There were two areas where primitive forms of slavery survived: the ISIS caliphate where female sex slavery was rife; and Mauretania, a pre-modern economy where hereditary slavery is still suffered by some families who undergo dire conditions. ISIS is thankfully destroyed, but Mauretania remains a problem.
The Indian subcontinent remains a problem with debt slavery afflicting whole families who are forced to work for pittances and can never pay off their debts. Sometimes the daughters of such families are sold into prostitution by the owners. This is a form of bonded labour, in which the worker is tied to an employer. Needless to say in such conditions wages are very low.Forced labour is another area in which certain states make citizens work for nothing, Turkmenistan being the prime example with its compulsory cotton picking. Construction projects in certain Arab states employ Philippine men, who have their passports taken, making them dependent on the employer for getting home. They are in effect slaves
Women and children suffer badly. Child slaves suffer all that adult slaves undergo. Women are lured into domestic service and underpaid, overworked and sexually exploited. And let us not think that the abuse is always male on female. Many female slaves have cruel mistresses.
Modern western economies exist in a society of highly mobile people and this is exploited by slavers. Women and vulnerable men are lured to foreign countries on the pretext of good jobs, but often the women discover that their fate is prostitution and the men find that they are tied to farms and construction projects in exploitative conditions. In the UK we suffer the problem that young Eastern European women, from countries where wages are low, are enticed to Britain and then caught in the sex trade. Vietnamese are lured, the women into nail bars and the males into cannabis farms. Another vulnerable group are homeless men, some of whom have been captured by traveller gangs and forced into slave condition in construction work or on unscrupulous farms. There was one Asian girl, deaf and dumb, sent by her family to England for a job. She was for years exploited and abused. The male who abused her got many years in jail, her cruel mistress, his wife, going down for a few years as well.
What can be done? We all need to be alert. Look out for situations where work is being done by vulnerable people for a price that seems too good to be true, for this suggests that the workers are slaves. Sign petitions to keep politicians on their toes. Give to charities that help the vulnerable escape slavery. Be careful to source clothes so that you purchase from companies where the supply chain is free from slave labour.
Only when all people are free from greed and the willingness to use violence to gain economic goods and services will slavery be ended. The price of freedom is endless vigilance, not just for yourself, but for all.