Our Vision for a World Without Slavery

Enjoy an artical written by a friend. Its very good!

Human Traffic

 

“Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves,” President Abraham Lincoln ‘The Great Emancipator’ proclaimed;

Surely the fact that there are more slaves now than ever before in the history of humanity would shock him.

Tragic and ironically we should be celebrating the 150 year of the emancipation but we cannot as slavery still exists.

Because human rights activists are drawing attention to this ‘atrocity’ there is no doubt trafficking exists.

That potential victims do not recognize traffickers or do not understand what they are involved in until it is too late, that worlds’ police force cannot identify it as is happening right before their eyes, and all world citizens including countries’ leaders deny the problem exists in their homeland and shifts the responsibility elsewhere.

While there are laws against human trafficking in about 80% of nations, it is estimated that 27 million people will be victims of slavery this year and that is about 3 out of every thousand people globally.

Slavery dates back to 3000 BC and enters society when civilizations begin to form.  Every ancient civilization had slaves and it is currently a global problem. In a September 2012 statement President Obama states, “Now, I do not use that word, ‘slavery’ lightly. It evokes obviously one of the most painful chapters in our nation’s history. But around the world, there’s no denying the awful reality.” He goes on to describe different types of slavery as:

  • A desperate man needs work and is forced to work for little pay and is beaten when he tries to escape.
  • A woman is locked in a sweatshop or as a domestic servant that is alone, abused and incapable of leaving.
  • When a little boy is kidnapped and turned into a child soldier or be killed.
  • When a little girl is sold by her impoverished family, runs away from home by promises of a better life is then imprisoned in a brothel and tortured if she resists.

“It is barbaric, and it is evil and has no place in a civilized world” (Kiener, 2012)  A more concise definition of slavery is complete ownership and control by a master who controls the victim through violence, intimidation and exploitation without pay.

In a statement on July 17, 2012 US Senator John Kerry asserts that the United States role as “a source” to be “egregious.”  The above global map provided by the United States Trafficking in Persons Report and referenced by Kerry in his statement shows just how prevalent the problem actually is and identifies the United States as a source, transit, and destination country. “In the end, none of us an escape our moral obligation to be a leader in the fight against this modern-day slavery,” said Sen. Kerry. “History teaches us that we are safest and stronger when the world hears from America and when America takes the lead and we share the destiny of all people on the planet. That has always inspired people, and it always will—for the triumph of injustice is man-made, and so, too, can injustice be undone at the hands of good men and women who take action.”  (Kerry, 2012) Twelve years ago the United States passed The Trafficking Victims Protection Act in response to growing concerns over modern day slavery. That same year the United Nations adopted the Palermo Protocol which is designed to prevent, suppress, and punish trafficking in persons, especially those involved in the exploitation of women and children. The TVPA defines “severe forms of trafficking in persons” as:

  • “Sex trafficking in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such an act has not attained 18 years of age.”
  • “The recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services, through use of force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery.”

“A victim need not be physically transported from one location to another in order for the crime to fall within these definitions.”

Modern day slavery is a problem thriving today due to the global economic crisis, globalization, and international crime syndicates. There are differences on how to define it and handle prosecution; additionally there is an essential need to inform the world’s citizens, individual countries leaders and law enforcement at all levels. Education of all potential victims, law enforcement, and world leaders is the key to prevention of human trafficking in source countries, transit and destination countries. Human trafficking victims include those women, men, and children:

  • Forced to work on farms
  • In factories
  • As domestic servants
  • Child soldiers
  • For the purpose of organ harvesting

Foreign victims of trafficking are often afraid to come forward. They believe they are criminals or the captors use tactics such as:

  • Taking their passports.
  • Psychologically and physically abusing them.
  • Threatening to harm or kill their families.
  • Denying them medical attention.
  • Giving them little or inappropriate clothing or food.
  • Giving them little or no time off.
  • Making them work and live in the same place.
  • Isolating the victim and not disclosing the location of the victim.

Additionally it is estimated that 95% are forced into sexual exploitation.  Sex workers include:

  • Prostitutes
  • Street walkers
  • Pornography
  • Phone sex
  • Brothels
  • Escort services
  • Massage Parlors

This happens on a state, national and international level.

One story in the Trafficking In Persons Report references a 12 year old runaway that plans on returning home the next day but instead is held against her will by a pimp. She is beaten when she tries to escape and threatened with her life.  (TIP 2012) This particular incident happened in New York City but could have happened in any city or town in the United States.

Human trafficking is a lucrative business and will likely see a profit of about 32 billion US dollars this year. That is a 70% profit margin.

Legal companies like Exon and Google will have about a 28% profit margin. Slaves are cheap to maintain because they are abundant. This illegal industry has been growing rapidly since the 1980’s.

People are expendable because of the current economic crisis and easily replaced.  In the 1800’s the average annual cost to maintain a slave was $40,000 (adjusted for inflation). Contrast that with 2012 when the average annual cost was $90/ £52.

In a letter Ambassador-at-Large to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons Luis C deBaca wrote “The voices of survivors- whether calling from the past or ringing out in a courtroom in 2012- are a sad reminder that the struggle against modern-day slavery is a long fight still not won. They are a reminder that if governments shirk their responsibility to bring traffickers to justice and to help victims on their road to recovery, the intolerable yoke of modern-day slavery will persist.”

Prostitution is illegal in all parts of the United States except parts of Nevada!!

Therefore it is no wonder why victims often times feel more like criminals.

“Yeah he knocked my teeth out,” she said as she showed me her new smile that he paid for. “I have a prettier smile than ever, now.”

She’s been in this “life style”, as she calls it for 5 years.  When it was presented the idea that she is being sexually exploited, she laughed. “Some prostitutes might be exploited but not me. I make money and am in control.”

I wonder about Stockholm’s Syndrome as she continues to say how wonderful her trafficker/pimp is and that she thinks prostitution should be made legal.

According to The Trafficking in Persons report 98% of prostitutes want to get out but can’t. Is the prostitute  interviewed one of the 2%?

Only time will tell; one thing is sure she can’t continue forever.

“When selling sex is made illegal ‘the core act’ being sold in sex trafficking is illegal leaving no room for ‘smoke and mirrors”.  All too often prostitutes are arrested over and over again before they are finally identified as victims of trafficking.

Police forces around the world see them as criminals because they are, at least in countries were prostitution is illegal. This is further compounded by the stereotype that prostitution is a victimless crime.

True abolition of slavery hasn’t happened yet and while human rights activists with blogs such as Slave Detective, Finding Justice, and Human Trafficking News Daily: Newsfeed on Global Human Trafficking have drawn attention to this offense there is little evidence that the general population understands just what is at stake (Dye, 2013) (Human trafficking news daily/ newsfeed of global human trafficking) (Llewellyn). The victims are coerced or kid-napped, the police often treat the victims as criminals and governments as well as citizens have the delusion contrary to evidence that trafficking is not happening here. Meanwhile slavery thrives another day.

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