Video Stories of Modern Slavery

It’s hard to imagine modern slavery in our world. We understand that. So we collected some publicly available video here, showing the stories to raise public awareness. Click pictures to watch the video.

The Price of Free. (2018). (1h27m). This documentary tells the story of child labour in India. Over 260 million children are enslaved across several industries, including carpet and garment industries, and sex work. These children were unable to go to school as their families relied on their work, therefore making them vulnerable to exploitation by human traffickers. Once sold on the promise of good wages, the children are treated like cattle, and forced to face physical and mental abuse whilst working gruelling hours in factories. The documentary tells the stories of several of these children, many of whom have spent several months in the factories. Despite several missions to save the children, workers face difficulties as village heads and police officers are often involved in the trade. Ultimately, the tendency in the consumer world for cheap products has been the driving cause of child exploitation, as a massive profit can be obtained from using child workers. The documentary highlights the importance of consumer power, which can empower governments to change the law.
#Human trafficking, #forced labour, #hazardous child labour.
Indicators: Abusive working & living conditions, restriction of movement, isolation, abuse of vulnerability, deception, physical violence, intimidation & threats, excessive overtime, withholding of wages.
Forced labour: Western brands told to drop clothes made by Uighurs in China. (2020). (3 mins). China has been accused of detaining Uyghur people in the northwestern state of Xinjiang. Inside these detention centres, Uyghur people are subjected to both torture and forced labour. Mr. Abdul Qadir Juma, a former translator and poet, is one of these victims. His brother, Mr. Mama Jaan, describes the forced labour conditions his brother now works in making headphones for the government. The factories in Xinjiang are prison-like, with guards monitoring detainees and restricting their movement. These abuses are also occurring in the Chinese cotton industry. Uyghur people are frequently transferred without consent to work in cotton factories from “re-education” camps. It is estimated that millions of Uyghur people have been sent to these camps. Increasing global pressure has resulted in over 180 organisations urging against using cotton textiles and garments sourced from Xinjiang. The Chinese government, however, continues to claim that this labour is part of the “poverty alleviation programme”.
#Forced labour, #human trafficking.
Indicators: Abusive working & living conditions, restriction of movement, abuse of vulnerability, excessive overtime.
Britain’s Modern Slave Trade. (2017). (27 mins). Modern slavery in the UK is pervasive across many industries, including nail salons, car washes, cannabis farming and prostitution. Trafficking is a major part of this, with smugglers utilising carriers and vans to transport victims. Regardless of the introduction of the Modern Slavery Act in 2015, public awareness of modern slavery in the UK remains limited, and the problem remains pervasive. This video shares three stories from victims in the UK. Tuan was a victim of trafficking and was forced to work in a cannabis house aged 15. Despite being rescued by the police, he was enslaved again and subjected to starvation, physical restraint and filthy living conditions. Originally from Romania, Anna was rescued from forced prostitution in 2014, where she had been facing both psychological and physical abuse. Also from Romania, Claudio worked as a car washer for five months. He was forced to work long shifts and live in inhumane conditions, with no option to escape as he was an illegal immigrant and his employer was withholding his passport. As this video shows, migrants in the UK are particularly vulnerable to slavery and exploitation.
#Forced labour, #forced criminality, #labour exploitation, #human trafficking, #sexual exploitation.
Indicators: Abusive working & living conditions, abuse of vulnerability, deception, withholding of documents, restriction of movement, physical & sexual abuse, debt bondage, withholding of wages, and excessive overtime.

