Still on the fight to end slavery..


The boys’ choir from Zambia sang in churches, schools and shopping malls across the United States. In exchange for their hard work, the boys were promised an education, wages that could be sent home to family and a school that would be built in Africa.
People who heard the 12-member a cappella choir were touched. They reached into their wallets and purses and offered up donations. The boys, ranging in age from 12 to 17, sang a mixture of gospels in English and their native tongue. They brought in more than $1 million, yet saw little of it. They received room and board and the occasional token payment, but no wages, no education, no school back home.
The boys are among the faces of modern-day slavery – in their case, trafficked into the United States under the guise of a faith-based organization that preyed on them.
“They were brought here for a specific purpose and that was to get as much out of them – with no regard for them or their futures,” says Sal Orrantia, a U.S. immigration agent who worked the case.
The number of people ensnared in modern-day slavery ranges from 12 million, according to the United Nations, to 27 million, according to leading anti-slavery activists like Kevin Bales. Another prominent activist, Siddharth Kara of Harvard, estimates the number could be as high as 30 million. The broad range is the result of challenges associated with tracking a practice hidden in shadows and finding a consensus on how best to define and measure it.
Experts agree the vast majority of slaves today live in Asia and the Pacific, where they are held against their will as a result of debt bondage in agriculture and domestic work. Millions of others across the globe are used for sexual exploitation.

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