Modern Forms of Slavery

Facilitate a class exploration on understanding and combating modern slavery.

  • Preparation for the discussion: Assign learners an article to read or a web site to visit that discusses modern slavery. You could choose a local or global resource,  use for instance the following partners’ resources: Antislavery International  or Free the slaves 
  • Essential questions:  What is slavery? What are some examples of modern slavery? Where does modern slavery exist?
  • Essential activity questions:
    alot ten minutes for the learners to discuss modern slavery in small groups.  Each of the groups should write down how they feel about the new information that they have learned and what actions might be taken.  
  • Ask students to share their ideas with the class. 
  • As a class discuss creating an awareness campaign.   

An ASPnet school in Spain comes to grips with modern slavery

Modern child slavery, a learning project on children’s condition in Haiti:  the college Sagrada Familia, Spain 

The “Opening doors, healing wounds” project was implemented from 15 January to 15 May 2011 with 190 students aged 12 to 18. It introduced the history of TST by focusing on modern forms of slavery, and in particular child slavery.  

To do so, students studied the situation of children in Haiti, the country with the highest level of child abuse and slavery as a percentage of its population in the modern world.  Haiti is in the 158th (out of 185 countries) position in the United Nation’s Human Development Index study of 2011[1]; consequently, living conditions are poor for the population at large, with a life expectancy under 52. Children frequently leave home aged between 7 and 14, migrating from rural areas to the city to receive an education or find work. They are very vulnerable, and often fall victim to the trafficking networks. 

Sagrada Familia students were also asked to read Memory’s Tattoo (“La piel de la memoria”) by Jordi Sierra I Fabra a book on modern slavery in the Ivory Coast and Mali, where children, often from the age of eight, are exploited by cocoa producers serving the markets of the first world. By linking such an everyday commodity with child labour, children were invited to reflect on their direct role and responsibility in addressing slavery. Naturally such matter needs to be introduced with delicacy and with attention to the sensibilities of students. However, using peer understanding as an entry point can be a powerful means to get student to reflect on the modern forms of slavery.


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