*There are at least 27,000,000 slaves in the world today, more than at any time in human history. They are concentrated in south Asia and on the east and west coasts of Africa.
*There are about 10,000 people living in bondage in the United States at any given time. Most commonly, they are domestic, agricultural, or sex workers.
*About one billion people in the world live on less than $1 a day, making them vulnerable to the blandishments that lead them into slavery.
*The average price of a slave in 1860, about $800, would be about $40,000 in our inflated currency. A slave can now be bought in Cote d'Ivoire for $30. The high cost of investment in human property tended to guarantee some minimal standards in the 19th century. That incentive is no longer there.
"Nightline" put a human face on slavery in the United States today with the story of Given Kachepa. He was an orphan in Zambia, when an American missionary brought him to the United States as part of an African boys choir. Promised an American education and that money raised by concerts would build schools in Zambia, Kachepa found both promises went unfulfilled. The boys choir sang as often as five times a day, as often as seven days a week in American churches. The young men in the choir were fed, clothed, and housed, but they received no income. There were no chains or whips; fear and the unknown held them in bondage. Their release was almost accidental because law enforcement authorities in the United States have little training in how to recognize the conditions of bondage.