Debt bondage

bonded labourbonded labordebt slaverydebt peonagebondagebonded labourersdebt servitudedebt slavesbondedbonded servant
Debt bondage, also known as debt slavery or bonded labour, is the pledge of a person's services as security for the repayment for a debt or other obligation, where the terms of the repayment are not clearly or reasonably stated, and the person who is holding the debt and thus has some control over the laborer.wikipedia
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History of slavery

slave tradeslave traderslave trading
The system of pawnship occurred simultaneously with the slave trade in Africa.
Although Mauritania criminalized slavery in August 2007, an estimated up to 600,000 men, women and children, or 20% of the population of Mauritania, are currently enslaved, many of them used as bonded labor.

Human trafficking

traffickingtrafficking in personstrafficked
Although debt bondage, forced labour, and human trafficking are all defined as forms or variations of slavery, each term is distinct.
Sometimes the arrangement is structured as debt bondage, with the victim not being permitted or able to pay off the debt.

Slavery in antiquity

slavesslaveslavery
In the Greco-Roman world, debt bondage was a distinct legal category into which a free person might fall, in theory temporarily, distinguished from the pervasive practice of slavery, which included enslavement as a result of defaulting on debt.
Slavery in the ancient world, from the earliest known recorded evidence in Sumer to the pre-medieval Antiquity Mediterranean cultures, comprised a mixture of debt-slavery, slavery as a punishment for crime, and the enslavement of prisoners of war.

Peon

peonagepeonspeón
*In Peru, a peonage system existed from the 16th century until land reform in the 1950s.
The word often implied debt bondage or indentured servitude.

Indentured servitude

indentured servantindentured servantsindentured labour
The most onerous debt bondage was various forms of paramonē, "indentured labor."
Indenturees usually enter into an indenture for a specific payment or other benefit (such as transportation to a new place), or to meet a legal obligation, such as debt bondage.

Slavery

slaveslavesenslaved
Although debt bondage, forced labour, and human trafficking are all defined as forms or variations of slavery, each term is distinct. Though the Forced Labour Convention of 1930 by the International Labour Organization, which included 187 parties, sought to bring organised attention to eradicating slavery through forms of forced labor, formal opposition to debt bondage in particular came at the Supplementary Convention on the Abolition of Slavery in 1956.
In other areas, slavery (or unfree labour) continues through practices such as debt bondage, the most widespread form of slavery today, serfdom, domestic servants kept in captivity, certain adoptions in which children are forced to work as slaves, child soldiers, and forced marriage.

History of Athens

Athensancient AthensAthenian
The only city-state known to have abolished it is Athens, as early as the Archaic period under the debt reform legislation of Solon.
The economic power of the Eupatridae was reduced by forbidding the enslavement of Athenian citizens as a punishment for debt (debt bondage), by breaking up large landed estates and freeing up trade and commerce, which allowed the emergence of a prosperous urban trading class.

International Labour Organization

ILOInternational Labour OfficeInternational Labor Organization
Though the Forced Labour Convention of 1930 by the International Labour Organization, which included 187 parties, sought to bring organised attention to eradicating slavery through forms of forced labor, formal opposition to debt bondage in particular came at the Supplementary Convention on the Abolition of Slavery in 1956. Currently, debt bondage is the most common method of enslavement with an estimated 8.1 million people bonded to labour illegally as cited by the International Labour Organization in 2005. Though the figures differ from those of the International Labour Organization, researcher Siddharth Kara has calculated the number of slaves in the world by type, and determined that at the end of 2011 there were 18 to 20.5 million bonded laborers.
Several thematic and country-specific studies and surveys have since been undertaken, on such diverse aspects of forced labour as bonded labour, human trafficking, forced domestic work, rural servitude, and forced prisoner labour.

Serfdom

serfserfsvillagers
While serfdom under feudalism was the predominant political and economic system in Europe in the High Middle Ages, persisting in the Austrian Empire till 1848 and the Russian Empire until 1861 (details), debt bondage (and slavery) provided other forms of unfree labour.
It was a condition of debt bondage and indentured servitude, which developed during the Late Antiquity and Early Middle Ages in Europe and lasted in some countries until the mid-19th century.

Lex Poetelia Papiria

Nexum was abolished by the Lex Poetelia Papiria in 326 BC, in part to prevent abuses to the physical integrity of citizens who had fallen into debt bondage.
The lex Poetelia Papiria was a law passed in Ancient Rome that abolished the contractual form of Nexum, or debt bondage.

Slavery in ancient Rome

slavesslaveslavery
Historical or not, the cautionary tale highlighted the incongruities of subjecting one free citizen to another's use, and the legal response was aimed at establishing the citizen's right to liberty (libertas), as distinguished from the slave or social outcast.
Nexum was a debt bondage contract in the early Roman Republic.

