5/20/2020

Worldwide Slavery 2020

One in 200 people is a slave. Why?

Slavery affects more than 40 million people worldwide – more than at any other time in history

by Kate Hodal



worldwide slavery 2020

How many slaves are there today, and who are they?


The word “slavery” conjures up images of shackles and transatlantic ships – depictions that seem relegated firmly to the past. But more people are enslaved today than at any other time in history. Experts have calculated that roughly 13 million people were captured and sold as slaves between the 15th and 19th centuries; today, an estimated 40.3 million people – more than three times the figure during the transatlantic slave trade – are living in some form of modern slavery, according to the latest figures published by the UN’s International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Walk Free Foundation.

Women and girls comprise 71% of all modern slavery victims. Children make up 25% and account for 10 million of all the slaves worldwide.

What are the slaves being forced to do?


A person today is considered enslaved if they are forced to work against their will; are owned or controlled by an exploiter or “employer”; have limited freedom of movement; or are dehumanised, treated as a commodity or bought and sold as property, according to abolitionist group Anti-Slavery International.

Globally, more than half of the 40.3 million victims (24.9 million) are in forced labour, which means they are working against their will and under threat, intimidation or coercion. An additional 15.4 million people are estimated to be living in forced marriages.

Of the 24.9 million people trapped in forced labour, the majority (16 million) work in the private sector. Slaves clean houses and flats; produce the clothes we wear; pick the fruit and vegetables we eat; trawl the seas for the shrimp on our restaurant plates; dig for the minerals used in our smartphones, makeup and electric cars; and work on construction jobs building infrastructure for the 2022 Qatar World Cup.

Another 4.8 million people working in forced labour are estimated to be sexually exploited, while roughly 4.1 million people are in state-sanctioned forced labour, which includes governmental abuse of military conscription and forced construction or agricultural work. In certain countries such as Mauritania, people are born into “hereditary” slavery if their mother was a slave.

Again, women and girls bear the brunt of these statistics, comprising 99% of all victims in the commercial sex industry, and 58% in other sectors, according to the ILO.
Where is this happening?

Statistically, modern slavery is most prevalent in Africa, followed by Asia and the Pacific, according to the Global Slavery Index, which publishes country-by-country rankings on modern slavery figures and government responses to tackle the issues.

But the ILO and Walk Free warn that these figures are likely skewed due to lack of data from key regions. “We believe that the global estimate of 40.3 million is the most reliable data to date, although we believe it to be a conservative estimate as there were millions of people we couldn’t reach in conflict zones or on the refugee trail and places where we couldn’t be sure of collecting robust data such as the Gulf states, where access and language barriers prevented us from reaching the migrant worker communities,” said MichaĆ«lle de Cock, a senior statistician at the ILO.

More than 70% of the 4.8 million sex exploitation victims are in the Asia and Pacific region. Forced marriage is most prevalent in Africa. But there isn’t a single country that isn’t tainted by slavery: 1.5 million victims are living in developed countries, with an estimated 13,000 enslaved here in the UK.

Why are there so many slaves today?


Slavery is big business. Globally, slavery generates as much as $150bn (£116bn) in profits every year, more than one third of which ($46.9bn) is generated in developed countries, including the EU. Whereas slave traders two centuries ago were forced to contend with costly journeys and high mortality rates, modern exploiters have lower overheads thanks to huge advances in technology and transportation. Modern migration flows also mean that a large supply of vulnerable, exploitable people can be tapped into for global supply chains in the agriculture, beauty, fashion and sex industries.

According to slavery expert Siddharth Kara, modern slave traders now earn up to 30 times more than their 18th and 19th century counterparts would have done. The one-off cost of a slave today is $450, Kara estimates. A forced labourer generates roughly $8,000 in annual profit for their exploiter, while sex traffickers earn an average of $36,000 per victim.

