SOURCE: Vision Media

November 21, 2007 03:00 ET

Current Social Issue: Modern Human Trafficking and Slavery

Poverty Is the Factor in the Global Economy That Leads to Suffering and Slavery

PASADENA, CA--(Marketwire - November 21, 2007) - As Americans gather with family to celebrate their good fortune this weekend, Vision Media looks at the current social issue of human trafficking and slavery that goes unchecked in many parts of the world. Americans have become comfortable with the idea that slavery is an atrocity that existed only in America's distant past, or in countries where there is no rule of law, but in fact slavery is in the top three revenue earners for organized crime and 14,500-17,500 slaves are brought into the U.S. for prostitution or to labor in illegal sweat shops.

When families are starving it is easy for exploiters to persuade parents to sell their children under the guise that the child will have a 'better life.' Poverty is often the lever used to gain dominion over a slave worker and debt bondage is the most common type of slavery today. Buying a slave does not cost the slave trader much these days -- the average price for a world slave is $30. Note that in 1850 a slave cost $40,000 (today's dollar value). Today, 600 - 800 million modern day slaves are trafficked internationally every year.

"Those toiling under the horrendous conditions of abject slavery cannot be viewed simply as victims of unfortunate circumstances in the mêlée of world trade and commerce," says Bill Butler, writer for Vision Media. "Modern day slavery must be acknowledged for the serious social issue it is; the result of a perpetrated by cruel and greedy individuals and criminal enterprises lacking in compassion for other people's suffering."

How are these modern day slaves treated? Simon Deng, having escaped the horror of his early exploitation in Sudan, describes his terror as a child slave. He was shown a picture of a child with no arms and no legs and told that if he ran away the slave owner would capture him and he would look exactly like the picture.

It is not all bad: in November 2007, Anti-Slavery International awarded its Anti-Slavery Award to the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW), a Florida-based farm workers rights group. The CIW is known for its consumer boycotts that have improved wages and conditions in Florida's produce fields. As the current moral issue of modern day slavery reaches more consumers, business ethics may be brought into the fabric of the global economy.

"But there is a need for a much broader quest to free the world of slavery," says Butler at Vision.org. "The real social issue is that freedom from all slavery can only be realized if there is a complete change of the human heart."

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Edwin Stepp
    Director of Development
    Vision Media Productions
    476 S. Marengo Avenue
    Pasadena, CA 91101
    Phone (24 hrs): 626 535-0444 ext 105
    www.vision.org

Multimedia