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Modern Child Slavery

Youth Advocate Program International

4545 42nd St. NW, Suite 209
Washington DC 20016, USA
Child Slavery
What Do you Know?

 What does slavery mean?

 Does slavery exist today?

 Are there laws that protect the

rights of children?

 Which continent do you think Source:

has the largest percentage of

modern child slavery?
Child Slavery
A child slave…

 is under the age of eighteen.

 receives extremely little or no pay.
 is controlled by violence or other
 has no option to leave the situation.
Source: BBC

 has no access to education or health

Child Slavery
A Life

Iqbal Masih was a child slave in Pakistan. His parents

were too poor to afford food; they borrowed $16 in
exchange for sending Iqbal to a carpet factory to work
off the loan. Iqbal was only 4 years old. The children in
the factory worked 14 hours a day, six days a week
without any breaks. They were beaten and chained to
their looms if they complained or tried to escape.

When he was 10, Iqbal learned about a new law that

forbade bonded labor. He left the factory, entered
school, and began to speak out on behalf of children
who still worked in factories. However Iqbal’s actions
made many people angry; he was shot and killed in
Source: UNICEF Italy
April 1995. Iqbal was only 12 years old.
Source: Stolen Dreams: Portraits of Working Children.
Child Slavery
Basic Facts
 There are more slaves today than were seized from Africa during
the entire 400 years of the trans-Atlantic slave trade.

 The price for a slave in 1850 in Mississippi was $40,000 (based on

constant 1999 dollars). The average price of a slave today is $80.

 One in every six children aged 5 to 17 worldwide is exploited by

child labor.

 There are approximately 9 million children involved in the

unconditional worst forms of child labor that we call slavery.

Source: Bales, Kevin. 2000. Disposable People: New Slavery in the Global Economy. University of California Press.
Source: Bales, Kevin. 2000. New Slavery: A Reference Handbook. Santa Barbara, California: ABC-CLIO.
Source: Investing in Every Child: An Economic Study of the Costs and Benefits of Eliminating Child Labor. 2004 Geneva: International Labor Organization.
Source: UNICEF. (May 2, 2004).
Child Slavery
Where It Occurs

 There are 27 million adult and child slaves in the world today.

 246 million children aged 5-17 are child workers throughout the

Source: Bales, Kevin. 2000. Disposable People: New Slavery in the Global Economy. University of California Press.
Source: IPEC Action Against Child Labor: Highlights 2002. 2002. Geneva: International Labor Organization.
Source: UNICEF. <> (May 2, 2004).
Child Slavery
Forms of Child Slavery

 Forced Labor
• to extract work or service
from any person using the
threat of penalties.

 Debt Bondage Source: BBC

• debt bondage occurs when an individual is pledged into

slavery as collateral on a loan or to pay a debt.
Sometimes parents will pledge their children or the
entire family into debt bondage.
• It is nearly impossible to pay off debt because additional
debt is constantly accrued through additional expenses,
such as food and lodging.
Child Slavery
Forms of Child Slavery

 Chattel Slavery
• Chattel slavery is the most widely documented, historic form of
• Chattel slaves are legally viewed as personal property that can be
sold and traded by their master.

 Religious Slavery
• Religious slavery refers to when
children are sold or given to temple
gods and priests.
• This still occurs today in parts of
Africa (such as Ghana) and India.
Child Slavery
Effect on Children
 Health: child slaves are easily replaced; it is
more expensive to nurse a sick child to health
than to buy a new slave. Consequently, children
rarely get medical or psychological attention if

 Education: child slaves are often denied access

to education. Thus, even if they escape slavery,
they do not have the skills necessary for higher-
paying jobs.

 Family Ties: child slaves are often separated

from their families. Even if these children escape
from slavery, their families still may not welcome
Source: Jon Warren via Hamline University
them home.
Child Slavery
Why Does It Exist?
 Poverty: Children who live in extreme poverty are most susceptible to

 Tradition: Some parents view their children as property over which they
have the right to control.

 Control: Children are attractive slaves because they are easier than
adults to manipulate and control.

 Cheap and Replaceable: The average slave today costs less than $100.
Overpopulation in some regions mean there is an abundant supply of
children who are available as slaves.

 Physical Size: Because they are smaller than adults, child slaves are
more desirable for certain tasks such as weaving rugs and picking cocoa.
Child Slavery
What Can You Do?
 Educate yourself about Child Slavery.

 Contact local, state, and national

politicians for support against Child Slavery.
• Write letters asking for their opinion on
Child Slavery.

 Talk to your parents about Child Slavery.

• Educate the adults in your life! Source: Jon Warren via Hamline University

 Advocate for Child Slavery awareness!

• Begin a social awareness/ human rights club.
Child Slavery
For More Information

Anti-Slavery International UNICEF

Free the Slaves Free the Children

Global March Youth Advocate Program International
Child Labor Coalition