Slavery Today Overview

More than 40 million women, men and children are forced to work against their will because of force, fraud or coercion. Kept in place by violence and intimidation, they generate $150 billion in illicit profits for traffickers. It’s one of the greatest human rights challenges of our time.

Slavery Today

They are all around us—tens of millions trapped in slavery today. Many are hidden in plain sight, forced to work in restaurants, hotels, stores, farm fields, factories, mines, and construction sites. Others are held against their will in brothels and private homes. Most have been tricked by traffickers, lured by false promises, or trapped by phony debts, often for generations. Learn more >

Slavery In History

Slavery is one of history’s most egregious and persistent violations of human rights. Its roots trace back to biblical times. The movement to abolish it began with the global struggle against tyranny and injustice. Our slavery timeline is a valuable resource for students, teachers, scholars, journalists—and anyone with a passion for history and justice. Learn more >

Gender & Children

Women and children are especially vulnerable to human trafficking and modern slavery. More than 70 percent of victims today are female. About 25 percent are children. Free the Slaves works to educate community members about gender rights and empower women and girls to resist human trafficking.
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Free the Slaves has written the book on slavery—literally. Readers discover the global forces that trap the vulnerable and hear directly from victims about the toll slavery takes on their lives, their families, and their communities. But, just as important, Free the Slaves books provide hope. Survivors recount how they escaped, and activists describe how slavery can be conquered. Learn more >


Free the Slaves videos are designed to both educate and motivate. Our award-winning film teams have traveled the world to reveal the anguish of trafficking and the joy of liberation. All videos are freely available to be played at schools, churches, civic groups, public meetings—or any venue where the voices of slaves and front-line activists can help inspire action. Learn more >

Research & Publications

The Free the Slaves model works. Thousands have been freed from slavery. Tens of thousands have been educated on how to avoid it. Our programs are closely monitored, and the results are rigorously evaluated. This helps us improve our projects over time and inspire other organizations to integrate our anti-slavery techniques into their own international development work. Learn more >