In our own backyards…

We are told that there are more slaves today then anytime in history. We are told that there are more then 27 million of these slaves worldwide, and we are told that these slaves can be in our own backyard.

This is often hard for us to imagine or understand. It is easier for a Cape Townian to think that slavery is happening in Cambodia or Thailand, but not in Cape Town. It is easier for a Canadian or American to think that slavery is happening in South Africa, or some other African country, but not in our own cities. And still it is much easier to think that slavery is limited to drug addicted ‘prostitutes’ who are controlled by their pimps and probably made some bad choices that landed them there. But the issue of human trafficking is always ready to shake our stereotypes, and rear its ugly head in a new and equally exploitative way. Take CNN’s recent story on American Slaves: Hidding in Plain Site

This shows how more then 20 young girls were trafficked from their homes in West Africa to work for no pay in … hair salons.

It is not so easy to think that slavery could happen in a place as inconspicuous as a hair salon. A place right North America, where young North American kids would go to get their hair braided. It is not so easy to see the face of young West African girls who were lured away from their homes, tricked by promises of a better life, and then forced to work as slaves, and in this case earn more then $4 million for their traffickers.

It may not be easy to think about, or even recognize, but it is true, it is happening, and according to CNN’s recent report, these modern slaves are literally hidden in plain site.

Watch the story here: and see how young girls were trafficked to work in hair salons. This is why it is vital for us to be doing the work of mapping slavery through the Not For Sale Slavery Map ( and all the other work we are doing throughout Africa and around the world! We need to bring light to this issue who’s victims are being hidden by lies, stereotypes, and a lack of education.

Watch the CNN report, and then visit to see how you can join the movement to end modern slavery!

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