December 02, 2017

International Day for the Abolition of Slavery - 2 December


The International Day for the Abolition of Slavery, 2 December, marks the date of the adoption, by the General Assembly of the United Nations Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others (-> resolution 317(IV) of 2 December 1949).

The focus of this day is on eradicating contemporary forms of slavery, such as trafficking in persons, sexual exploitation, child labour, forced marriage, slavery at sea and the forced recruitment of children for use in armed conflict.

These types of slavery are global problems and contravene Art. 4 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states that ‘’…no one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.’’

According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), there are currently an estimated 21 million forced labor victims worldwide, creating US$ 150 billion in illegal profits in the private economy each year.

The Global Black Caucus  is deeply concerned about Human trafficking. Please use this day as an opportunity to learn about modern slavery and how much we are all benefiting from slavery. This is a problem that can be solved; in order to solve it we must know about the problem and care that our fellow humans are being denied their human rights.  For more information on modern day slavery, check out these articles, videos, and films.



Opinion:“Why I Fear America Could Enslave Black People Again”.

What do you think? Is that what make America great again really means? 

“In U.S. Restaurants, Bars And Food Trucks, 'Modern Slavery' Persists”. In restaurants, bars and food trucks across America, many workers are entrapped in a form of modern slavery. 

“Modern Day Slavery DOES Exist in America: How Our Children Are Victims Today”

We can't turn away. We have to speak out against it.

“Report: There are 40 million slaves worldwide, most are women and girls”

A United Nations agency warns 40.3 million people across the globe were subject to some form of modern slavery in 2016. Among them, about 28.7 million — or 71% — were women or girls forced into sex, marriage or labor.

“I was a modern-day slave in America”.

For three years, Ima Matul was held captive and forced to work as a domestic slave, right in the United States.

“My Family’s Slave”.

A shocking story from a woman whose family had a slave for 56 years. This happened in America in the 20th century. How many other people who are "servants" in someone's home are slaves?

“American Slavery, Reinvented”

The Thirteenth Amendment forbade slavery and involuntary servitude, “except as punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted.”


Robin Wright, voices the harrowing real-life story of a woman tricked and trapped into forced prostitution. Wright is one of several Hollywood artists supporting the 50 for Freedom campaign against modern slavery, being led by the International Labour Organization.

Lured by a job, trapped in forced labour! In search of a job to support his family, a man accepts an offer from a recruiter and signs a contract for what looks like a good job with decent wages. Once at destination, the reality is very different.

David Oyelowo voices the real-life story of a man tricked and trapped into slavery

The new legally-binding ILO Protocol on Forced Labor aims to strengthen global efforts towards combating forced labor, trafficking, and slavery-like practices. Governments now have the opportunity to ratify the Protocol and integrate new measures at the national and regional levels to combat this crime.

Check out our recommended films for this day.

The Price of Sex is a feature-length documentary about young Eastern European women who’ve been drawn into a netherworld of sex trafficking and abuse. Intimate, harrowing and revealing, it is a story told by the young women who were supposed to be silenced by shame, fear and violence. Photojournalist Mimi Chakarova, who grew up in Bulgaria, takes us on a personal investigative journey, exposing the shadowy world of sex trafficking from Eastern Europe to the Middle East and Western Europe. Filming undercover and gaining extraordinary access, Chakarova illuminates how even though some women escape to tell their stories, sex trafficking thrives. Watch online.


The 13th Amendment allows prisoners to be forced in the slavery. If you want to find slavery in the US, look no further than its penitentiaries, jails and detention centres where the consequences of being locked-up extend much farther than doing time.

Watch on Netflix:

Food Chain$

There is more interest in food these days than ever, yet there is very little interest in the hands that pick it. Farmworkers who form the foundation of our fresh food industry are routinely abused and robbed of wages. In extreme cases they can be beaten, sexually harassed or even enslaved - all within the borders of the United States. Food Chains exposes the human cost in our food supply and the complicity of the supermarket industry. Supermarkets earn $4 trillion globally and have tremendous power over the agricultural system. Over the past 3 decades they have drained revenue from their supply chain leaving farmworkers in poverty and forced to work under subhuman conditions. Yet supermarkets take no responsibility for this.

Watch on various platforms:


Check out The CNN Freedom Project Ending Modern-Day Slavery. CNN wants to amplify the voices of the victims of modern-day slavery, highlight success stories and help unravel the tangle of criminal enterprises trading in human life.


Journey to Freedom tells the true stories of two men—21st Century Cambodian Vannak Prum and 19th Century American Solomon Northup—who were sold into slavery more than 150 years apart. It also examines the communities of abolitionists from yesterday and today that fight to free men and women like Vannak and Solomon who are held against their will and forced to work for others.

Cecilia. A young Indian girl is trafficked from her village to Delhi and is found dead under mysterious circumstances. Her mother, a poor housemaid, embarks on a journey with her filmmaker employers to discover what happened. Facing corruption and threats at every turn, the trio are determined to get the traffickers involved behind bars. Along the way they discover the case is by no means unique.  Watch on Amazon Video.

Born Into Brothels. Two documentary filmmakers chronicle their time in Sonagchi, Calcutta and the relationships they developed with children of prostitutes who work the city's notorious red light district.

Girl Model. A documentary on the modeling industry's 'supply chain' between Siberia, Japan, and the U.S., told through the experiences of the scouts, agencies, and a 13-year-old model.

Available on Itunes:

The Storm Makers is a chilling exposé of Cambodia's human trafficking underworld and an eye-opening look at the complex cycle of poverty, despair and greed that fuels this brutal modern slave trade. More than half a million Cambodians work abroad and a staggering third of these have been sold as slaves. Most are young women, held prisoner and forced to work in horrific conditions, sometimes as prostitutes, in Malaysia, Thailand and Taiwan.


After you have learned about human trafficking, here are ways you can take action:

Be a conscientious and informed consumer. Discover your slavery footprint, ask who picked your tomatoes or made your clothes, or check out the Department of Labor’s List of Goods Produced by Child Labor or Forced LaborEncourage companies to take steps to investigate and prevent human trafficking in their supply chains and publish the information, including supplier or factory lists, for consumer awareness.