New Slavery Kay Chernush for the U.S. State Department
How has slavery evolved? Old SlaveryNew Slavery Legal ownership assertedLegal ownership avoided High purchase costVery low purchase cost Low profitsVery high profits Shortage of potential slavesSurplus of potential slaves Long-term relationshipShort-term relationship Slaves maintainedSlaves disposable Ethnic differences importantEthnic differences not important K. Bales (1999) Disposable People, U California Press
How do we define the new slavery? The threat or use of violence in the control of one person by another for the purposes of economic exploitation -K. Bales
What types of slavery exist today? Traditional “chattel” slavery – Mauritania Bonded labor – Brazil Forced Labor - Burma Child Labor – India rug making Trafficking - Thailand
PracticeFree Will? Labor Power? Violence? White Slavery YYY Forced Labor YYY Debt Bondage YYY Child Prostitution YYY Forced Prostitution YYY Prostitution ??? Forced Marriage ??Y Apartheid ?NY Organ Harvesting ?N? Caste NNY Prison Labor N?Y Kevin Bales; Understanding Global Slavery, U of CA press, 2005 Distinctions of Human Rights Violations
What is the scope of the new slavery? Third largest international crime behind drug and arms smuggling Generates an estimated $13B / year, this is approximately equal to the amount Americans annually spend on jeans. CIA / State department estimate over 50,000 women and children are trafficked into the U.S. every year. In India or Nepal, a person can be trapped into a lifetime of hard labor just to pay the interest on as little as $36. There are more individuals enslaved today than at any point in recorded history—including the transatlantic slave trade The Human Rights Center at UCB estimates between 1998 and 2003 there were 57 forced labor operations in California that involved over 500 people in almost a dozen cities
What factors contribute to modern slavery? Explosive population increase post-WWII; The world has gone from 2M people in 1945 to 6M+ today. Rapid economic and societal modernization Push/Pull factors in sending/receiving countries Government complicity (esp. Police) Cultural factors
International Anti-Slavery Laws The 1926 Slavery Convention of the League of Nations, the predecessor to the United Nations. The 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that: ‘No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.’ The 1956 Supplementary Convention on the Abolition of Slavery, the Slave Trade and Institutions and Practices similar to Slavery, banned ‘institutions and practices similar to slavery’: debt bondage, serfdom, servile marriage
Burma, Brazil, India, Mauritania, Pakistan, Thailand
What can be done? Pressure international institutions to demand member nations enforce already existing treaties. Boycotts are counterproductive Give NGOs in affected countries resources to both free slaves AND assist in integration into free society Ask hard questions of nonprofits, politicians and business.
Further Information Free the Slaves www.freetheslaves.net www.freetheslaves.net Anti-Slavery International www.antislavery.org www.antislavery.org Rugmark Foundation www.rugmark.org www.rugmark.org Not For Sale Campaign www.notforsalecampaign.org www.notforsalecampaign.org Polaris Project www.polarisproject.org www.polarisproject.org
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