Kampala Geopolitics Conference

Humanity under Attack: Human trafficking and modern day slavery in the 21st century

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One in 200 people is a slave. Worldwide, slavery concerns more than 40 million people today. This is more than thrice the number of persons thought to be enslaved during the transatlantic slave trade. How can such an increase be explained despite our global achievements towards a universal understanding of human rights? Since its abolition, slavery has been illegal but become more lucrative nonetheless, generating $150 billion annually. The level of exploitation ranges from slave-like working conditions – often affecting children and migrant workers – to the complete loss of freedom and self-determination in a context of de-facto imprisonment and forced labour. Human trafficking plays a key role in this context. It is impossible to turn a blind eye to modern slavery – it is everywhere and all around us: from the horrible stories coming out of North Korea to the enslaved sex-workers trafficked to European countries, from the slave markets in Syria to the slavery-like conditions for African domestic workers in Arab countries – the phenomenon comes in many forms and hides behind many different facades. But what explains our failure to end slavery once and for all? Why does it appear to reach increasingly dramatic dimensions? What are we doing, what are we failing to do, and what should we be doing in order to address this ongoing attack on humanity?

Meet the Panelists