Never seen a slave in your life? Take a look next door

Slavery is not only forced labor on a plantation. Human trafficking, child marriage and debt bondage are all forms of modern-day slavery. And it doesn’t only happen in developing countries, it could be literally happening next door.

Making slavery illegal everywhere in the world has not stopped it. CNN made breaking news last November about sub-saharan youth being sold off as slaves in Libya. The world was outraged, shocked, and disturbed. It was like watching history, yet it was "news." However, the urgency to fight slavery was there even before this news was blown.

According to BBC, “it's likely that there are far more slaves now than 200 years ago.” This means that there are millions of invisible people trapped in slavery.

The Guardian published an illuminating gallery of modern-day slavery victims, revealing faces of abuse and their stories. Below is a selection of five types of modern slavery to be aware of.

Maxim Khytra for the Guardian

Forced labor -  Oksana - After her mom was diagnosed with cancer, Oksana sought work in Moscow. What was supposed to be a job to take care of the elderly turned out to be forced cleaning of a burned down building. Oksana received a single meal and got raped daily by the guards.

Kate Holt for the Guardian

Forced marriage - Anita (15)- At age 10, Anita was forced to marry a 55 year old man. After nine months, not having conceived a child, the man started giving her hard labor tasks. She managed to escape, the Catholic Sisters took her in and brought her to school.

Michael Hylton/Anti-Slavery International

Hereditary slavery - Said (16) & Yarg (13)-  Said and Yard were born into a family of slaves in Mauritania. They were beaten for no reason and had no rights. In 2011 they took their master to court, who was found guilty of illegal slavery.

Almudena Toral for the Guardian

Forced sex labor - Jennifer (35) - Jennifer met a “nice” guy in the United States, who forced her into prostitution and branded her with a tattoo: “Property of…”. She had three subsequent owners who branded her as well. Once she escaped, she covered them up and felt free. 

Lonnie Schlein/Ubelong

Child labor - Kwame (14) & Joe (12) - Kwame and Joe were sold by their mother to a cruel master who gave the kids little food. They were working on a fishing boat and the master hit them with the paddle. They managed to escape but were not reunited with their mother.

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