Slavery means that one person, in effect, owns another. What does it mean, to be a slave owner or to be owned? Loss of freedom involves a change of state that goes beyond every day violence, abuse and exploitation. Being owned is what makes slavery a crime against humanity. Perhaps 27 million people are enslaved in the world today: Men, women, children, whole families can be enslaved.

Some slaves are moved around the world. Others are enslaved close to where they were born, trapped by systems of slavery that have allowed child trading, debt bondage and forced marriage to persist for generations. In a global market, Australia is affected by modern slavery. Sometimes Australians become involved in modern slavery.

Slavery is defined in international law (the 1956 Supplementary Convention). Slavery is also defined in Australian law (Section 270 of the Criminal Code [Cth]). In each place, slavery is defined in terms of ownership. Slavery does harm in today’s communities; and Slavery Links seeks ways to address that.