Shocking new expose on slavery


A new documentary series produced for Al Jazeera claims there are more slaves than ever before. Slavery: A 21st Century Evil will premiere on Al Jazeera English on 10 October.

South African Oscar, BAFTA and Emmy winning executive producer Jon Blair says, “This series has been a year in the making and represents one of Al Jazeera’s most important global investigations. Shot on three continents, this is the most in-depth study undertaken by any broadcaster of how and why modern day slavery persists.’

Presented by Somali-born journalist Rageh Omaar, Slavery: A 21st Century Evil exposes how slavery is flourishing all over the world. “Today 27 million men, women and children are held, sold and trafficked as slaves throughout the world,’ says Rageh. “That’s more than double the 12.5 million Africans who were taken into slavery during the several centuries of the Atlantic slave trade. This is a trade worth $32 billion a year – a trade that refuses to die and remains the most prolific evil in the world today.’

Among other horrors, the different episodes explore: food chain slaves in America and the largest slave labour case in living memory, where a Californian company is charged with enslaving more than 900 Thai child labourers on farms across America; sex slaves in Europe; bonded labour slaves in Pakistan; child slaves in Haiti; and bridal slaves in India.

Series producer Tim Tate says, “Slavery: A 21st Century Evil reveals uncomfortable truths about the role of slave labour in modern life, like the way some of the food on the shelves of supermarkets has been harvested by slaves, or the use of slave labour to produce many of the goods consumers throughout the world take for granted.

“It’s also a challenge to governments throughout the world. There has never been an easier time to rid the world of slavery but we live in a world where a top lawyer charges

£3,000 per hour and a slave can be bought for £55 or less.  Yet the American government, despite its self-appointed role as the world’s anti-slavery police, devotes precious few resources to its own part in the 21st century slave trade.’

The final episode will be an open public debate, which will discuss how the modern slave trade can be targeted and assess the efforts of the US and the United Nations – the two major agencies involved.

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