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Fact check: How many people are enslaved in the world today? | News | World

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Modern slavery is a crime against humanity. Although some types of enslavement, like sex trafficking, are widely known, others hide in plain sight.
Enslavement happens in many industries – including restaurants, domestic work, electronics, construction, textiles, steel and seafood.

But exactly how many people live in slavery today? Whether it’s measuring modern slavery in the US or across the globe, there are different, inconsistent, estimates.

As someone who researches modern slavery, I know that calculating its prevalence is like finding a needle in a haystack.
A valid figure is elusive – and yet essential for better policies to free enslaved persons and help them make the difficult transition to liberation.

Defining modern slavery

Definitions of modern slavery have shifted over time.

In 1926, the League of Nations defined slavery as the “status or condition of a person over whom any or all of the powers attaching to the right of ownership are exercised.” The UN broadened this definition in 1956 to include forced marriage and more protections for women’s rights.

Things changed again in 2000. The UN introduced the term “trafficking in persons” and omitted references of forced marriage from the widely adopted Palermo Protocol. But by 2013, the U.N. General Assembly recognised forced marriage as a form of enslavement.

Definitions matter because they influence how the public and policymakers interpret the issue. In a court of law, for instance, the term “human trafficking” might be more persuasive to jurors than a term like “slavery.”

For researchers, nuances also matter when it comes to estimating the number of people enslaved. Some organisations include forced marriage in their estimates of modern slavery; others do not.

Still others disagree about when harsh labour conditions merit the label “enslavement.” The International Labor Organisation has said, “Not all children who are exposed to hazardous work are ‘slaves,’ and not all workers who don’t receive a fair wage are forced.”

Among published estimates of forced marriage, the numbers are staggering. Based on its calculations, UNICEF estimates that approximately 650 million girls and women alive today were married before their 18th birthday.

Slavery in the US today

Researchers have struggled to estimate the number of people enslaved within the U.S.

For over a decade, the National Human Trafficking Resource Centre has operated a hotline for any tips related to trafficking within America’s borders. In 2017, they documented 8,524 human trafficking cases, mostly in California, Texas, Florida, New York, Michigan, Georgia, Pennsylvania and Nevada. Sex trafficking was the most common type of enslavement reported.

These hotline data are useful because they detail more of where and who is trafficked in America today. But the figures are not from a national survey. Anyone can call and report a tip. So, after a movie like “Taken,” there may be a spike in tips about sex trafficking from an anxious public.

In 2004, the US State Department reported that, at any given moment, there were 14 500 to 17,500 people trafficked in the U.S. But this research could not be replicated and verified.

Some organisations suggest there could be upwards of 100 000 youth at risk for trafficking in the U.S. at any moment, but the National Academies of Sciences has debunked this.

Backing away from national figures, other researchers have begun to focus on trafficking hotspots, like along the US-Mexico border. In one detailed study of 641 homeless youth and human trafficking in the U.S., more than 14 percent had been trafficked for sex. Another 8 percent had been trafficked for other types of forced labor.

Inconsistent data

For a long time, global and regional players that track this sort of data – often competing for the same funding or prestige – would seldom share their data.

This lack of cooperation explains how independent organisations may come up with different estimates.

For example, in 2005, the International Labour Organisation estimated that 12.3 million persons were enslaved. Then, in 2012, it adjusted this figure to 21 million persons. The International Labour Organisation has rarely published country-level results, instead focusing on regional figures.

In a desire to generate country-level estimates, the Walk Free Foundation launched The Global Slavery Index in 2013. The first index estimated 29.8 million persons enslaved. But this was later updated to 35.8 million, and then 45.8 million.

Each iteration of the Global Slavery Index and International Labor Organization figures reflected changes in their methods. Although these changes often reflected stronger methodologies, the changing estimates invited criticism.

Global estimates

Through new partnerships, more nonprofit organisations and countries are beginning to meet and share their data. Walk Free, the International Labour Organisation and dozens of other state and nonstate actors came together in 2016 to form Alliance 8.7. In 2017, the coalition jointly estimated there were some 40 million people enslaved worldwide.

