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What is modern slavery?

Domestic servitude

Domestic servitude is a form of slavery that traps people in forced labour within private homes, where they may be ill-treated and made to work for little or no pay.

People who find themselves in domestic servitude – forced to work in private homes cooking, cleaning, washing laundry, taking care of children – are particularly vulnerable to exploitation as they are kept behind closed doors.

Pay is often very low, or non-existent, with wage payments frequently delayed or withheld, and they’re often expected to work incredibly long hours. Many are refused permission to leave the house, subjected to violence, threats and withholding of paperwork, or not allowed contact with loved ones.

In many countries, domestic labour is not recognised as work, with many domestic workers regarded as ‘help’ – especially children from rural areas who are sent to urban households (see child domestic work).

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