Niagara Gazette

Opinion

November 13, 2013

BRADBERRY: Slavery by any other name

Niagara Gazette — It was my namesake, William Shakespeare who, in Romeo and Juliet coined the phrase, “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet” referring to Juliet’s claim that names matter less than what things actually are. The same holds true for human trafficking; its stinking slavery and it smells just as foul.

The Australian-based Walk-Free Foundation, as a result of their most recent investigation of 162 countries released the Global Slavery Index which documented their discovery that slavery exists “in every single one.”

The Index ranks the nations in order of prevalence of modern-day slavery by percentage of population, estimating that nearly 30 million people across the world have been trafficked for labor or sex work. Forced labor, debt bondages, forced marriage, and child exploitation are the most common threats in these countries.

With a population of 3.8 million, the highest level is Mauritania where about 4 percent or 151,000 people are enslaved. Haiti ranks second on the list with 209,000 slaves. Pakistan follows with 2.1 million enslaved.

One international organization based in Washington, D.C. that goes by the name, Free the Slaves makes it very plain and simple at their website (freetheslaves.net) with this clear definition, Yes we mean real slavery. People held against their will, forced to work and paid nothing

... the end result is what slavery is today and has always been—one person controlling another and then forcing them to work.”

Their research first published in Kevin Bales’ “Disposable People”, estimated, “that there are 21-30 million people in slavery today. This means that there are more people in slavery today than at any other time in human history. Slavery has existed for thousands of years, but changes in the world’s economy and societies over the past 50 years have enabled a resurgence of slavery.”

They point to three trends that have contributed the most to the rise of modern-day slavery:

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