Niagara Gazette — • The recent population explosion has tripled the number of people in the world, with most growth taking place in the developing world.
• Rapid social and economic change, have displaced many to urban centers and their outskirts, where people have no ‘safety net’ and no job security.
• Government corruption around the world, allows slavery to go unpunished, even though it is illegal everywhere.
They concluded that “millions have become vulnerable to slave holders and human traffickers looking to profit through the theft of people’s lives. This new slavery has two prime characteristics: slaves today are cheap and they are disposable.”
Comparing the American slavery experience to today’s reality, they note that:
• An average slave in the American South in 1850 cost the equivalent of $40,000 in today’s money; today a slave costs an average of $90.
• In 1850 it was difficult to capture a slave and then transport them to the US. Today, millions of economically and socially vulnerable people around the world are potential slaves.
But, unlike the essentially race-based American experience, today’s slave holders care more about the high profits than whether the holder and slave are of different ethnic backgrounds; in New Slavery, profit trumps skin color.”
Like the cotton industry, the new slavery is directly connected to the global economy, says the report. “As in the past, most slaves are forced to work in agriculture, mining, and prostitution. From these sectors, their exploited labor flows into the global economy and into our lives”.
Locally, our region is not exempt from the scourge, so several individuals and key organizations are stepping up to address the issue.
A few months ago, some very impactful artwork from the mind and hands of ten-year-old Logan Kuhlmey of Lancaster has helped draw attention to the issue here resulting in more than 50 billboards going up across a 17 county area of the state.