In the opening episode of Slavery: A 21st Century Evil, Al Jazeera’s Rageh Omaar investigates food chain slavery, considered the easiest form of slavery to stamp out, in the US.
The US has been leading the global fight against modern slavery. But, according to conservative estimates, there are between 40,000 and 50,000 slaves in the US today.
So in this episode, Rageh questions why a nation built on the abolition of slavery – a country that had to go through a painful civil war to formally bring an end to slavery – is failing to address the problem inside its own borders.
The investigation begins in the poor villages of Thailand, where agents for the US slave masters trick desperate peasants with promises of well-paid jobs abroad.
But far from fulfilling their American dream, many end up in slave labour farms in Hawaii, California and Florida – unable to return home and working to pay off the debts they incurred in the pursuit of a better life for themselves and their families.