Inside the Congo cobalt mines that exploit children. (2017). (6 mins). The global production of cobalt is firmly linked to modern slavery in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Cobalt is a material used in Lithium-ion batteries, and is used by multinational corporations such as Apple, Google, and Microsoft, for smartphones, laptops, and other electronic devices. However, cobalt mines are unmonitored and hazardous, and are linked to child labour, particularly in the southern Congo. Children are frequently forced to work up to 12-hour days just to eat, a privilege that is often withheld as starvation and physical abuse remain common. The inhalation of cobalt dust and direct contact with the material has long-term health implications, as children are not provided face masks or gloves for extraction and are expected to tunnel underground for more material. Mining also causes water pollution for nearby villages and causes health issues ranging from rashes to tumours. Cobalt remains a million-dollar enterprise and is mainly sold to Chinese traders and exported to China for engineering and processes. As the price of the material is a priority, external buyers give little thought to the child labour and working conditions in the mines, enforcing the cycle for years to come.
#Forced labour, #hazardous child labour.
Indicators: Abusive working & living conditions, intimidation & threats, abuse of vulnerability, physical & sexual violence, and excessive overtime.
Troubled Waters: Inside the child slavery trade. (2019). (23 mins). Slavery in Ghana manifests itself today among the most vulnerable group in society, children in poverty. This often involves selling and trafficking children for fishing labour. Children are bought from other traffickers, and fishermen themselves may later also engage in trafficking. Children are forced to paddle, dive, pull up nets and collect fish. In many cases the children drown attempting to collect nets. The children are priced at $250-500, and ironically, many traffickers sell children to afford to send their own children to school. The depravation in Ghana that has damaged the economic prospects for many is directly to blame for child slavery, as it creates a scenario where for many, the only choice is to sell their children or traffic someone else’s children to survive. The government has taken little action, however, to change this scenario or implement laws to stop this. Without change, poverty will continue to enforce child slavery in Ghana, as even children that are rescued will be returned to slavery, as they have no other options.
#Human trafficking, #hazardous child labour, #labour exploitation.
Indicators: Abusive working & living conditions and abuse of vulnerability.
Silicon Valley’s Online Slave Market. (2019). (51 mins). In Kuwait, apps such as 4Sell, Haraji, and Instagram are being used to advertise and sell domestic workers. Despite Kuwait’s strict laws, local agents and domestic owners have continued to engage in this practice. Workers are constantly monitored, have their passports withheld, are given little to no time off, and frequently go unpaid before being sold on again. Tech giants such as Facebook, Apple, and Google are reportedly banning activities pertaining to modern slavery, however, migrant workers are continually posted on social media as a commodity. The video tells the story of Fatou, a 16-year old Guinean girl. She doesn’t speak Arabic, and is shown sitting with her owner, unaware that she is being sold. Whilst Kuwaiti law states that only domestic workers over the age of 21 can be hired, most owners hired and enslaved teenage girls. Fatou was returned to her home country 3 months later and described her experience as “hell” just to bring money back to her family in Guinea.
#Forced labour, #hazardous child labour, #debt bondage.
Indicators: Abusive working & living conditions, excessive overtime, retention of documents, withholding of wages, intimidation & threats, abuse of vulnerability, restriction of movement, isolation, debt bondage.
Bitter Chocolate. (2020). (42 mins). This documentary shows the dark side of the chocolate industry and its sweet, luxury product. When rainforests are cleared, child laborers harvest cocoa beans on illegal plantations. Cocoa is produced under the most dubious conditions. In Ivory Coast, the dark side of cocoa and chocolate production is hard to miss. Many people – including children – are driven here from neighbouring Burkina Faso by drought and famine to find work. They often come alone, without their families, in search of work on one of the many cocoa plantations. They work with sharp machetes, carry heavy loads, are exposed to toxic herbicides, and lack protective clothing. Major international cocoa companies and giants of the chocolate industry such as Nestlé, Cargill and Ferrero simply watched as 90 percent of the Ivory Coast’s primeval forests were destroyed. In 2001, the companies agreed to stop child labour, wage dumping and the further clearance of rainforests for five years. But 20 years later, the commitment is yet to be implemented.
