It is there in black and white in the documents on human rights which democracies around the world have signed and ratified: The slave trade is not allowed. It is inhumane, it undermines all credibility to claims of humanism, and it contributes towards financing mafia-like groups, arms trafficking and terrorism, which are three of the major threats to democratic societies.
Nevertheless, a U.S. report in 2005 estimated that globally between 600,000 and 800,000 people are traded across national borders every year and that 12.3 million people are currently living in slavery. This means that about the same number of people that were shipped across the Atlantic from Africa to America during 400 years of slave trading are living as slaves today.
80% of modern-day slave trading involves women and children who are sold into prostitution, while many others are working in agriculture helping to produce luxury crops, such as chocolate and coffee.
Next chapter: The Totalitarian Business World