Relatively modern form of slavery, where a worker is deceived into slavery through the use of a false employment contract. Slave holders create contracts to lure individuals with promises of employment, yet once they arrive at the workplace they are forced to work for no pay and cannot escape. The false contracts are used to avoid criminal charges or to prove that a “debt” is owed to the slaveholder.
Debt bondage (or bonded labor) slavery
The most common method of enslavement in the world today, accounting for nearly 20 million of the world’s slaves. It begins when a person accepts a loan from a moneylender, often in order to purchase basic necessities such as food or medicine. The person (and often his or her family as well) are held as collateral against the loan. Because they are collateral, their work does not repay the debt but ‘belongs’ to the moneylender. Unable to earn money independently, the family is unable to repay the illegal debt and it is passed down from generation to generation, creating hereditary enslavement. This system is well-entrenched in South Asia, and can trap entire families in slavery for illegal debts as small as $40.
Involuntary (or forced) labor slavery
Condition of compulsory service or labor performed by one person, against his or her will, for the benefit of another person due to force, threats, intimidation or other similar means of coercion and compulsion directed against him or her.
Work done by people who travel from place to place for employment. Migrant laborers today are commonly immigrants, sometimes illegal, and often exploited by their employer. Most migrant labor is in agriculture, and the workers move around the country to harvest crops during different growing seasons. They are usually paid little for work, sometimes crossing the line into slavery when they are paid nothing and are unable to leave.