What is Modern-day Slavery?

Definitions of Modern-day Slavery are primarily taken from the 1956 UN supplementary convention, which states: "debt bondage, serfdom, forced marriage and the delivery of a child for the exploitation of that child are all slavery-like practices and require criminalisation and abolishment". The 1930 Forced Labour Convention defines forced labour as "all work or service which is exacted from any person under the menace of any penalty and for which the said person has not offered himself voluntarily".

About Modern-day Slavery

Modern-day Slavery is a serious global human rights issue impacting an estimated 21-45 million individuals from within 167 countries including Australia. Human trafficking is akin to Modern-day Slavery. It occurs when people are forced into exploitative situations for the profit of others.

As contemporary systems of slavery have evolved, new definitions, including trafficking and distinguishing child slavery from child labour, have also developed.

Men, women and children are exploited for a wide range of purposes, including forced labour, sexual exploitation, domestic servitude, and child soldiers. While trafficking for sexual exploitation is more commonly reported among women and girls, it can also happen to boys.

Modern-day Slavery and human trafficking are for the most part hidden crimes with the full scale globally not clearly known.

Human trafficking is different to people smuggling. People smuggling is a crime against a country with people illegally smuggled across borders. Human trafficking is an exploitative crime against an individual. While people consent to being smuggled, human trafficking does not involve consent of those being trafficked. People smuggling is always across borders, while this is not necessarily the case for trafficking. And whereas people smuggling has a final destination, human trafficking involves ongoing exploitation usually until those being trafficked either escape, are rescued or die.

Slavery was prohibited under the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states: "No one shall be held in slavery or servitude: slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms."

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