Bonded labor is when a person is forced to work to pay off a debt. They often have no idea how much money they owe. Worse, enslavers often raise this amount arbitrarily.
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Imagine someone promises you a great job. It's in a different city or country, but the person offering you employment is kind and understanding. They know you come from a poor family, but they're willing to loan you the money to travel. Even better, they agree to work with you to help you pay them back.
Suddenly, you find yourself in an unfamiliar place. The work is back-breaking and exhausting. You work 12 to 18 hours a day hauling clay bricks up steps to a furnace. The furnace, powered by coal smashed by workers who do not wear gloves, makes the air difficult to breathe. Meanwhile, the friendly people who "helped" you get this job have revealed their true personalities. They are brutal and violent. They've taken your passport from you, and will not let you leave until you've paid off your debt. What's worse is that you have no idea how much money you owe them. Your debt supposedly includes the cost to get you here, as well as your room and board, but it seems to you that it keeps growing no matter how hard you work.
This is an example of bonded labor, also known as debt bondage. It is the most common form of modern-day slavery. Anti-Slavery International estimates that eight million people are held in debt bondage worldwide, but this number may be higher.
Forms of Abolition:
Forms of Slavery:
Bonded Labor, Forced Labor, Child Labor
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