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RUSSIAN SLAVES

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In Russia, a slave costs around USD 300-400. What sounds like a shocking detail from a history class about life centuries ago is bitter reality for some people even today. We tell their story.
Slavery is not part of the contemporary western humanist paradigm, but although it is universally denounced, it continues to exist throughout the world even today. In Russia, a slave costs around USD 300-400. What sounds like a shocking detail from a history class about life centuries ago is still bitter reality for some people. Their life has a price and the price for a human being is even less than the latest smartphone. We tell the story of labour slaves in Russia today and compare the victims of the trade: Russians who become labour slaves in the Caucasus, and migrants who come to Russia in search of work but end up trapped by labour slavery – the result of poor legislation, non-compliance with laws, and corruption and crime to which the authorities turn a blind eye. The voluntary organisation “Alternativa” searches for missing persons, helps them leave the people that forced them into slavery and organises reintegration into their families. We show the life of slaves in Dagestan but we also look at the biographies of labour migrants in Moscow. And we ask the important question: Is the government aware of this medieval business? Can victims expect support from the state?

Current Affairs
Length 52’ HD
Film by Yousif Al-Chalabi
Co-production Elemag Pictures and Ethnofund Russia with WDR and The Guardian, 2017