#forced labour, #hazardous work, #human trafficking #child labour
Indicators: Abusive working & living conditions, excessive overtime, #abuse of vulnerability #physical violence

The Baby Stealers . (2020). (51 mins). This is an eye-opening documentary unveiling modern slavery in the heart of Nairobi. It is a result of a year-long investigation by BBC Africa Eye that has uncovered the shocking evidence of a thriving underground network in Kenya that snatches babies from their mothers and sells them for a profit. The secretive and highly lucrative trade preys on the country’s most vulnerable, stealing children from the streets and even the maternity ward of a major government hospital. It is trade in human lives preying on the most vulnerable women in Kenya.
#child trafficking #baby stealers #human trafficking
Indicators: #abuse of vulnerability
Ghost Fleet VR. (2019). (8 mins). Ghost Fleet VR is an immersive look at the true story of modern slavery in the Thai fishing industry, told through the experience of one man’s harrowing ordeal to escape a prison of water after 10 years at sea. It is inspired by the feature documentary Ghost Fleet which follows a small group of Thai activists who risk their lives to find justice and freedom for enslaved fishermen. It depicts the harsh and violent living and working conditions that the fishermen are exposed to. Being far from sight–in faraway seas, they are harassed, beaten, threatened, and forced to work in horrendous inhumane conditions. This documentary is a 360 video – so you can scroll the screen or move your mobile device around you to get the best visual experience.
#Human trafficking, #forced labour, #exploitation #fishing industry
Indicators: Deception, retention of documentation, debt bondage, excessive overtime, withholding of wages, physical and sexual violence, abusive working and living conditions.
The Manual Scavengers Of Mumbai. (2016). (35 mins). This documentary by the ScoopWhoop depicts the miserable lives of manual scavengers in India. It highlights the inhumane working conditions and the dreadful environment in which the sewer cleaners in the city of Mumbai work. Manual scavenging refers to the practice of manually collecting and handling excrement. It is a practice of cleaning of human waste by communities considered low caste. Despite the law (Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013) prohibiting this discriminatory practice, it still exists today. There is an urgent need to ensure that local officials enforce the laws to end this practice. Additionally, the government should implement existing legislation aimed to assist manual scavenging community members to find alternative, sustainable livelihoods.
#Forced labour, #exploitation #manual scavenging
Indicators: Deception, withholding of wages, physical and sexual violence, abusive working and living conditions.

Human Trafficking in Singapore. (2017). (7 mins). Human trafficking and forced labour remain common in prosperous countries such as Singapore. The girl shown in this clip, Lili, was trafficked for sex work in Singapore. Initially, she was told she would work as a babysitter or cafe waitress. Upon arrival aged 14, however, she was forced to work as a prostitute. The agents forced her to work, and her lack of knowledge of English prevented her escape. Lili was forced to live with four other girls in an apartment controlled by her pimp, until one of her clients helped her to escape. Lili has now been helped by Hagar Singapore, an organisation that helps trafficked women in Singapore. Her agent has been arrested, however, the problem still persists.
#Human trafficking, #sexual exploitation, #child sexual exploitation.
Indicators: Abusive working & living conditions, restriction of movement, isolation.
My stolen childhood: understanding the trokosi system. (2018). (25 mins). This video describes Trokosi, a practice of sending virgin girls to fetish shrines to pay for the crimes of their family. At these shrines, the young girls become ‘wives of the gods’ and are enslaved to the priests and shrine elders without remuneration. It is believed that the girls become spiritually bound to the shrine, and thus earn forgiveness from the gods. If the girl runs away or dies, her family must replace her with another virgin girl. In most cases, the girls are sent without their consent, and must undertake a variety of physical labour and sexual exploitation from priests. This practice occurs in Ghana, Togo, and Benin, by various ethnic groups and tribes. Across West Africa, thousands of women have been enslaved in this system for over 300 years, and it remains prevalent despite being outlawed in 2018. The video tells the story of Brigitte, who was forced to leave her Togolese family aged 7. She was later rescued and adopted by an American family, however, she describes feeling empty without her original family and culture by her side. #Forced marriage, #sexual exploitation, #forced labour, #hazardous child labour, #child sexual exploitation.