However, scholars from the outside don’t have access to the coalition’s raw data. This makes a critical analysis of the methodology a challenge.

Alliance 8.7 also held a conference in October of this year that established clearer guidelines on how to measure instances of enslavement.

Prior to this, researchers did not always agree on when a moment of enslavement should be counted. For example, a researcher might interview respondents about their prior experiences of forced labour. During that interview, a respondent might say that he had been a victim of forced labour in 1997. Should that be counted at the time of the survey or not counted since it happened so long ago?

Scholars are also getting more involved and applying novel estimation techniques that are cost-effective. There are also new data resources – like the Gallup World Poll, which now includes questions about modern slavery in its surveys in some developing countries. These surveys are based on random sample surveys – some of the best data collection methods around.

A valid estimate of slavery and trafficking worldwide remains the holy grail of modern slavery studies. The public may never know the true number of persons enslaved today, because modern slavery is a hidden crime. But more precise estimates can begin to shed more light on who is enslaved and where. If the public doesn’t know who today’s enslaved are and where they are, their presence will remain invisible.

Monti Datta, Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Richmond


This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

The Conversation

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Riot police squads intervene as pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian protesters clash in Montreal

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People wave flags atop cars in traffic during a demonstration to voice support for the people of Palestine, at Toronto City Hall in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, on 15 May 2021.


People wave flags atop cars in traffic during a demonstration to voice support for the people of Palestine, at Toronto City Hall in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, on 15 May 2021.

  • Violence
    between pro-Israel and pro-Palestine protesters in Montreal was condemned by
    Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
  • Montreal’s
    city police force intervened and declared the protests illegal after tensions
    heightened and clashes broke out.
  • Israeli
    strikes killed 42 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip on Sunday, the worst daily
    toll in almost a week of clashes.

Montreal
– Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Sunday condemned the violence and
“despicable rhetoric” that marked several weekend protests throughout
the country, after clashes between pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian protesters in
Montreal.

The
worst violence in years, sparked by unrest in Jerusalem, is raging between the
Jewish state and Islamist militants.

Israeli
strikes killed 42 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip on Sunday, the worst daily
toll in almost a week of deadly clashes.

Speaking
after protests in Montreal, Trudeau condemned what he said was “despicable
rhetoric and violence we saw on display in some protests this weekend”.

While
insisting on the “right to assemble peacefully and express themselves
freely in Canada”, Trudeau stressed in a tweet that there was no tolerance
for “antisemitism, Islamophobia, or hate of any kind”.

Earlier
on Sunday, Montreal police used tear gas following clashes between pro-Israel
and pro-Palestinian protesters.

Several
hundred demonstrators, draped in Israeli flags, had gathered in a central
Montreal square to express solidarity with the Jewish state.

‘Protesting is a right’

Although
the protest started peacefully, tensions ratcheted up with the arrival of
pro-Palestinian demonstrators and clashes soon broke out.

The
SPVM, Montreal’s city police force, declared the protests illegal, and squads
of riot police intervened, using tear gas to separate and disperse the two
groups, according to an AFP journalist at the scene.

The
police spent much of the afternoon in pursuit of the pro-Palestinian
protesters, who spread out and regrouped in commercial streets in the city centre.

Following
the clashes, Montreal Mayor Valerie Plante said on Twitter that
“protesting is a right”, but that “intolerance, violence and
anti-Semitism have no place here”.

She said:

Montreal is a city of peace.

Several
thousand pro-Palestinian demonstrators had gathered on Saturday in central
Montreal to denounce what they said were Israeli repression and “war
crimes” in Gaza.

“Terrorist
Israel”, some protesters chanted, while others held up a banner that read,
“Stop the genocide of Palestinian children”.

Pro-Palestinian
protests happened the same day in multiple Canadian cities, including Toronto,
Ottawa and Vancouver.


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Peter Thiel Helps Fund an App That Tells You What to Do

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“How would you feel about being able to pay to control multiple aspects of another person’s life?” asks the BBC.

“A new app is offering you the chance to do just that.”

