Today we commemorate the International Day for the Abolition of slavery.

Even though we pride of the struggle and eventual abolition of slavery as formerly defined as, the 21st century has redefined its meaning.

Slavery in business is as rampant today as it was before. Before the 19th century, slavery was about owning people, today's slavery is being controlled or exploited by someone else. Studies indicate that "9.1 million people are in slavery in Africa." (ILO, 2019).

As business leaders, we ought to take decisions that not only spur economic growth but contribute equally to the well-being of our employees. The government can only do as much. Beside more often than not, we forget that we, the people, are the government. We are called to be the change we want to see and establish structure, systems and culture that respect human rights.

international day abolition slavery

As a leader, is your business contributing to slavery?

- Do your staff operate in a safe environment that promotes peace, harmony and mental health? Or do you exploit staff through physical abuse and mental threat?

- Does your business practices exploit the right of employees (in terms of salary, benefits and human rights) for the benefit of shareholders?

- Do you offer loans knowing that staff cannot repay and then coerce them using brutal means?

- Do you remunerate fairly or do you engage in corruption for personal gains?

- Do you establish and reinforce regulations and transparency throughout your organization to encourage fair competition?

As a leader, do you contribute to today's modern slavery?