Indicators: sexual violence, restriction of movement, isolation.
Invisible chains – bonded labour in India’s brick kilns. (2017). (11 mins). India is one of the world’s largest brick producers, with an estimated 23 million labourers in the brick industry. Seasonally, thousands of families travel across India to work in brick kilns and are subjected to exploitation. Families are recruited and given a loan, trapping them in debt bondage and forcing them to keep working to pay off the debt. Workers are paid per 1000 bricks, irrespective of how many hours are involved. Subsequently, children are forced to work up to 14 hours a day to try and meet the required quotas, taking them away from their education and subjecting them to gruelling conditions. In many cases, wages are withheld, and documentation is not provided. Additionally, women are invisible in this industry, despite making up 40% of the workforce. Workers are frequently threatened, and in some cases abducted or assaulted for complaining or refusing to work. Whilst forced labour is a penalty in India, prosecution rarely occurs.
#Forced labour, #hazardous child labour, #debt bondage.
Indicators: Abusive working & living conditions, withholding of wages, physical & verbal intimidation, abuse of vulnerability, debt bondage, and excessive overtime.
Imported for my body: The African women trafficked to India for sex. (2019). (51 mins). This video tells the story of Grace, a Kenyan woman who was one of the many victims of the smuggling network trafficking African women to India. Grace was trafficked under the guise of working in tourism and was instead forced into debt bondage and sexual slavery. Grace was trafficked by a madam, who brought her to India and confiscated her passport. She claimed Grace owed her nearly $4000, forcing her into bonded labour as a prostitute to pay off the debt. The footage collected shows Grace’s work in illegal sex clubs, individual clients’ homes, and the flat Grace shared with the other trafficked women. This issue stretches beyond the individual recruiter. Eddie Aneideh, a key member of the All India Nigerian Students and Community Association (AINSCA), a branch of the Nigerian embassy, was identified as the chairman of the brothel. Also implicated are African travel agencies that create fake ID’s and health reports, African officials, and the recruiters and madams directly involved with the girls. This indicates a widespread problem.
#Human trafficking, #debt bondage, #sexual exploitation.
Indicators: Deception, retention of documentation, debt bondage, withholding of wages, physical and sexual violence, abusive working and living conditions.
13TH. (2020). (1h40m). ‘13th’ encompasses a wide range of topics, but centres around how modern slavery occurs in the US through mass incarceration and the prison system. Despite slavery being outlawed in 1865, a ‘loophole’ in the 13th Amendment allows for individuals to be enslaved if they have been imprisoned. The documentary details how this amendment intertwines with racial dynamics in America, allowing for the ongoing and continual criminalisation of people of colour in the US, particularly black people. With a prison population of over 2 million and 25% of the world’s prison population, the exploitation of criminality and prison labour has become a highly profitable business. The documentary goes beyond just modern slavery, however, and describes the criminalisation of civil rights leaders and the “war on drugs”. This highlights how across the 20th Century and into the 21st Century, a system has been created to incarcerate black people en masse, ensuring the profit off of black bodies not only through their presence in the system, but also through their unpaid slave labour.
#Forced labour.
The Dark Secret Behind Your Favorite Makeup Products. (2019). (19 mins). Growing demand for mica, a mineral dust in makeup products, has fuelled child labour and exploitation in India. Despite its illegality, child labour is being used as it is cheaper, thus providing a greater profit. In one of the poorest states in India, Jharkand, child labour has become a norm, as most families live under the poverty line. In Pooja’s example, her family cannot afford to feed themselves, and sent her to the mines aged 8 to work. Pooja and her friends are given ice picks, hammers, and baskets, and must undertake strenuous labour in extremely hazardous conditions with limited protection. Once the mica has been extracted, it is sold to exporters and traded mainly to China. Despite the profit mica brings, the estimated 20,000 children working in the mines make ¼ of a dollar daily for their work. Not only is this labour exploitation, but it deprives the children, some as young as 4 years old, of their education and traps families into the cycle of poverty and slavery.