When writer Brandon Wong recently couldn’t decide what takeaway to order one evening, he asked his followers on social media app NewNew to choose for him. Those that wanted to get involved in the 24-year-old’s dinner dilemma paid $5 (£3.50) to vote in a poll, and the majority verdict was that he should go for Korean food, so that was what he bought…

NewNew is the brainchild of Los Angeles-based entrepreneur Courtne Smith. The app, which is still in its “beta” or pre-full release stage, describes itself as “a human stock market where you buy shares in the lives of real people, in order to control their decisions and watch the outcome”. For many of us that sounds a bit ominous, but the reality is actually far less alarming. It is aimed at what it calls “creators” — writers, painters, musicians, fashion designers, bloggers etc. It is designed as a way for them to connect far more closely with their fans or followers than on other social media services and, importantly, monetise that connection…

Whenever a vote is cast the creator gets the money minus NewNew’s undisclosed commission… In addition to voting, followers can also pay extra — from $20 — to ask a NewNew creator to do something of their choosing, such as naming a character in a book after them. But the creator can reject all of these “bids”, and if they do so then the follower doesn’t have to part with the money…

Co-founder and chief executive Ms Smith, a 33-year-old Canadian, has big plans for NewNew, and has some heavyweight backers. Investors include Peter Thiel, the billionaire co-founder of PayPal, and the first outside person to put money into Facebook. Others with a stake in the business include leading US tech investment fund Andreessen Horowitz, and Hollywood actor Will Smith (no relation to Courtne). Snapchat has also given technical support.

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Sandpapergate will haunt Australia cricket forever: ex-bowling coach

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Cameron Bancroft. (Photo by Brenton Geach - Gallo Images/Getty Images)


Cameron Bancroft. (Photo by Brenton Geach – Gallo Images/Getty Images)

The 2018 ball-tampering scandal will haunt Australian cricket forever, much like the infamous underarm delivery of 40 years ago, the team’s former bowling coach David Saker said on Monday.

Saker was responding to opening batsman Cameron Bancroft suggesting that Australia’s bowlers knew about the plan in Cape Town to alter the ball which earned him a nine-month ban and rocked the game.

Saker was Australia’s bowling coach when Bancroft was caught trying to rough up the ball with sandpaper during the third Test against South Africa.

While refusing to be drawn on who knew what, Saker said “the finger-pointing is going to go on and on and on”.

“It’s like the underarm, it’s never going to go away,” he told Fairfax Media, referring to a 1981 incident when Trevor Chappell bowled underarm to ensure New Zealand lost a one-day match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

The notorious delivery is still cited in New Zealand and in cricketing circles as a prime example of unsporting conduct.

However, the ball-tampering scandal – dubbed “sandpapergate” – had a greater impact on Australian cricket, with the then-captain Steve Smith and his deputy David Warner suspended for a year from all cricket and stripped of their leadership roles.

Darren Lehmann also quit as coach and all the top brass from Cricket Australia left after a scathing review blasted their “arrogant and controlling” win-at-all-costs culture.

No one else among the team or coaching staff was held to account but Bancroft’s remarks in an interview with The Guardian newspaper hinted that the team’s bowlers at least knew about the plan.

“Obviously what I did benefits bowlers and the awareness around that, probably, is self-explanatory,” he said.

Saker added: “There was a lot of people to blame. It could have been me to blame, it could have been someone else. It could have been stopped and it wasn’t, which is unfortunate.

“Cameron’s a very nice guy. He’s just doing it to get something off his chest … He’s not going to be the last.”

In response, Cricket Australia said that if anyone had new information, they would look into it.

Saker said he was not opposed to a fresh investigation but added “I just don’t know what they’re going to find out.”