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5/13/2020

Syria Genocide 2020

What’s happening in Syria is genocide

By Keenan Kassar 
March 11, 2020


Syria genocide 2020
Rebel fighters walk amid rubble in the village of Nayrab, southeast of the city of Idlib in northwestern Syria, on March 7. (Omar Haj Kadour/AFP via Getty Images)

Keenan Kassar is an MBA student at the University of Chicago and a member of the Syrian American Council.
I am a Syrian American, and I have an urgent message. You do not have the full story on Syria. The truth will shake you to the bone.
The president of Syria, Bashar al-Assad, is committing genocide.
Assad has deliberately erased at least 200,000 Syrian civilians from existence. Most of them died for the “crime” of sharing the same ethnicity, religion and neighborhood as pro-democracy protesters. It is true that the overwhelming majority of these victims come from a single ethno-religious group (Sunni Arabs), but this is not about religion. This is about a dictator who is willing to gas children to stay in power. They are disposable to Assad because, to him, they are subhuman.
Assad’s troops are closing in on Idlib, and another massacre is in the offing. Idlib is the final city left for Assad to recapture since the Syrian revolution began in 2011. Another 3 million people, half of whom are internally displaced refugees, might be forced to leave for Turkey and Europe. Turkey brokered many cease-fires in Idlib, aiming to stop the overwhelming flow of refugees into its country. Assad violated them all and is likely to breach the newest one. He even bombed 33 Turkish soldiers last month. Turkey responded with force, but its options for further action are limited. A global problem demands a global solution.
Make no mistake: What’s happening in Syria is a modern-day Holocaust. There is no worse scenario. There is no greater nightmare than the one that is happening right now. Assad has shown that he will do anything to stay in power. More than half a million Syrians have died in the conflict, and 13 million have been displaced. Will Assad continue his genocide and push the death toll to 1 million? No one has imposed any serious costs on his regime for what it has done so far.
An international NATO air force must designate part of Syria as a no-fly zone. A no-fly zone, which would not allow Assad’s air force to fly within its boundaries, would protect Syrians from further slaughter. Genocide deniers strongly oppose such a zone. Assad’s defenders falsely claim that any intervention equates to “Western imperialism.” What they won’t tell you is that Russian imperialism is keeping Assad in power. Syrian civilians, and the opposition forces fighting on their behalf, are utterly helpless against the combined airpower of Assad and Russia.
I have a few questions that I want readers to ponder: Do you acknowledge that the Syrian genocide is happening? Are you committed to upholding the post-Holocaust principle of “never again” by using humanitarian intervention to end genocide? Are you okay with a world where people are treated like subhumans?
Be deeply honest with yourself and ask: If more than 200,000 British or Spanish civilians were slaughtered like this, would you feel the same way? Confronting these questions is necessary for change to occur. Never forget that a significant majority of Americans were against humanitarian intervention to save the Jews during World War II. “It’s complicated” is not a valid excuse.
The chilling truth is that you are a bystander to the Syrian genocide. Assad is bombing entire civilian neighborhoods. He has repeatedly gassed men, women and children even after chemical weapons were supposedly removed. He allowed the Islamic State into Syria, intending to confuse the world and divert attention from his massacres of civilians. Assad’s troops tossed victims into mass unmarked graves while the Islamic State dominated the headlines. Conveniently for Assad, foreign Islamic State terrorists killed freedom-loving Syrians, too.
Thousands of Syrians are awaiting arbitrary execution in Assad’s torture chambers. They are praying so that someone, anyone, may help them. The prayers of thousands of torture victims before them went unanswered. Their mutilated bodies were cataloged and branded like cattle so that the Syrian government can keep track of whom it executed. A photographer fled and provided those photos to Congress. Congress then took five years just to sanction Syrian regime officials, including Assad. Aside from that, it did nothing to end the slaughter.
Children’s lives are at stake. Our entire moral and ethical framework is at stake. The world is being destabilized by agents of chaos, and Syria is ground zero. Will you help stop the Syrian genocide, or will you be a bystander?
I’ll leave you with a quote from Elie Wiesel, a Holocaust survivor: “I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. ... Wherever men or women are persecuted because of their race, religion or political views, that place must — at that moment — become the center of the universe.”
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