Just The Facts

10 Facts on Modern Slavery in Mexico and Haiti

One large country and one small country both struggle with modern slavery.

Credit: Alex Oxborough - www.flickr.com

Takeaways


  • In the Americas, Mexico has a larger population of victims of modern slavery than any other nation in that region.
  • As much as 70% of the incidence of modern slavery in Mexico is related to criminal cartels.
  • Haiti’s extreme poverty leads many families to send their children to work as domestic servants in other households.

1. In the Americas, Mexico has a larger population of victims of modern slavery than any other nation in that region.

2. This figure is according to the Walk Free Foundation’s 2014 Global Slavery Index, which defines modern slavery as any practice that traps people in modern servitude, including human trafficking and forced labor.

3. Mexico’s victims mostly come from other, poorer nations in Central and South America.

4. As much as 70% of the incidence of modern slavery in Mexico is related to criminal cartels that often operate with the complicity of local law enforcement.

5. These groups frequently kidnap women and girls and force them to work as prostitutes or as domestic servants.

6. At 267,000, the number of Mexican slaves represents just about 0.2% of the country’s 122 million people.

7. However, Haiti – which famously gained its independence through a massive slave revolt beginning in 1791 – has a modern slave population that, at 238,000, is almost as large in number as Mexico’s.

8. This near-equivalence to Mexico’s enslaved population is despite Haiti having only 10 million people and being the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere

9. In fact, the prevalence of modern slavery in Haiti — affecting 2.3% of the population — is about ten times higher than in Mexico.

10. Haiti’s extreme poverty leads many families to send their children to work as domestic servants in other households, where they are subject to physical abuse and sexual exploitation.

Sources: Walk Free Foundation with additional analysis by The Globalist Research Center.

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