Slavery: A 21st Century Evil

Slavery: A 21st Century Evil

2011, Crime  -  Playlist 61 Comments
Ratings: 7.94/10 from 33 users.

Slavery: A 21st Century EvilStepping into the lives of men and women who until recently were slaves demands the softest of treads.

The experience of being enslaved - forced to work for no pay, often under the threat of violence and with no hope of escape, burns deep and leaves wounds which take a long time to heal.

From impoverished and often illiterate Thai farmers to women forced into prostitution; from men tricked into servitude in Brazil's brutal charcoal industry to entire families trapped as bonded labourers in Pakistan's feudal brick kilns; we met and filmed dozens of slaves for this series.

Food Chain Slaves. It is a nation built on the abolition of slavery, but there are at least 40,000 slaves in the US today. In the opening episode of Slavery: A 21st Century Evil, Al Jazeera's Rageh Omaar investigates food chain slavery in the US.

Sex slaves. There are an estimated 1.4 million sex slaves in the world today and international trafficking is on the rise.

Bonded Slaves. It is a form of slavery that is passed down from one generation to the next, enslaving millions.

Child Slaves. There are at least 8.4 million child slaves in the world today, many of them held as forced labour.

Charcoal Slaves. Poverty-stricken men from the north of Brazil are often lured to remote camps where they are used as slave labour.

Bridal Slaves. In the midst of widespread poverty, fueled by economic inequality and rampant corruption, a new form of slavery - bridal slavery - has flourished in India. Women and young girls are sold for as little as $120 to men who often abuse them.

Prison Slaves. Over the past 20 years China has become the world's biggest exporter of consumer goods. But behind this apparent success story is a dark secret - millions of men and women locked up in prisons and forced into intensive manual labour.

Bonus: Al Jazeera slavery debate. Luis C d'Baca from the US State Department Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons; Kevin Bales, president of Free the Slaves; David Batstone, president of Not for Sale; and Joy Ezeilo, UN Special Rapporteur for Trafficking in Persons.

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3 years ago

Motti Orian's charges were dropped. How is that? And what now?

7 years ago

This is incredible.
I thought only African Americans were slaves.

Jasmin-Farah Pillay
9 years ago

So essentially these Thai people paid Global for the honour of working there and were never paid? This is beyond evil :o(

Annie Stone
9 years ago

it's not right to have slaves, even if you treat them kindly

10 years ago

Excellent documentary. It was very well made. A real eye opener on the Human Trafficking that is taking place in our world today. Its absolutely unbelievable that people are subjected to something so terrible and deprived of their human rights.

John Weissmuller
10 years ago

Portugal were also the first country in Europe to abolish the death penalty.

ya mum
11 years ago

Does anybody know how I would be able to contact the Thai man at 22:48?

Sara tayeb
11 years ago

WOW. this world sucks.

11 years ago

Funny... Slavery WAS industry up until the industrial revolution. Waddaya gonna do when ya runs out of oil?

11 years ago

PORTUGAL was the first country in Europe to abolish slavery, 100 years before the United States
In fact, Portugal was also the first country in Europe to abolish the DEATH PENALTY !

11 years ago

em from the previous post, your talking about chain gangs and license plate makers right? You may be in prison but your guaranteed 3 squares a day, a shower and a bed to sleep in. Not everyone gets that opportunity in the working world, some restitution should be paid back.

11 years ago

I notice that this series draws attention to 'other' forms of slavery whilst ignoring the very very recent history of Western peoples horrific abuse which was cosmetically concealed after WW11 for the brief 45 years until the current era. That was only because the wage slaves were financing the growth of one huge gulag that we are now entering where everyone is a sex/labour slave.

11 years ago

the thing is is that the south was hit very hard when the economy took a downturn and even here in america in the south many girl are being pimped w the same awful tactics many children are working under the table coal mining and stuff like that are the only descent jobs its time people pay attention cause im watching a generation of children who will die or go to prison trying to eat

11 years ago

dufas_duck hits the nail on the head. Al Jazeera wouldn't dare mention the Islamic slave trade, the largest in the world and cause of much misery that goes unnoticed and unheard in the MSM. That would be too PC.

