Definition 1: Kevin Bales, author of Disposable People, a book exploring contemporary slavery and its role in today’s global society, gives a relatively general definition of contemporary slavery, noting that slavery takes many forms so as to remain hidden from public view.
A person held by violence or the threat of violence for economic exploitation.
Definition 2: David Bell helps us to see that slavery has three ways of exerting itself:
- The first is social and involves the use or threat of violence in the control of one person by another.
- The second is the psychological facet of influence, the capacity to persuade another person to change the way he perceives his interests and his circumstances.
- And the third is the cultural facet of authority--the means of transforming force into right and obedience into duty--which, according to Jean Jacques Rousseau, the powerful find necessary to "ensure them continual mastership."
Definion 3: Article 4 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights argues, as passed by the United Nations in 1948,
No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.