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Although outlawed in most countries, slavery is nonetheless practised secretly in many parts of the world. Enslavement still takes place in the United States, Europe, and Latin America,[73] as well as parts of Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia.[74] There are an estimated 27 million victims of slavery worldwide.[75] In Mauritania alone, estimates are that up to 600,000 men, women and children, or 20% of the population, are enslaved. Many of them are used as bonded labour.[76]

Modern-day abolitionists have emerged over the last several years, as awareness of slavery around the world has grown, with groups such as Anti-Slavery International, the American Anti-Slavery Group, International Justice Mission, and Free the Slaves working to rid the world of slavery.No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.

Although outlawed in most countries, slavery is nonetheless practised secretly in many parts of the world. Enslavement still takes place in the United States, Europe, and Latin America,[73] as well as parts of Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia.[74] There are an estimated 27 million victims of slavery worldwide.[75] In Mauritania alone, estimates are that up to 600,000 men, women and children, or 20% of the population, are enslaved. Many of them are used as bonded labour.[76]

Modern-day

Modern-day abolitionists have emerged over the last several years, as awareness of slavery around the world has grown, with groups such as Anti-Slavery International, the American Anti-Slavery Group, International Justice Mission, and Free the Slaves working to rid the world of slavery.[77]

In the United States, The Action Group to End Human Trafficking and Modern-Day Slavery is a coalition of NGOs, foundations and corporations working to develop a policy agenda for abolishing slavery and human trafficking. Since 1997, the United States Department of Justice has, through work with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, prosecuted six individuals in Florida on charges of slavery in the agricultural industry. These prosecutions have led to freedom for over 1000 enslaved workers in the tomato and orange fields of South Florida. This is only one example of the contemporary fight against slavery worldwide. Slavery exists most widely in agricultural labour, apparel and sex industries, and service jobs in some regions.[78]

In 2000, the United States passed the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act (TVPA) "to combat trafficking in persons, especially into the sex trade, slavery, and involuntary servitude."[79] The TVPA also "created new law enforcement tools to strengthen the prosecution and punishment of traffickers, making human trafficking a Federal crime with severe penalties."[80]

In 2014, for the first time in history major Anglican, Catholic, and Orthodox Christian leaders, as well as Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, and Buddhist leaders, met to sign a shared commitment against modern-day slavery; the declaration they signed calls for the elimination of slavery and human trafficking by the year 2020.[81] The signatories were: Pope Francis, Mātā Amṛtānandamayī (also known as Amma), Bhikkhuni Thich Nu Chân Không (representing Zen Master Thích Nhất Hạnh), Datuk K. Sri Dhammaratana, Chief High Priest of Malaysia, Rabbi and rector of the Seminario Rabínico Latinoamericano in Buenos Aires, Dr. Abraham Skorka, Rabbi Dr. David Rosen, Dr. Abbas Abdalla Abbas Soliman, Undersecretary of State of Al Azhar Alsharif (representing Mohamed Ahmed El-Tayeb, Grand Imam of Al-Azhar), Grand Ayatollah Mohammad Taqi al-Modarresi, Sheikh Naziyah Razzaq Jaafar, Special advisor of Grand Ayatollah (representing Grand Ayatollah Sheikh Basheer Hussain al Najafi), Sheikh Omar Abboud, Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, and Metropolitan Emmanuel of France (representing Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.)[81]

The United States Department of State publishes the annual Trafficking in Persons Report, identifying countries as either Tier 1, Tier 2, Tier 2 Watch List or Tier 3, depending upon three factors: "(1) The extent to which the country is a country of origin, transit, or destination for severe forms of trafficking; (2) The extent to which the government of the country does not comply with the TVPA's minimum standards including, in particular, the extent of the government's trafficking-related corruption; and (3) The resources and capabilities of the government to address and eliminate severe forms of trafficking in persons."[82]