11 years ago


I notice that the slavery views of Muslims is conspicuously absent.. Could it be that Al Jazeera is somewhat biased, Sharia law and other things along those lines may influence their view point somewhat...

Matt van den Ham
11 years ago

This is a shitty situation, and they were ripped off, but it's not slavery. If the definition of slavery is forced work without pay then most of us in north america are slaves. What happens if I don't go to work? I can't pay for food and shelter, and it's illegal to not pay your taxes. They say 'oh we didn't have any food, lived in a container, one bathroom" etc etc...well you know what, I've had to go with out food, electricity etc when I was out of work, and you don't see any documentaries on regular people like me. And you know what's a worse feeling, working as hard and as long as possible in this society and you still can't make ends-meet. Most of these 'third world' countries that we are told to show compassion to and not our 'rich-selves' have a lot more freedoms than we do. What is freedom? Free to think and act on your own terms. Most people in North America do not truly think-freely, they are mentally confined with the huge amount of societal rules and the evils that come with greed/money. From kindergarten up we are told how to think and behave, and we also have the most cruel punishments, such as imprisonment and life-long debts.

And slaves from the past were committed to indentured servitude, which means they could work for someone for a few years and then usually be granted some property, to which they would start their own farms and have workers. And they had more leisure time and family time back then too. They make slavery look like the most brutal horror movie imaginable, but if you think about it, if you were the 'slave-driver' or 'master', you would see your slaves as cattle, meaning you'd want to keep them in good working condition i.e. well fed etc, And they would only punish when absolutely necessary.

Look at students in north america, they take out life-long debts on student loans and are pretty much forced to get in the work force to pay it off. A mortgage is a form of slavery. The truth is, north Americans are more enslaved (psychologically/mentally) than most people of the world. Debt/mortgages are the purest form enslavement.

11 years ago

While there are true slave problems in the world and these should be addressed, some people are thinking a little too hard and coming up with conclusions that either defy logic or are a stealth argument for The Venus project where everyone gets life handed to them on a silver platter. [Someone else always does the work...which still becomes slavery]

I guess that Al Jazeera’s Rageh Omaar gets everything handed to him. Good for him, don't do anything and you won't be a slave. I wonder if his cameraman or sound man could be considered as a slave?? Yet, the one's handing everything to anyone then becomes the slave to the one taking. How is one to get anything for free without making slaves out of those who work and supply those goods?

Governments that tax are creating slaves of the population. Government workers are the masters and the private citizenry are the slaves.

If one is a slave for working for someone else, either don't work or start one's own business..but then, one becomes a slave to their own business.. People that own their homes then become a slave to their home. Taken to the Nth degree, people that have partners are a slave to that partner.

The logic presented in the first documentary could extend to anyone that purchases anything, clothes, food, etc, etc, is supporting slavery. The concept of community would have to disappear. One becomes a slave to the community. The thing to do is boycott everything. Do not make any purchases, do not work, do not acquire anything. The perfect person would be homeless, completely naked, natural, alone, and live in the wild munching on whatever he/she could find.

Sounds like the concept of 'other people's money' [or work] is being pushed a little harder each day. Do you want to be a giver, IE, slave, or a taker, IE, master???

phillip wong
11 years ago

Like the US don 't have debt slaves

11 years ago

99% of civilization are slaves

phillip wong
11 years ago

come on.. So the US don 't have prison slavery? Really?

11 years ago

Ok, it was a nice Doc, but something I missed is the fact that they think if you PAY somebody with money for the work, then you are not a slave. How come one can think like that? Most of us who are regular income earners are heavily indebted to various financial sharks who are eager to take your home, your car, your whole livelihood and savings at once you stop paying their monthly installments! I mean, this is the worst form of modern slavery and terror the world has ever encounter. Masses of people, even in the so-called civilized world are kept in control by the same debt-work-pay-mechanism. Nobody even dares to challenge the system, not even the politicians because these financial sharks are too big to fail... I mean... what the hell is going on?!

11 years ago

15:23 on the first video, that guy is Mordechai Orian—the CEO of Global Horizons Inc. I can't say I'm surprised that he would profit from slavery.