Tuesday, 1 August 2017
Ending Modern Day Slavery
Ending Modern Slavery
“Human trafficking is as old as humankind. Regrettably, it’s been with us for centuries and centuries. But… it is our hope that the 21st century will be the last century of human trafficking, and that’s what we are all committed to.” Tillerson.
Of course if you think that slavery is over or has been abolished, you may be making a great mistake about it. Modern slavery is deeper than old but same as old in continuum. “Today more than 27 million people, many of them women and children, suffer under forced labor and sexual servitude in over 165 countries around the world, including the US” According to US Senator Bob Coker, who is championing legislation to end modern slavery globally. And I quote him again- “As I have seen firsthand, the stark reality of modern slavery is unconscionable, demanding the United States and civilized world make a commitment to end it for good”. And I couldn’t have agreed more.
Modern day slavery is a problem hidden in plain sight, found most in developed world and across the world. From Libya to India, Italy to Spain are roots of slave trade till date where human beings are sold as commodities in this age we are? Human trafficking, or modern day slavery, is more pervasive than ever. The International Labor Organization estimates that nearly 21 million people are victims of forced labor, human trafficking, and sexual exploitation— more than at any other time in history.
One in five of those victims are the most vulnerable among us: boys and girls separated from their families and forced into prostitution, or labor that makes use of their small hands, like sewing or untangling fishing wire. High unemployment rates and poverty are just two of the factors that put children at risk. In India, for example, over 100,000 kids are trafficked each year across the border from Rajasthan to its neighboring state of Guajarat. These children are forced to work in cotton fields, often in debt bondage— to pay back what their families owe.
Women, refugees, and those fleeing war or conflict are also at higher risk of enslavement. “Trafficking in people in conflict situations is not a mere possibility but something that happens on a regular basis,” said Maria Grazia Giammarinaro, the U.N.’s special rapporteur on human trafficking, in October 2016.
But modern slavery isn’t just a morally abhorrent crime. It’s a lucrative industry— human trafficking is one of the largest international crime industries in the world. Each year, forced labor in sectors like domestic work, agriculture, construction, manufacturing, and entertainment generates $150 billion in illegal profits.
Drug dealers, money launderers, or arms dealers are in part enabled or funded by human trafficking activities. And some governments, let me not mentioned names, depend on forced labor to elicit revenue.
In some countries like the U.S. consumers also play an unwitting role. Some products Americans use and enjoy may have been produced by those in forced servitude. The U.S. State Department works to alert businesses during these situations so they may take direct action to insure they aren’t complicit in human trafficking.
But my little joy is that the U.S. is taking action, leading global efforts to address human trafficking. Its policy involves three “P”s: preventing trafficking, protecting victims, and prosecuting traffickers.
What the U.S is doing?
Just six months ago, at the Congress the End Modern Slavery Initiative, legislation introduced by Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker and supported by a bipartisan Congress, faith-based organizations like Bread for the world and World Vision as well as countless individuals pushed for this law to be effected in the U.S and across the world.
“By providing strong U.S. leadership and leveraging our limited foreign aid dollars, this initiative will work with foreign governments and philanthropic organizations to match the funding being provided by the United States and create a coordinated effort to implement best practices to eliminate modern slavery and human trafficking around the globe,” stated Corker. And I say Amen.