The Wall Street Journal echoes what I’ve been saying:
In today’s global economic downturn, there’s at least one business that’s expanding: modern-day slavery.
That’s the main message of the U.S. Department of State’s annual report on Trafficking in Persons, released last week in Washington. The document is always a disturbing read, but it is especially so this year. Between April 2008 and March 2009, State found an uptick in slavery in almost every corner of the world.
Human bondage is by nature a shady business, so it’s impossible to attribute any one factor to this trend. Ambassador Luis CdeBaca, who heads State’s study, points to the increasing desperation of poor people to find work and the eagerness of unscrupulous employers to cut costs. The International Labor Organization estimates that private enterprises or agents made $31.6 billion in 2005 from forced-labor victims.