slavery still exists

Here’s a link from TheAtlantic.com where you can see photographs of human trafficking and enslavement around the world. And here’s the photographer, Lisa Kristine, giving a pretty good TED Talk.

Slavery can exist under our noses though. You don’t have to visit third world countries to experience such horrorific scenes. Happens with many things and the black market is filled with stuff like it. There are cases where wealthy families will make au pairs work far beyond what they are only supposed to work, get little to no pay and then be forced to work there or be sent back. There are even more extreme cases with verbal abuse physical abuse, and much more. There’s also human trafficking for prostitution. Slavery exists everywhere, probably even in your own city.

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Just as an example, a lady that went to London from South Africa, to work as a maid for a wealthy family. As soon as she arrived, they took her passport, put her in a tiny room, and told her that all her wages would be paid at the end of her contract a year later. She could leave the house, but had no money, no phone and no car. It was not what she had been promised before she got on her flight. She was a slave in the middle of a rich neighbourhood in the capital city of a wealthy first-world country. If we ever know of someone who is in the same situation, we could always do something about it. We’d be doing a huge favour for many others too. This South African lady found a family who called the police for her and managed to get this lady’s passport back. She also got spending money and jobs to do, plus she ate with the family. A similar thing happened in New York. An exceedingly wealthy woman kept an Indian woman captive on her estate, making her sleep in the closet and working constantly for 85 cents an hour.

We found stories like this one in many other situations like in Ohio, USA. Here’s a website with lots of interesting information about the human trafficking problems in Ohio and the US. We can hear about many other stories like these ones such as what workers in Dubai experience.
It might be unfair to judge a city like Dubai though. I said might. We should have in mind also that all old world cities were built on the broken backs of slave workers too. We just tend to forget this, because it’s convenient, and it makes us seem so much more civilized. We’ve been through the process already: getting workers rights and ensuring their safety. Developing nations are still going through the process.
Then again, Dubai doesn’t have an excuse. I mean, they’re up to their necks in wealth, why do they even need slaves? I guess that’s how they keep their wealth. Pay 10,000 workers? Nope. Two new Ferraris to drive the kids to school? Duh, we can’t just take the Mercedes like normal people.

I think it’s also important to see that people don’t associate slavery with great wealth, they associate it with poverty and history instead. This is strange if we consider how incredibly lucrative slaves are. I mean, underpaying workers is pretty much a great way to become wealthy, right?
You might think though, that slavery has always been associated with great wealth across history. Who had the slaves? The wealthy. Pre Civil War Charleston was the wealthiest society to ever exist on the planet. Yeah, true.
What I meant was that we often talk or read about modern slavery in poor countries and in the sex trade, but rarely about slave working for rich people in our free nations just like this Indian or South African ladies in the aforementioned examples.

But if we look at all this this way, we might change our viewpoint on many other things too.
Why do you think the government is so tough on immigration laws? One of the reasons is to protect the cheap labor provided by illegal immigrants. When our industry started some couple of years ago, the industry hired kids because they could be payed less. Afterwards they started hiring women because they could be payed less too. And now they’re hiring immigrants and exporting our jobs to other countries for cheaper labor.
People are capable of great evil to other people and for some reason it is easy to dehumanize those who are down on their luck or weren’t blessed into being born in a so-called imperialistic nation.

Also, we could open a new debate: It’s not that people want cheap goods. It’s that companies and business people do not want to pay wages. They don’t make your iPhone in China because that’s where the materials are. They make your iPhone in China and ship it all the way to the US and Europe because American and European workers have rights.
How’s that for a mind-blowing social fact?

I wish we could help them out, but human greed has no limit. And there are just so many people that are forced into slavery every day. Its heartbreaking.

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4 comments

  1. Anonymous · April 11, 2014

    Whats up this is somewhat of off topic but I was wanting to know if blogs use WYSIWYG editors or if you have to manually code with HTML. I’m starting a blog soon but have no coding skills so I wanted to get advice from someone with experience. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

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    • dimitrit94 · April 21, 2014

      Hello, answering to your question.
      Nope, you don’t need to know how to code to start a blog nor to keep it updated. You have both options though. I’m thinking most blogs have use of WYSIWYG editors. Having a bit of HTML knowledge will come in handy too. WordPress gives you some tips on it too. Good luck on your to be blog ;)

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  2. Gretchen · May 15, 2014

    This is really interesting, Dimitri. I had heard about a couple of these cases – though didn’t know about Ohio!! : (
    Why doesn’t it surprise me? Somehow mankind keeps stumbling over the same rocks, time and time again. We just seem to think that we can do whatever in the name of our own interests – that we can take advantage of those who are less ‘fortunate’, at least in the economic sense, than we are.
    I see that you have broad interests and broad concerns about what is going on in the world. I hope people stop and take the time to read your blogs and think about these things. Keep on writing!!

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    • dimitrit94 · May 16, 2014

      Thank you, Gretchen, for reading and for commenting!
      It is true, as you say, we’re the only animal that trips over the same stone again and again. Sigh.
      Thanks for your encouragement!

      Like

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