UC Irvine Journal of International, Transnational, and Comparative Law


Not a day goes by without a sensationalist report on the travails of modern

slaves, be it the saga of Indian teenagers trafficked into sex work as depicted in the

Hollywood movie Love Sonia, or workers trafficked into the UK’s nail bar and car

wash shops, or the 2018 Global Slavery Index released by the Walk Free

Foundation founded by mining magnate Andrew Forrest which estimates that there

are 40.3 million modern slaves around the world. Anti-slavery groups remind us

that modern slavery afflicts almost everything that we consume on a day-to-day

basis. This includes basic commodities like tea, sugar, coffee, prawns, chicken,

eggs, onions, mushrooms, “slave chocolate” from Cote D’Ivoire and cotton from

Uzbekistan. Exploitation is also rife in wartime captivity in Nigeria, bonded labour

in Pakistan, fishing boats in Thailand, households employing overseas migrant

domestic workers, Qatari construction sites with Nepali workers, the brick kiln

industry in India, Brazilian garment factories employing Bolivian workers, in

Unilever’s supply chain in Vietnam, and in Kenyan flower and green bean