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Mexico’s Andrea Meza crowned Miss Universe

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Miss Universe Andrea Meza


Miss Universe Andrea Meza

UPDATE:

MISS UNIVERSE 2020/2021 IS ANDREA MEZA FROM MEXICO:


UPDATE:

THE MISS UNIVERSE 2020/2021 TOP 5:

1. Mexico

2. India

3. Brazil

4. Dominican Republic

5. Peru


UPDATE:

HERE ARE THE MISS UNIVERSE 2020/2021 TOP 10 CONTESTANTS:

1. Jamaica 

2. Dominican Republic 

3. India

4. Peru 

5. Australia 

6. Puerto Rico

7. Thailand

8. Costa Rica

9. Mexico

10. Brazil


UPDATE:

MISS UNIVERSE TOP 21 IN SWIMWEAR:


UPDATE:

MISS UNIVERSE TOP 21: 

1. Columbia

2. Peru 

3. Australia 

4. France

5. Myanmar

6. Jamaica 

7. Mexico 

8. Dominican Republic 

9. USA

10. Indonesia 

11. Argentina 

12. India

13. Curaçao

14. Puerto Rico

15. Phillipines 

16. Brazil

17. Great Britain

18. Nicaragua

19. Thailand 

20. Costa Rica

21. Vietnam


 UPDATE:

MISS UNIVERSE SOUTH AFRICA NATASHA JOUBERT WALKS THE STAGE AT MISS UNIVERSE 2020/2021:


74 contestants will compete for the title of Miss Universe on 16 May in Hollywood, Florida. 

The Miss Universe pageant takes place on 16 May in the US (02:00 to 05:00 on 17 May SA time). The show will be broadcast live on 1 Magic (DStv Channel 103) with a repeat at 21:30. 

Reigning Miss Universe Zozibini Tunzi of South Africa will crown her successor at the end of the event.

Representing South Africa is Natasha Joubert, and South Africans are hoping for the “magic double” – back-to-back consecutive wins, which has only happened once before in the pageant’s history.

Natasha wowed crowds at the national costume competition last week and on Friday impressed during the preliminary round

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Miss Mexico crowned Miss Universe 2021

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By AFP Time of article published 16m ago

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Washington – Miss Mexico was crowned Miss Universe on Sunday in Florida, after fellow contestant Miss Myanmar used her stage time to draw attention to the bloody military coup in her country.

Sunday night marked the Miss Universe competition’s return to television, after the pageant was cancelled in 2020 for the first time due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Andrea Meza, 26, finished first ahead of the Brazilian and Peruvian finalists in a flashy televised event, hosted by American actor Mario Lopez and television personality Olivia Culpo.

Former Miss Universe contestants Cheslie Kryst, Paulina Vega and Demi-Leigh Tebow (who won the title in 2017) served as competition analysts and commentators, and a panel of eight women determined the winner.

Dressed in a sparkling red evening gown, Meza tearfully walked the catwalk as Miss Universe for the first time, before rushing back for a group hug with the other competitors.

Meza beat more than 70 contestants from around the globe in the 69th installment of Miss Universe, which was held at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida.

In the days leading up to the final competition, Miss Myanmar Thuzar Wint Lwin, who made the top 21, made waves when she used her time in the spotlight to bring attention to the coup in her country.

“Our people are dying and being shot by the military every day,” she said during her biographical video, which showed photos of her taking part in the anti-coup protests. “Therefore I would like to urge everyone to speak out about Myanmar.”

Natasha Joubert, Miss Universe South Africa 2020 competes on stage in Ema Savahl swimwear during the MISS UNIVERSE® Preliminary Competition.

She also won the award for best national costume: during that competition segment on Thursday, she wore an outfit beaded in traditional Burmese patterns and held up a sign that said, “Pray for Myanmar.”

Myanmar has been in uproar since February 1, when the army ousted civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

At least 796 people have been killed by security forces since then, according to a local monitoring group, while nearly 4 000 people are behind bars.

Miss Singapore Bernadette Belle Ong – who did not make the top 21 – also used the national costume portion to make a political statement.

Dressed in a glittering red bodysuit and matching thigh-high boots, she turned around to reveal her cape – in the colours of the Singaporean flag – was painted with the words “Stop Asian Hate.”

“What is this platform for if I can’t use it to send a strong message of resistance against prejudice and violence?” she wrote on Instagram alongside pictures of her outfit.

The United States in particular has seen a surge in anti-Asian violence in the past year, which activists have blamed on former president Donald Trump’s rhetoric, especially his repeated description of Covid-19 as the “China virus.”

The pageant has also drawn criticism in the past for objectifying the contestants.

In recent years, the competition has shifted image, focusing more on female empowerment and activism.

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