There are an estimated 15,000 people living in conditions of modern slavery in the United Arab Emirates which acts as a destination and transit country for men and women subjected to forced labour and sex trafficking. Foreign workers recruited globally account for over 95% of the country’s private workforce. Some are subjected to practices indicative to trafficking such as passport retention, non-payment of wages and substandard food and housing. Women travelling willingly to the UAE to work as domestic workers, massage therapists, beauticians, hotel cleaners, or elsewhere in the service sector, are sometimes subjected to forced labour or sex trafficking after arrival. Zulekha worked in a garment factory before leaving for Dubai in March 2001. She was 20 years old and unmarried. Though she had heard about the risks of girls being trafficked from Bangladesh, Zulekha chose to migrate anyway. Upon arrival she was taken to a house and provided a good meal. However, the next day Zulekha was taken to a hotel and forced to provide sexual services to men for 2 months. After this time Zulekha became pregnant and her broker sent her back to Bangladesh.
Zipora was enslaved as a domestic servant in the United States by a diplomat and his family, who beat her and failed to meet the terms of the contract originally agreed upon. When she required medical care, they refused to provide it for 2 years. It was the actions of a stranger that helped her out of her enslavement and to get a T-visa, a special visa status for victims of trafficking. In 2007 Zipora filed a suit against her captors.
The phrase 'Ziba-Ufa' is Kiswahili for 'Closing the Gap'. Led by ACCR - the African Community Council for the Regions - this project aimed to close the gap between past and present by undertaking research from an African perspective. Blind Memory was a multimedia exhibition of images of Africa, slavery and resistance held at the Drum Arts Centre in Birmingham. The exhibition looked at memories relating to the transatlantic slave trade and how they affect beliefs and feelings; one of the aims of the exhibition was to rectify the amnesia and blind memory which many people are perceived to have in relation to slavery.
The Central African Republic is a source, transit and destination country for men, women and children trafficked for the purposes of forced labour and sexual exploitation. The majority of those trafficked are children subjected to sexual exploitation, domestic servitude, ambulant vending and forced labour. Moreover, civil unrest in the country has led rebels such as the anti-balaka to conscript children into armed forces in the northwestern and northeastern regions, as well as kidnap, rape and subject to conditions of modern slavery, many Muslim women in the country. Zeinaba was 12 years old when she was captured by the anti-balaka and spent a week being raped and forced to cook and clean for the militia group under the threat of physical violence.
There are an estimated 85,000 people living in modern slavery in Yemen (GSI 2018). Young girls are subjected to child forced marriage, with UNICEF estimating 32% of girls being married before the age of 18. There is currently no legal age of marriage in Yemen and poverty, the practice of dowry and strict social and religious customs are drivers of child marriage in the country. With the onset of conflict within the country, estimates suggest that child marriage is on the rise.Zamzam was married at 13-years-old.
Born in Albania, Zamira was trafficked into Belgium, where by some estimates Albanian girls aged 14 and 15 make up nearly half of the foreign women forced into prostitution. Many women are trafficked into richer Western European countries from the poorer Eastern countries, including Albania. The fall of communism in 1991 led to a rise in organized crime in Albania: in 2001 it was estimated 100,000 Albanian women and girls had been trafficked to Western European and other Balkan countries in the preceding ten years. More than 65 percent of Albanian sex-trafficking victims are minors at the time they are trafficked, and at least 50 percent of victims leave home under the false impression that they will be married or engaged to an Albanian or foreigner and live abroad. Another ten percent are kidnapped or forced into prostitution. The women and girls receive little or no pay for their work, and are commonly tortured if they do not comply.
India has a population of more than 1.3 billion people, there are still at least 270 million people living on less than US$1.90 per day. While laws, systems and attitudes regarding key 'fault lines' such as the caste system, gender and feudalism are rapidly changing, social change of this depth and scale necessarily takes time. In this context, it is perhaps unsurprising that existing research suggests that all forms of modern slavery continue to exist in India, including intergenerational bonded labour, forced child labour, commercial sexual exploitation, forced begging, forced recruitment into non-state armed groups and forced marriage. Zakir travelled to his aunt’s house in Mumbai where he was told he would get an education. However upon arrival he was forced to work in the zari factory next door. Subjected to physical and verbal abuse daily, Zakir received no money for his work. Eventually Zakir was rescued by an anti-trafficking organisation and went back to school.
Men, women and children are victims of human trafficking for forced labour in the Thai fishing industry. Enslaved people are subjected to physical abuse, excessive and inhumane working hours, sleep and food deprivation, forced use of methamphetamines and long trips at sea confined to the vessel. Due to the fishing industry relying on trans-shipments at sea to reduce expenditure, some find themselves trapped on long-haul trawlers for years at a time. This makes the monitoring of enslaves labour on fishing vessels costly and difficult. The Thai Government has faced severe pressure to tackle forced labour specifically in the fishing sector, with the European Commission threatening a trade ban in 2015 for not taking sufficient measures to combat illegal and unregulated fishing that would cause the loss of up to US$1.4million a year in seafood exports. As a result the Government have reportedly accelerated efforts to combat labour exploitation, however despite this most workers in the Thai fishing sectors remain unregistered. Yum was in Cambodia looking for work when he decided to travel with friends to Thailand. On the way, they were met by a man who offered them work on his farm, which they accepted. They were forced to work long hours with no wages. After a month, the farmer fled and Yum was offered work on a construction site in Thailand. However, in Thailand Yum arrived not at a construction site but a sea port. It was only after days on a fishing vessel that he was told he had been sold. Subjected to months at sea with poor nutrition and daily beatings, Yum was finally able to escape one the boat reached Indonesian waters.