Unfree labour

forced laborforced labourunfree labor
Although debt bondage, forced labour, and human trafficking are all defined as forms or variations of slavery, each term is distinct.
Unfree labour includes all forms of slavery, and related institutions (e.g. debt slavery, serfdom, corvée and labour camps).

Bankruptcy

bankruptbankruptcy protectionbankruptcies
It persists nonetheless especially in developing countries, which have few mechanisms for credit security or bankruptcy, and where fewer people hold formal title to land or possessions.
If a man owed and he could not pay, he and his wife, children or servants were forced into "debt slavery", until the creditor recouped losses through their physical labour.

Kamaiya and kamlari

Kamaiyabonded labourersKamalari
Less than two decades later, Pakistan also passed a similar act in 1992 and Nepal passed the Kamaiya Labour (Prohibition) Act in 2002.
Kamaiya and Kamlari (also called Kamalari) were two traditional systems of bonded labour practised in the western Terai of Nepal.

Solon

Solon of AthensSolonianSólon
The only city-state known to have abolished it is Athens, as early as the Archaic period under the debt reform legislation of Solon.

Debtors' prison

debtor's prisondebtors prisonimprisonment for debt
Some debt prisoners were released to become serfs or indentured servants (debt bondage) until they paid off their debt in labor.

Debt bondage in India

debt bondageBandhua Mazdoori (बंधुआ मज़दूरी)bonded labour in India
Bonded labour involves the exploitive interlinking of credit and labour agreements that devolve into slave-like exploitation due to severe power imbalances between the lender and the borrower.

Syeda Ghulam Fatima

Syeda Ghulam Fatima is a Pakistani human and labour rights activist, known for her work in ending bonded labour in brick kilns, and is General Secretary of Lahore-based Bonded Labour Liberation Front Pakistan (BLLF).

India

IndianRepublic of IndiaIND
Although India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh all have laws prohibiting debt bondage, it is estimated by Kara that 84 to 88% of the bonded laborers in the world are in South Asia.
According to a 2016 Walk Free Foundation report there were an estimated 18.3 million people in India, or 1.4% of the population, living in the forms of modern slavery, such as bonded labour, child labour, human trafficking, and forced begging, among others.

Siddharth Kara

Though the figures differ from those of the International Labour Organization, researcher Siddharth Kara has calculated the number of slaves in the world by type, and determined that at the end of 2011 there were 18 to 20.5 million bonded laborers.
In the book, Kara delves into bonded labor to provide one of the first thorough economic, historical and legal overviews of this ancient and ever-evolving mode of slavery, which ensnares roughly six out of every ten slaves in the world.

Bandhua Mukti Morcha

Bonded Labour Liberation FrontBLLFBMM
Bandhua Mukti Morcha (BMM) or Bonded Labour Liberation Front (BLLF) is a non-governmental organisation in India working to end bonded labour.

Supplementary Convention on the Abolition of Slavery

United Nations 1956 Supplementary Convention on the Abolition of SlaverySupplementary Convention on the Abolition of Slavery, the Slave Trade, and Institutions and Practices Similar to Slavery1956 Supplementary Convention
Though the Forced Labour Convention of 1930 by the International Labour Organization, which included 187 parties, sought to bring organised attention to eradicating slavery through forms of forced labor, formal opposition to debt bondage in particular came at the Supplementary Convention on the Abolition of Slavery in 1956. Debt bondage has been described by the United Nations as a form of "modern day slavery" and the Supplementary Convention on the Abolition of Slavery seeks to abolish the practice.
The Supplementary Convention on the Abolition of Slavery, the full title of which is the Supplementary Convention on the Abolition of Slavery, the Slave Trade, and Institutions and Practices Similar to Slavery, is a 1956 United Nations treaty which builds upon the 1926 Slavery Convention, which is still operative and which proposed to secure the abolition of slavery and of the slave trade, and the Forced Labour Convention of 1930, which banned forced or compulsory labour, by banning debt bondage, serfdom, child marriage, servile marriage, and child servitude.

The State of Bonded Labor in Pakistan

The State of Bonded Labor in Pakistan, by Shujaat Ali Rahi, is a treatise that reflects the status of bonded labor in Pakistan, a country with an estimated population of 1.7 million in bonded labor.

Slavery in the 21st century

modern slaverycontemporary slaverymodern day slavery
Debt bondage has been described by the United Nations as a form of "modern day slavery" and the Supplementary Convention on the Abolition of Slavery seeks to abolish the practice.
Bonded labor, also known as Debt bondage and peonage, occurs when people give themselves into slavery as a security against a loan or when they inherit a debt from a relative.