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In that sense, the United States could stand to do a lot.

You don't have to go far to see slavery in America. C., you can sometimes spot them on certain streets, late at night.

Not all sex workers or "prostitutes" are slaves, of course; plenty have chosen the work voluntarily and can leave it freely.

But, as the 2007 documentary "Very Young Girls" demonstrated, many are coerced into participating at a young age and gradually shifted into a life that very much resembles slavery.

The rate of slavery is also alarmingly high in Haiti, in Pakistan and in India, the world's second-most populous country.

In all three, more than 1 percent of the population is estimated to live in slavery.

(The aid group SOS Slavery, using a broader definition of slavery, estimated several years ago that as many as 20 percent of Mauritanians might be enslaved.) The map at the top of this page shows almost every country in the world colored according to the share of its population that is enslaved.A war, natural disaster or state collapse is less likely to force helpless children or adults into bondage.Another crucial factor in preventing slavery is discrimination.A less visible but still prevalent form of slavery in America involves illegal migrant laborers who are lured with the promise of work and then manipulated into forced servitude, living without wages or freedom of movement, under constant threat of being turned over to the police should they let up in their work.Walk Free cites "a highly developed criminal economy that preys on economic migrants, trafficking and enslaving them." That economy stretches from the migrants' home countries right to the United States.We think of slavery as a practice of the past, an image from Roman colonies or 18th-century American plantations, but the practice of enslaving human beings as property still exists.

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