Human Trafficking and Slavery

March 26, 2004 • Volume 14, Issue 12
Are the world's nations doing enough to stamp it out?
By David Masci

Introduction

Akuac Malong, a 13-year-old Dinka girl from southern Sudan, was freed after being enslaved for seven years by Arab Muslims in northern Sudan. Tens of thousands of black Christians and followers of tribal religions are thought to be held captive in Sudan.  (AP Photo/Jean-Marc Bouju)
Akuac Malong, a 13-year-old Dinka girl from southern Sudan, was freed after being enslaved for seven years by Arab Muslims in northern Sudan. Tens of thousands of black Christians and followers of tribal religions are thought to be held captive in Sudan. (AP Photo/Jean-Marc Bouju)

From the villages of Sudan to the factories, sweatshops and brothels of India and South Asia, slavery and human trafficking still flourish. Some 27 million people worldwide are held in some form of slavery, forced prostitution or bonded labor. Some humanitarian groups buy captives' freedom, but critics say that only encourages slave traders to seize more victims. Meanwhile, nearly a million people are forcibly trafficked across international borders annually and held in captivity. Even in the United States, thousands of women and children from overseas are forced to become sex workers. Congress recently strengthened the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, but critics say it is still not tough enough, and that certain U.S. allies that harbor traffickers are treated with “kid gloves” for political reasons.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Human Rights
Nov. 01, 2013  Religious Repression
May 17, 2013  Assisted Suicide
Oct. 16, 2012  Human Trafficking and Slavery
Sep. 20, 2011  Saving Indigenous Peoples
Oct. 30, 2009  Human Rights Issues
Jul. 25, 2008  Human Rights in China
Mar. 26, 2004  Human Trafficking and Slavery
Apr. 30, 1999  Women and Human Rights
Nov. 13, 1998  Human Rights
Jul. 19, 1985  Human Rights in the 1980s
May 18, 1979  Human Rights Policy
Apr. 03, 1968  Human Rights Protection
Mar. 21, 1956  Forced Labor and Slavery
Apr. 27, 1949  Forced Labor
Jan. 25, 1945  Bills of Rights
BROWSE RELATED TOPICS:
Bilateral and Regional Trade
Global Issues
Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence