Monday, November 3, 2008

A World Enslaved

A World Enslaved is a totally depressing article by E. Benjamin Skinner, that ran on Foreign Policy magazine. According to the article, there are now more slaves than have ever been in human history.

"Here, 600 miles from the United States, and five hours from Manhattan, you have successfully arranged to buy a human being for 50 bucks.

In the popular consciousness, 'slavery' has come to be little more than just a metaphor for undue hardship. Investment bankers routinely refer to themselves as 'high-paid wage slaves.' Human rights activists may call $1-an-hour sweatshop laborers slaves, regardless of the fact that they are paid and can often walk away from the job. But the reality of slavery is far different. Slavery exists today on an unprecedented scale. In Africa, tens of thousands are chattel slaves, seized in war or tucked away for generations. Across Europe, Asia, and the Americas, traffickers have forced as many as 2 million into prostitution or labor. In South Asia, which has the highest concentration of slaves on the planet, nearly 10 million languish in bondage, unable to leave their captors until they pay off 'debts,' legal fictions that in many cases are generations old.


But more must be done to educate local police, even in the richest of nations. Too often, these street-level law enforcement personnel do not understand that it’s just as likely for a prostitute to be a trafficking victim as it is for a nanny working without proper papers to be a slave. And, after they have been discovered by law enforcement, few rich nations provide slaves with the kind of rehabilitation, retraining, and protection needed to prevent their re-trafficking. The asylum now granted to former slaves in the United States and the Netherlands is a start. But more must be done."
(From Mefi)

1 comment:

Liz said...

It includes a lot of other personal stuff... but I blogged a smidge about this post... just wanted to share that with you. That you have made an impact with today's selection.