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Modern Day African Slave Trade

Updated on January 29, 2011
Beating of slaves is common practice
Beating of slaves is common practice
Young Female slaves are used as concubines
Young Female slaves are used as concubines
Young children are often kidnapped and sold into slavery
Young children are often kidnapped and sold into slavery
Young teens are used as slave labor in the Diamond mines
Young teens are used as slave labor in the Diamond mines

African Slave trade was officially banned in the early 1880s, but slavery continues to be practiced in West and Central Africa today. Over 200,000 children from this region are sold into slavery every year. Many of these children are sold into the domestic, agricultural, and sex industries of some wealthier, neighboring countries. An estimated 90,000 black Africans are "owned" by North African Arabs,and are sold like property in a booming slave trade. Some of these people are sold for as little as $15.00 per human being.(Anti-slavery International). Indigenous tribes in southern Sudan are frequently attacked by Arabs from the North, who murder the men and capture and enslave the women and children. The Arabs consider it their right to enslave these people, and to own them as personal property. Physical mutilation is not unusual and is done to the slaves not only to prevent escape, but to enforce the slave owners' beliefs. Sometimes their Achilles tendons are cut because of the captives refusal to become Muslim. Others are branded like cattle to show ownership.

In West Africa the old slave trafficking routes are once again traveled by those who would enslave others for profit . However these routes are now being traveled in trucks and vans instead of by camel. Mobile Phones are the norm for the slave merchants to communicate back and forth as they transport their human cargo. The slave trafficking trade involves most countries in sub-Saharan West Africa.

Children are kidnapped or purchased from their families for as little as $20 each by slave traders in poverty ridden areas, such as Benin and Togo, then sold into slavery in brothels or as domestic servants for over $300.00 each in the richer neighboring countries, such as Nigeria and Gabon. (Anti -Slavery Society). Children are sold in West African countries as domestic and commercial labor and also for sexual exploitation. Girls from Benin and Togo are in great demand by wealthy families in Lagos, Nigeria and also in Libreville in Gabon.

Until recently,the slave trade has been largely considered as a phenomenon of war-ravaged countries such as Somalia, Angola, Sudan and Chad, where girls as young as 10-years-old are servants or sex slaves at the rebel military bases. But now, throughout some "peaceful" West African areas the slave traffic is growing. Some of the countries involved in this illegal trafficking include Burkina Faso, Benin, Cameroon, Cote d'Ivoire, Gabon, Nigeria and Togo.

There are also many cocoa plantations that use slaves. These slaves are on cocoa plantations in remote rural areas in West Africa. Boys ranging in age from 12 to 16 are being trafficked to West African cocoa plantations and used as slave labor to harvest the cocoa beans to be sent to various countries to made into chocolate.

A UNICEF study reports that over 200,000 children are trafficked yearly in West and Central Africa. The trafficking occurs across many countries including Cameroon, Nigeria and Ghana.

Reference: ASI (Anti-slavery International)
Reference: ASS (Anti-Slavery Society)
Reference: UNICEF


How can we help bring this barbaric practice to an end?

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    • profile image

      Alisa 5 years ago

      You are a professional

    • LuxmiH profile image

      Luxmih Eve-Lyn Forbes 6 years ago from Fort Pierce, Florida

      Voted up and Interesting...

      I would have voted 'extremely sad' if there had been a button for that, and 'grateful' if there'd been a button for that.

      Your Hub tackles a subject that saddens me because the problem seems so overwhelming that I feel helpless.

      On the other hand it makes me grateful because I been privleged to have tasted delicous freedom here in America for the past 30+ years. Freedom to me is the most priceless possesion... the slaves you write about will be the first to tell you that.

      This Hub is informative. It would be more powerful if there were suggestion as to what can be done to help those who are being enslaved?

      Sadly I do not have a solution. Maybe by increasing awareness you'll inspire someone else to come up with a constructive way to free people... everywhere.

      From my perspective a perfect start would be to help restore America to spiritual, economic, life enhancing freedom. When these United States are once again a Beacon of Freedom then by example these United States, One Nation under God, will inpsire, empower and uplift the world and show how to follow freedoms path.

      God Bless The USA!

    • profile image

      dovyalise 7 years ago

      Hey my name is Alise and i would like to say that no one should be sold into slavery.I see no diffrence in wether to write to Obama.If we want change we have to do it ourselves.

    • jjmyles profile image

      jjmyles 7 years ago from Pacific Northwest

      Well what can I say? I'm politically incorrect as most responsible informed people are. Thanks for the comment James. appreciate you stopping by to read this hub.

    • James A Watkins profile image

      James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago

      Wait a doggone minute: Are you saying America didn't invent slavery? Are you saying that outside of Western Civilization it still goes on? I am shocked. This is politically incorrect.

    • profile image

      Brenda Durham 7 years ago

      I agree American Romance!

      This is shocking!

      I personally think Obama himself should go activate a campaign in those countries to help those people. But that might mean he'd have to give up in the White House and his Nobel Peace Prize. He's only a community organizer when there's no threat to his well-being or his pocketbook.

    • American Romance profile image

      American Romance 7 years ago from America

      I find this interesting in the fact that the black community who cries and wails daily over slavery, never organizes to help these people, never speaks out against it on national television, .....maybe they are too wound up by Jesse and Sharpton and Farikan to do something.