‘Liberty Asia’, the Hong Kong based anti-slavery organisation has joined HRAS to enable expansion into S E Asia


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Slavery occurs when a person is tricked, sold or forced into a highly exploitative, work-related situation, with little or no payment, or few options to escape because of fraudulent debt or threats of violence.


Trafficking or slavery? Whats the difference?

Many forms of modern slavery involve human trafficking. ‘Human trafficking’ is commonly used to describe activities in which one person obtains or holds another in forced labour conditions – in other words, slavery. People are transported, sometimes forcibly but usually voluntarily, within their own country or across borders or continents, into situations where they are eventually enslaved. The victims end up performing degrading work under harsh conditions with little opportunity to leave. The outcome of human trafficking is generally a form of slavery. Not all exploitation is considered slavery. While a worker may be in a situation where they are being cheated out of overtime pay, paid less than is owed to them, or made to work excessive hours, if this person is free to leave this situation, this would not constitute a slavery case.

There are currently around 11.7 million slaves in Asia.

A significant proportion of the victims are in the Mekong Region, which includes Cambodia, China, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam. Although human slavery has existed for centuries, the uneven effects of globalization have contributed to an environment in which human slavery has flourished into a highly profitable and generally low-risk criminal business.


Human slavery in the Mekong Region

Within the Mekong Region, slavery can be found in many different forms, including forced prostitution, domestic servitude, forced labour into sweatshops or onto fishing boats, construction sites, plantations, or farms, forced begging or flower selling on the streets of larger cities; virginity selling; and forced marriage leading to domestic servitude and/or sexual exploitation.

Slavery also occurs from the Mekong countries to destinations further abroad. For example, victims from the region are increasingly being found in the sex trade in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, South Africa, the Middle East, the United States and western European countries.

Throughout the world, traffickers lure victims with deceptive promises of good jobs and better lives, then force them to work under brutal and inhuman conditions and deprive them of their freedom. Once in place, victims suffer extreme physical and mental abuse, including rape, sexual exploitation, torture, beatings, death threats and threats to family members.


Liberty Asia provides education, legal, think-tank, technical and information support, a victim crisis centre and 24/7 helpline access for Human Trafficking in Hong Kong that will be soon expanded into Thailand.

HRAS is pleased to be able to support Liberty Asia on a reciprocal basis.

For more information see HERE

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