Contemporary Slavery


Contemporary slavery takes many forms, including debt bondage, child labor, servile marriage, trafficking in persons and more.

Despite the fact that these practices violate national laws and international protocols, there is evidence that they are widespread.

These pages (see list of titles on the right side of this page) serve as an introduction to thinking and debate about contemporary forms of slavery. Because of the clandestine nature of modern slavery, it's difficult to determine precise numbers and data on modern slaves. However, there is increasing evidence that slavery-like practices are vast and widespread. Our intent is to provide an expansive overview of the issue, using the United Nations (UN) and international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) as main points of reference.

We provide a series of subsections that address key topics, such as types of slavery and slavery-like practices and the debate surrounding trafficking and sex-slavery. For each topic, we offer related web links and resources; there is also an extensive bibliography. Though these pages comprise only an introduction to the complex issues surrounding contemporary slavery, it is crucial to our historical and scholarly inquiry to recognize that an examination of gender, religion, sexuality and slavery has relevance to situations in our world today.