What is Modern Slavery?

Today, over 24 million people are trapped in forced labor, making our everyday items from our coffee, phones, clothing, cosmetics and food, to the many services we use like car washes, travel and nail salons.

The good news is that we are seeing more people become aware of worker abuse in our business supply chains – including enslavement, human trafficking and forced labor – and the public is beginning to demand better practices from business.

What is Modern Slavery?

We define enslavement as the use of violence or violent threat to control someone, hold them against their will, exploit them economically, and pay them effectively nothing. Trafficking in humans is a form of enslavement, particularly but not always connected to the movement of people. Slavery is an extreme form of forced labor.

The Many Faces of Exploitation

  • 1

    Adult and Child Sex Trafficking

    Can involve forced movement but is not always the case, and people of all ages may be trafficked against their will for sexual exploitation.

  • 2

    Adult and Child Forced Labor

    Where one is working against one’s will under threat of punishment and often results in physical and sexual exploitation.

  • 3

    Domestic Servitude

    Where a domestic worker is abused, underpaid, and is not free to leave their employment, and is often unregulated and unseen by authorities.

  • 4

    Bonded Labor or Debt Labor

    Where a worker is forced to pay off their own, or a family member’s, financial obligations with their labor, and often abused and underpaid.

  • 5

    Unlawful Recruitment and Use of Child Soldiers

    Where an armed force or other militant group coerces children to serve in combat or another support role, including forcing young women to marry soldiers against their will, and are often physically and sexually abused.


Your tax-deductible donation to ASSET will help us continue the vital work in making it easier for consumers to vote for the world they want, and ending modern slavery around the world.

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