Posted on July 23, 2019

Africa Is Again the World’s Epicenter of Modern-Day Slavery

Abdi Latif Dahir, Quartz Africa, July 23, 2018

Africa just recorded the highest rate of modern-day enslavement in the world.

Armed conflict, state-sponsored forced labor, and forced marriages were the main causes behind the estimated 9.2 million Africans who live in servitude without the choice to do so, according to the 2018 Global Slavery Index. {snip}

Slavery was especially prevalent in Eritrea and Mauritania, where slavery has even been, at times, an institutionalized practice. In Eritrea, for instance, the one-party state of president Isaias Afwerki has overseen a notorious national conscription service accused of drafting citizens for an indefinite period, contributing to the wave of refugees fleeing the country. Workers that have claimed that they were forced to work in the nation’s first modern mine are also currently suing the Vancouver-based mining company Nevsun that owns a majority stake in the mine.

The situation is more acute in Mauritania, which has the title of the world’s last country to abolish slavery. For centuries, members of the black Haratin group were caught in a cycle of servitude, with the slave status being inherited. Reports have also shown the existence of government collusion with slave owners who intimidate servants who break free from their masters. {snip}


The study, conducted in collaboration with Walk Free Foundation and the International Labor Organization, also notes how consumers all over the world are getting products that at some stage were touched by the hands of modern-day slaves. {snip}

As previous reports have shown, cases of slavery still persist lower down the supply chain in commodity-producing nations like the DR Congo and Cote D’Ivore.