Although slavery is illegal in every country in the modern world, it still exists. In fact, there are more slaves today than at any point in history, with approximately 35.8 million victims worldwide.
This modern-day form of slavery, also known as human trafficking, is one of the largest and fastest growing criminal industries in the world.In general, human trafficking refers to the sale of adults and children into both commercial sexual servitude and forced or bonded labor and involves the recruiting, harboring, receipt, or transportation of persons for some exploitative purpose.
Human trafficking is a severe and multi-faceted human rights issue. Slavery flourishes when people cannot meet their basic needs, and they lack economic opportunity, education, healthcare, safety and security, and honest government. Once enslaved, numerous human rights are directly violated including the right to personal autonomy, the right not to be held in slavery or servitude, the right to liberty and security of person, the right to be free from cruel or inhumane treatment, the right to safe and healthy working conditions, and the freedom of movement. Those that do escape do not always find relief, as many governmental policies treat victims as criminals. Victims from other countries are often sent home without support and often ostracized in their home countries.
Educators have an important role to play in fighting human trafficking. In recognition of January as National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. This edition of Rights Sites News is dedicated to helping teachers raise awareness about human trafficking in their classroom, prevent their students from becoming victims themselves, and ultimately empower students to eradicate slavery during their lifetime.