Modern slavery is a crime against humanity. Although some types of enslavement, like sex trafficking, are widely known, others hide in plain sight. Enslavement happens in many industries – including restaurants, domestic work, electronics, construction, textiles, steel and seafood.
But exactly how many people live in slavery today? Whether it’s measuring modern slavery in the U.S. or across the globe, there are different, inconsistent, estimates.
As someone who researches modern slavery, I know that calculating its prevalence is like finding a needle in a haystack. A valid figure is elusive – and yet essential for better policies to free enslaved persons and help them make the difficult transition to liberation.