Historical slavery, as members of modern society understand it, was abolished in Peru in 1856 by President Ramon Castilla. However, slavery continues to affect tens of thousands of people in Peru.
The Walk Free Foundation (WFF) has released estimates that indicate that as many as 82,000 people may currently be living in slavery in Peru. According the WFF’s World Slavery Index, Perú is the country with the second-highest amount of slaves in all of Latin America. Haiti is home to the highest number of slaves in the region.
“A lot of people are surprised to hear that slavery still exists,” Walk Free Foundation director, Nick Grono told Agence France-Presse. “Modern slavery reflects all of the characteristics of historical slavery. People are controlled through violence. They are tricked, or they’re forced to carry out labor or put in a situation where they are exploited economically.”
The study published by the WFF took into account a number of factors and kinds of slavery, including forced marriage and child labor. Victims of the practice of modern slavery are also often used for hard labor or forced sex work.
According to the US State Department, Peru is a regional hot spot for slavery and human trafficking. Peru is simultaneously a destination, a source, and a transit point for victims of human trafficking.