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What Is Modern Slavery?

In this modern developing world where things are getting digitized, slavery is still a significant problem. Most people think that it was something that worked in the past, and now it doesn’t exist. However, in many parts of the world, even in Australia, slavery is still a significant issue that needs to be addressed. According to statistics, there are 50 million people in the world who are still trapped in slavery in 2021. 

Modern slavery in Australia is quite prevalent. Today’s slavery may look different from what it used to be in the past, but the act of torturing and exploiting people for their good is still the main aim of slavery. 

Modern slavery can be defined in multiple ways, including various aspects like exploitation, control and involuntary actions. If you want to find out more about modern slavery and if you’re organisation is asking the question, do we need a modern slavery policy, then read on.

What Is Modern Slavery? 

Modern slavery refers to a condition when a person is exploited by others for commercial or personal benefit. People are forced, tricked or coerced, losing their freedom. Human trafficking, debt bondage and forced labour are some aspects of modern slavery. 

We can see modern slavery all around us, but we fail to acknowledge them. People can be forced to serve our food, work in factories, make our clothes, pick our crops and work in-house as cleaners, nannies or cooks. More often, the victims of modern slavery face extreme violence and threats; passports are taken so that they cannot leave, forced into inescapable debt and threatened with deportation.

People often fall into this trap of slavery because of poverty or insecurity and look to improve the lives of their families. 

Types of Modern Slavery

Modern slavery exists in many forms these days.  

Human Trafficking

Human trafficking is the most common act included in modern slavery, which provides for the recruitment, transfer, transport, harbouring or receipt of persons by threats or forceful action. Often violence, coercion or threat is used as a means to exploit people for commercial or personal gains. These people are then manipulated and forced to do illegal things, such as prostitution, child labour, criminal activities, organ removal or forced marriage. 

Forced Labour 

When a person is compelled to do an act or they don’t want to do it voluntarily, i.e. it is against their wish, it is often considered forced labour. People are employed as forced labour and given a threat of being beaten or killed.

Bondage Labour

Bonded labour happens when a person is forced to offer their service or labour against a set amount of money given to the person employing them as labour. People are trapped in this when they borrow money from the money lender; they have to give their service as a way to repay debt. However, the length and nature of the service are not determined or limited. 

Hereditary Slavery

This is the condition in which people are born into slavery. This type of slavery has existed since a long time, where people are considered as a commodity and given the title of slave since they are born.

Child Labour

When a child is asked to do labour for financial benefits, it is termed child slavery. This includes child soldiers, child domestic slavery, child labour, child marriage and trafficking. 

Forced Marriage/Early Marriage

When someone is forced to marry against their will and is not allowed to leave or take, divorce is considered forced marriage. 

Domestic servitude

Many people work as domestic house helps or maids as it is the main source of their income. The people employed in domestic services or domestic work are regarded as domestic servitude. However, not all are forced. But if someone working as a domestic servant in someone’s home is mistreated, exploited or abused, then it is also considered an act of slavery. This act is often not visible and remains hidden. 

Why Are People in Slavery Today? 

The world is changing, and technological advancements are happening in every part of the world, yet slavery is prevailing. Modern slavery in Australia is also an issue in Australia. 

People are prone to being exploited, trapped and tricked due to external circumstances, mainly due to poverty or lack of financial resources. They consider these opportunities in desperate search for opportunities to provide a better life to their families. Anyone can be forced into modern slavery in vulnerable conditions, such as debt or not having access to their passport. COVID-19 and climate change have made the situation more favourable for the exploitation of people. Furthermore, most of these people are not aware of the laws made to protect them.

How to Prevent Slavery

Slavery is a social evil that needs to be stopped. As humans, we can take a lot of steps to prevent slavery, but the government’s role is more important. People often look to the government to answer the question, do we need a modern slavery policy? Governments can play an essential role in making and implementing the laws, programs and policies that are required to prevent and respond to modern slavery. 

How Madison Marcus Can Help You

Many growing organisations often question, do we need a modern slavery policy. Yes, it is certainly important in the current as modern slavery does exist, and immediate actions need to be taken to address this situation. 

If you’re dealing with matters related to modern slavery in Australia, we can help you. Our team can offer in-depth knowledge and insights needed to resolve matters quickly and cost-effectively.

For all enquiries, contact us here.  


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