Are you as blind to human slavery in the 21st century as I have been?
On Tuesday, 25 September 2012, at the Clinton Global Initiative in New York City, President Obama gave an alarming speech that has gone widely unreported in our domestic news service.
Here’s part of what he said:
I’m talking about the injustice, the outrage, of human trafficking, which must be called by its true name—modern slavery.
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. When a man, desperate for work, finds himself in a factory or on a fishing boat or in a field, working, toiling, for little or no pay, and beaten if he tries to escape—that is slavery. When a woman is locked in a sweatshop, or trapped in a home as a domestic servant, alone and abused and incapable of leaving—that’s slavery.
When a little boy is kidnapped, turned into a child soldier, forced to kill or be killed—that’s slavery. When a little girl is sold by her impoverished family—girls my daughters’ age—runs away from home, or is lured by the false promises of a better life, and then imprisoned in a brothel and tortured if she resists—that’s slavery. It is barbaric, and it is evil, and it has no place in a civilized world.
(Full text here)
In the New York Times, Nicholas Kristof wrote about some of the people who have first hand knowledge of human trafficking. (article) A woman who escaped in Cambodia and young women here in the US are part of the story.
I have lived in a sheltered bubble even though I’ve been to some parts of the world where human trafficking is practiced. I haven’t been exposed to it.
Are you lucky like me? How much are you aware that slavery still exists in the 21st century?
This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.