#Forced labour, #hazardous child labour.
Indicators: Abusive working & living conditions and excessive overtime.
Kakkoos. (2017). (1h49mins). Kakkoos is a 2017 Tamil documentary The film follows the daily lives of people engaged in manual scavenging, a practice officially abolished in 2013 but which is still a common practice. It depicts the miserable lives of the manual scavengers in India. While men do more physically demanding work of cleaning sewers and septic tanks, women, mostly in villages, clean excrement from houses. This practice has its roots deeply embedded in the caste system in India, critically highlighting the intersections of caste, labour, and gender.
#Forced labour, #exploitation #manual scavenging
Indicators: Deception, withholding of wages, physical and sexual violence, abusive working and living conditions.
Slaves in Italy? (2019). (28 mins). This documentary shows the prevalence of modern slavery in the Italian agricultural sector. Yvan Sagnet from Cameroon once worked as a low-wage farmhand. Now he is fighting for the rights of seasonal farmworkers, taking criminal recruiters, or gangmasters, to court. Hundreds of thousands of seasonal farm workers from Africa and Eastern Europe work on Italy’s fields, making them vulnerable to modern slavery. Their hard work provides the country with tomatoes, oranges, and olive harvests. But sadly, the workers are exploited and often forced to live under inhumane conditions in ruins or shanty towns called ghettos. Sagnet has been an activist for the rights of the farmworkers and against the gangmasters. Despite death threats, he has set up an organization called NoCap, a label to certify produce farmed under ethically acceptable conditions. Further, he has taken his fight against exploitation and modern slavery to the courts. However, the Italian justice system has responded to this very slowly. It is a long way to win the fight.
#forced labour, #inhumane working conditions #human trafficking #exploita
Indicators: Abusive and violent working & living conditions, excessive overtime, #abuse of vulnerability #physical violence
Face to Face with Slaves (2017). (31 mins). This documentary/film is about two volunteer filmmakers’ journey to the front lines of slavery around the globe to meet survivors and activists face to face. Their poignant half-hour film uncovers the inhuman brutality of hidden slavery in Nepal, India, Ghana, and the Congo–and bears witness to the inspiring grassroots movement that is bringing thousands of people from slavery to freedom. The documentary is a great initiative of ‘Free the Slaves’ and inspires more action-oriented research, advocacy, and grassroots engagement to end modern slavery, globally.
#Human trafficking, #forced labour, #exploitation #slavery
Indicators: Deception, retention of documentation, debt bondage, withholding of wages, physical and sexual violence, abusive working and living conditions.
Fear, Hunger and Violence. (2020). (9 mins). This documentary by the Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF) shows the brutal and harsh reality of human rights violations in the fishing industry. The documentary unveils the horrendous truth in the Ghanaian fishing industry where Ghanaian crew reports shocking human rights abuses aboard Chinese-owned trawl vessels, from beatings to lack of drinkable water. Foreign ownership of trawlers is illegal in Ghana, but Chinese companies are using Ghanaian front companies to control the industry. Around 90% of the industrial trawlers in Ghana are ultimately owned and financed by Chinese companies in this way. All of the crew members EJF interviewed had witnessed physical abuse at the hands of the senior crew. This documentary highlights the urgent need for transparency measures and enforcement of strict laws in the fishing industry to ensure that vessels operate legally, sustainably, and ethically.
#forced labour #human rights abuse #labour exploitation #hazardous work
Indicators: Abusive working & living conditions, restriction of movement, abuse of vulnerability, deception, physical violence, intimidation & threats, excessive overtime, withholding of wages.

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