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) is a source country for men, women and children who are subjected to forced labour and sex trafficking. Government oppression in the country prompts many to flee the country in ways that make them vulnerable to human trafficking in destination countries, especially China. Within North Korea, forced labour is part of an established system of political repression. The government subjects its nationals to forced labour through mass mobilisations and in North Korean prison camps. There are an estimated 80 000 to 120 000 prisoners being held in political prison camps in remote areas of the country. Here men, women and children are subjected to unhygienic living conditions, beatings, torture, rape, lack of medical care and insufficient food. Many do not survive and furnaces and mass graves are used to dispose the bodies of those who die. Young Soon, along with her family, was forced into an internment camp in North Korea as a political prisoner. Forced to live in a cramped hut and fed only gruel, Young Soon worked long hours in a corn field. All members of her family either died of malnutrition or were killed. After nine years, Young-Soon was able to escape to South Korea.
An exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum of Childhood in London focused on the experiences of young runaway slaves in Britain. The exhibition focused in particular on the story of Ignatius Sancho, born in 1729 on board a slave ship, who ran away from his owners in Greenwich. Sancho's letters, later published, became an inspiration for those who campaigned for abolition.
In 2000, muralist Gary Mullen created a mural that depicts how abolitionist Fredrick Douglass learned to read. It is located in the city of Baltimore, where the abolitionist spent the formative years of his life as a slave, and where he taught himself to read. Titled Young Frederick Douglass’ Quest to Read, the mural was created bring pride to the residents of the Latrobe Homes area of north Baltimore. After reading Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, the story stayed with Mullen, and when asked by the Brentwood Village Initiative to propose a mural design, the story of Douglass’ life in Baltimore was the perfect subject. The panel scenes depict Douglass’ master, Hugh Auld, scolding his wife, Sophia, for assisting Douglass to read—an illegal act at the time; Douglass trading Sophia Auld’s bread to hungry white children in exchange for reading lessons; Douglass challenging children to write as well as he does; and 12 year-old Douglass discovering the meaning of abolition. Mullen created the mural to emphasise the importance of education to the African American community in Baltimore, and local residents have received it enthusiastically, “It’s not everyday you get a mural like this in your community,” committee organiser, Patrick Lee said.
Two differing descriptions of this photograph exist. The Harrises described him as Epondo injured by wild boar and questioned by Roger Casement. Secondly in the Special Congo supplement to the West African Mail the photograph is described as Isekausa whose hand was chopped off by Ikombi. This image formed part of the Harris Lantern Slide Collection and was used in the Harris Lecture No.3. Under King Leopold II the Congo Free State used mass forced labour to extract rubber from the jungle for the European market. As consumer demand grew King Leopold II's private army - the Force Publique - used violent means to coerce the population into meeting quotas, including murder, mutilation, rape, village burning, starvation and hostage taking. Alice Seeley Harris and her husband Reverend John H. Harris were missionaries in the Congo Free State from the late 1890s. Alice produced a collection of images documenting the horrific abuses of the African rubber labourers. Her photographs are considered to be an important development in the history of humanitarian campaigning. The images were used in a number of publications. The Harrises also used the photographs to develop the Congo Atrocity Lantern Lecture which toured Britain and the the USA raising awareness of the issue of colonial abuses under King Leopold II's regime. Source: Antislavery International.
A young boy forced to collect rubber for the Anglo-Belgium India Rubber Company (ABIR). The rubber quotas imposed on the indigenous population were so great that, as in this picture, the rubber vines were cut down rather than waiting for them to be tapped. As a result hardly any vines were left around the rubber stations. This image formed part of the Harris Lantern Slide Collection. Under King Leopold II the Congo Free State used mass forced labour to extract rubber from the jungle for the European market. As consumer demand grew King Leopold II's private army - the Force Publique - used violent means to coerce the population into meeting quotas, including murder, mutilation, rape, village burning, starvation and hostage taking. Alice Seeley Harris and her husband Reverend John H. Harris were missionaries in the Congo Free State from the late 1890s. Alice produced a collection of images documenting the horrific abuses of the African rubber labourers. Her photographs are considered to be an important development in the history of humanitarian campaigning. The images were used in a number of publications. The Harrises also used the photographs to develop the Congo Atrocity Lantern Lecture which toured Britain and the the USA raising awareness of the issue of colonial abuses under King Leopold II's regime. Source: Antislavery International and Panos Pictures.