rescue trafficking suspect from mob fury

July 17, 2007

[access date unavailable]

Police on Tuesday rescued a former employee of a Bhubaneswar-based placement agency facing charges of trafficking youths from this region to Malaysia from a frenzied mob in Nikiraia village, 15 km from here. The villagers gave vent to their anger as about four youths from the area reportedly enslaved in Malaysia since their departure three months back.

The mob badly beat up Sunil Das and held him captive in the village. The irate mob pounced on him demanding the refund of money that the Malaysia bound youths had paid to the placement agency, police said.

A Dalit youth from this part of the state had undergone a two-month-long nightmarish ordeal in Malaysia and escaped from the clutches of a well-knit human trafficking racket, bringing to the fore the harrowing plight of a number of unemployed local youths still stranded in Malaysia in their quest for greener pastures.




U.S. Customs Commissioner Issues Detention Order on Clothing Produced in Mongolia with Forced Child Labor

U.S. Customs Service, Public Affairs Office, Press Release, Washington DC, November 28, 2000

[accessed 7 September 2014]

Evidence obtained by Customs investigators suggests that factory managers are forcing employees, some of whom are minors, to work 14-hour days, 7 days a week. In addition, it has been reported that factory management is deducting unreasonable amounts of money from the workers' salaries without paying overtime. It has also been reported that minor age children are being treated as adult age workers, which is a violation of Mongolian law. In addition, working conditions at both factories are said to be poor and employee housing is substandard.





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.



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.




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.

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