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article imageOp-Ed: Slavery abolished yet thriving amidst us

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By Kyle Ashmead     May 1, 2013 in Crime
There are estimated to be 30 million or more slaves in the world today, that is more then at any other time in human history.
The idea of owning another human being may be repugnant and offensive to the majority of people, that does not stop the trafficking of nearly 1 million people every year.
Many of the people trafficked are used for the sex trade, they are young girls from India and former Soviet Republics such as Ukraine and Moldova. This is not just a problem of the developing world, it's a problem that all nations face. As long as there is somebody willing to purchase sex, or use forced labour, the buying and selling of human beings will go on.
Many of the woman and children used in the sex slave industry, come from countries in Eastern Europe. Ukraine, Romania and Russia are all source countries. From these countries people are trafficked to the US, Canada, Israel, Greece, South Korea and France, as well as many other nations.
The US Department of State puts out a yearly report on human trafficking, with information on the state of slavery in many different countries and the actions taken to eradicate slavery.
The trafficking of humans for the purpose of sexual slavery is illegal, yet it continues. The severity of punishments for crimes are often nothing more then a slap on the wrist to the perpetrators. As long as the benefits outweigh the punishments, the crime of slavery will continue unabated.
To understand why the slave trade continues the economics of it must be considered, say $6,000 (this varies widely from country to country) buys one young girl. That six thousand dollar investment will yield far better returns then anything on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX). Consider the punishment for holding a woman and forcing her to sell her body, can be 2 years in jail. Or far less depending on the nation, where the crime was committed. Often torture is used to keep women under the control of their captors.
Supporting groups such as Not For Sale, International Justice Mission (IJM), the Polaris Project and APNE AP as well as others, with money or time, can go a long way towards helping end the slave trade.
Sexual slavery is not the same as prostitution, these young woman and boys will not see a dime of the money the Johns pay to brutalize them. They cannot leave, they are tortured and many see death as their only way out.
Sexual Slavery is a crime against humanity and should be treated as such. Pressure on politicians can go a long way towards the creation of meaningful laws, to combat the slave trade.
If you are interested in learning more on the subject of slavery and learning ways you can help. The following books may be useful, A Walk Across the Sun by Corban Addison, The Natashas by Victor Malarek, Not For Sale by David Batstone. Be prepared these books are not for weak stomachs, however they contain information that all should know. They were written by authors who very much know their subject and care deeply about it.
Slaves are nothing more then sources of income to their traffickers and captors, they are nothing more then an hour of fun for a sex tourist, or free labour to anyone willing to use them. The question is, who are they to us? Are they just "something" that we will turn a blind eye to, or are they someone we will fight to free.
Many brave individuals and organizations are hard at work fighting the trafficking and enslavement of their fellow human beings. As long as there are slaves in the world the fight will not end. This is not about skin colour or religion, this is about profit made from the victimization of humanities poor and destitute.
Only with a global outcry will the madness that is the slave trade come to an end.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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