Modern slavery in photographs. Click on any photo below to open the story.
Combating Child Labor in the Afghan Carpet Sector
Founded in 1994, GoodWeave works to end child labor and trafficking in the rug industry and to support weaving communities around the world. Building on its nearly 20 years of experience in India and Nepal, GoodWeave expanded to Afghanistan in 2011. At the time, many people said GoodWeave couldn't succeed in this war-torn country. Today, GoodWeave is proving them wrong, and the very first certified Afghan rug reached the market this winter. The following images will provide you with an overview of the Afghan carpet sector and how GoodWeave's supply chain monitoring program is reaching children and women weavers hidden on home-based looms.
The Grassroots Approach to Child Protection in Senegal
In Senegal, thousands of young boys called 'talibés' are sent from their homes in rural communities to Koranic schools in cities, called 'daaras,' to learn the tenets of Islam. Students, under the guidance of the 'marabout,' or religious teacher, spend time begging as a way to learn humility. In some daaras, however, what was once intended as an educational tool gradually became a tool for exploitation.
Tostan, an international NGO, addresses this problem at its source by engaging rural communities in child protection programs that build awareness around the moral, social, and legal norms that affect children.
Estimates vary regarding what percentage of modern slavery is represented by forced labor in the product supply chain. What is universally agreed upon, however, is that it involves millions of people worldwide and touches the lives of everyone through the products we consume. The vast majority of the slaves are in Asia and Africa. However, modern slavery has been documented in every country on the planet except Greenland and Iceland. [9 photos]
Ivory Coast is the world's leading producer of cocoa, the raw ingredient for chocolate, and is responsible for about 36 percent of global exports. The cocoa trade of Ivory Coast is mired in exploitation - of children - war, and corrupt profits by Ivorian officials and western big chocolate business. It is estimated that a quarter of a million children work in hazardous conditions on Ivorian cocoa farms, in spite of a pledge by the world's biggest chocolate companies more than seven years ago to abolish forced child labor from their supply chain. [20 photos]
Child Sex Slavery and Exploitation
The primary drivers of commercial sexual exploitation of children are prostitution, pornography and sex tourism. Their stories all include poverty, like 16-year-old Serey, whose parents forced her to find work to help support her siblings. A polio victim, Serey had few marketable skills and ended up in a brothel. Or Kim, whose sister sold her to a massage parlor, where she was being trained to perform sex acts at age 10. The reasons are often complex, but the results are the same, children forced to work in a growing sex trade where demand drives even caring parents to do dreadful deeds. Both Serey and Kim are now in safe homes, part of a network of shelters working hard to provide children of sexual exploitation a better future. But, for every child who is rescued, there are many more in danger of sexual abuse. [13 photos]
The photos in this gallery were taken to illustrate the U.S. State Department's annual report on "Trafficking in Persons," required under the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000. This report serves as the primary diplomatic tool through which the U.S. Government encourages other countries to help fight forced labor, sexual exploitation and modern-day slavery. [9 photos]
At Risk, Rescued and Sheltered
Rescue is only the first step in the long road to recovery and reintegration to society. Often fearing for their lives, former slaves need safe shelter and comprehensive, specialized care; including educational opportunities and/or job skills training; to ensure they complete the journey to wholeness and regain their dignity. Sadly, many victims of sexual exploitation sometimes return to the brothels or their pimps when they see no other way forward. [12 photos]
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