Modern Slavery: Bonded Labor

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Bonded Labour Essay

Bonded Labour, also known as Debt bondage or forced labor is the most common form of modern slavery. It was constructed to exploit people for labor, the cycle begins with a debt that is either acquired or inherited. The victim must then repay with their labor or services to avoid punishment which can either be physical or more subtle such as accumulated debt, retention of identity papers or threats of denunciation to immigration. In many cases, there is no hope of ever actually repaying the debt. The employer will continue to add on additional expenses that the victim is required to pay. For example, a laborer may have a debt of $500 but while working and being unable to leave the worker needs food, water, and shelter.
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These workers are made more vulnerable to forced labor practices because of political conflict, poverty, crime, discrimination, unemployment, corruption, and cultural acceptance of forced labor. Immigrants are particularly vulnerable as they can be threatened by their employer with deportation or reported to immigration officers, however, individuals are also often forced into labor in their own countries. Everyone needs food, money, shelter, and water and if no one is willing to supply these things or you do not have them, you will die. This is where the ‘invisible hand’ of bonded labor is used. Large amounts of poverty-stricken populations have another choice but to give in to the coercion or exploitation in order to survive. The people most vulnerable are the people most affected by it, Women, low-skilled migrant workers, children, indigenous peoples and other groups suffering discrimination on different grounds are disproportionately affected. Overall the main causes of forced or bonded labor are lack of education, poverty, large families with not enough money as well as the political, social and economic standpoint of the country it is occurring in. Uneducated people can be easily manipulated into believing that the work they are doing is fair and not a hidden form of slavery. Poverty leads to…show more content…
This amount is caused by consumers contributing to the industry. As consumers, we have a voice through the products we purchases, these purchases can include a shirt made from cotton picked by child laborers in Uzbekistan, a smartphone using coltan sourced from the Congo with child labor, and coffee made from beans harvested by slaves in the Ivory Coast. By educating ourselves and buying from stores that don’t use forced labor we can impact the policies and customs of these companies Apps such as Free2Work, Good Guide, and the Good Shopping Guide make it easier for consumers to make purchases knowing that they are not contributing to the awful acts of forced labor. Another way we can bring a stop to bonded labor is by educating and helping the people in these scenarios. Many people may not realize that the way they are being treated is illegal and immoral, with more education on the topic more people can come forward and bring awareness where it's needed. This will also allow governments to help out the people in debt bondage as they would be more aware of where and how it was

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