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Slavery Today “Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” -George Santayana.

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Presentation on theme: "Slavery Today “Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” -George Santayana."— Presentation transcript:

1 Slavery Today “Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” -George Santayana

2 The Legal Battle The 1927 Slavery Convention outlawed slavery worldwide. Article 2 states that the members will take the necessary steps “to bring about, progressively and as soon as possible, the complete abolition of slavery in all its forms.” Slavery is defined as forced labor without pay under the threat of violence.

3 However… When a ship carrying hundreds of people was recently turned away from Benin, Africa, officials suspected that the children on board were human slaves. The incident once again brought attention to the problem of slavery. Though most Americans believe slavery was abolished with the Emancipation Proclamation more than a century ago, the horrors of human beings held in bondage flourishes today.

4 Slavery Is Illegal Worldwide Yet, during 2001, at least 700,000 and potentially as many as 4 million men, women and children worldwide were bought, sold, transported and held against their will in slave-like conditions, according to the U.S. State Department. By a conservative estimate, 27 million people are enslaved today worldwide, more than at any time in history.

5 How Is This Possible? Studying ante-bellum American slavery, the Civil Rights Movement, and the Holocaust educates us about past evils and suggests that we must learn lessons from past horrors. Today, slavery thrives around the world. Yet, governments, police, international agencies, civil rights and human rights leaders, the media, and educators have largely been silent.

6 Chattel Slavery …the classic form, in which slaveholders maintain ownership no longer through legalities, but through the use of violence, persists to this day in a few countries. In Sudan, a radical ruling regime has revived a racially-based slave trade, arming militia forces to raid civilian villages for slaves. In Mauritania, slave raids 800 years ago began a system of chattel slavery that continues to this day.

7 Debt Bondage …the most common form of slavery, in which a human being becomes collateral against a loan. With a massive population boom in regions of staggering poverty, some families have nothing to pledge for a loan but their own labor. With inflated interest rates, debts are often inherited, ensnaring generations. 15 to 20 million slaves are in debt bondage in Bangladesh, India, Nepal, and Pakistan.

8 Forced Labor …where individuals are lured by the promise of good jobs, and instead find themselves enslaved. Migrant workers are particularly vulnerable, and small organized-crime rings fuel a booming international trade in human beings. Trafficking often flows from developing nations to the West. For instance, Secretary of State Colin Powell stated that 50,000 women and children are trafficked into the U.S. each year as slaves.

9 Sex Slavery …the most common form of slavery in South Asia, where girls forced into prostitution by their own husbands, fathers, and brothers earn money for the men in the family to pay back local money-lenders. Others are lured by offers of good jobs and then beaten and forced to work in brothels.

10 Are We Complicit? Slave labor produces goods we use every day. Examples include: Sugar from the Dominican Republic Chocolate from the Ivory Coast Paper clips from China Carpets from Nepal Cigarettes from India

11 Current Hot Spots… ALBANIA: Teenage girls are tricked into sex slavery and trafficked by organized crime rings BRAZIL: Lured into the rainforest, families burn trees into charcoal at gunpoint BURMA: The ruling military junta enslaves its own people to build infrastructure projects, some benefiting U.S. corporations

12 Current Hot Spots… DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: Haitians are rounded up at random, taken across the border, and forced to cut cane in sugar plantations GHANA: Families repent for sins by giving daughters as slaves to fetish priests INDIA: Children trapped in debt bondage roll beedi cigarettes 14 hours a day

13 Current Hot Spots… IVORY COAST: Child slaves forced to work on cocoa plantations MAURITANIA: Arab-Berber masters hold as many as one million black Africans as inheritable property PAKISTAN: Children with nimble fingers are forced to weave carpets in looms SUDAN: Arab militias from the North take Southern Sudanese women and children in slave raids

14 Current Hot Spots… THAILAND: Women and children become sex slaves for tourists UNITED ARAB EMIRATES: Bangladeshi boys are transported and exploited as jockeys for camel racing UNITED STATES: The CIA estimates that 50,000 people are trafficked as sex slaves, domestics, garment and agricultural slaves

15 Sudanese slaves await redemption in Madhol, Sudan, in December An Arab trader sold 132 former slaves, women and children, for $13,200 (in Sudanese money) to a member of Christian Solidarity International. – AP Photo

16 It Can Happen Here "Here's what he said to me: he has my life, he can do as he pleases with it. He can choose to send me to school, he can choose not to. I was being told if I did tell someone I would go to jail," a former Cameroon slave named PB told Newsweek magazine (December 18th, 2000). PB was enslaved for four years … in Detroit's affluent suburb of Farmington Hills.

17 References Ricco Villanueva Siasoco, Modern Slavery, Free the U.S. Gov Preston Peet, Modern Slavery: Who Will Be The Emancipator?, The preceding slides quote liberally from the sites referenced above


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