“There are now more slaves on the planet than at any time in human history. True abolition will elude us until we admit the massive scope of the problem, attack it in all its forms, and empower slaves to help free themselves.”
So reads the intro to “A World Enslaved,” E. Benjamin Skinner’s piece in March/April 2008 issue of Foreign Policy: http://www.foreignpolicy.com/story/cms.php?story_id=4173. Unfortunately, there’s enough to fill a book, and so Skinner has written A Crime So Monstrous: Face-to-Face with Modern-Day Slavery (2008).
We may not grasp the prevalence of slavery in part because other terms are used, such as sex trafficking. For example, my Suffolk colleague Sara Dillon, an authority on international children’s rights, has written a thoughtful and provocative law review article on child sex trafficking, “What Human Rights Law Obscures: Global Sex Trafficking and the Demand for Children,” published earlier this year in the UCLA Women’s Law Journal: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1101617.
There are few more fundamental abuses of human dignity and labor.