This is your rough draft. It is rough because it needs a lot of writing to summarize and paraphrase the information that it containsfrom original sources and also to provide more smooth transitions from one paragraph to another. Doing all that work will make it into a finished paper. Otherwise your citation and references are in place and now you have enough of them from academic sources to make the final product into a true research paper. I can’t emphasize this enough: for the final version of this paper you MUST rewrite the information in your own words or you run a high risk of plagiarism!!!
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Modern Day Slavery
Although we live in a time when most people assume that slavery is a thing of the past, the concept is unfortunately stillalive and well. The fact is that an estimated 12 - 27 million people are trapped in one or another form of slavery? Between 600,000 and 800,000 are trafficked internationally, with as many as 17,500 people trafficked into the United States (National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, 2009). This paper explores the various forms of modern day slaveryand presents researched evidence that prove its continued existence as well as some possible remedies.
What is Slavery?
International treaties and nations around the world have defined and banned contemporary slavery, but outlawing slavery has not prevented it from expanding into a multi-billion dollar global industry which rivals drug trafficking and illegal arms sales National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, 2009).
Between the 1700s and 1860s, lawmakers banned slave trade and ownership in Europe and the Americas. In 1948, the United Nations condemned it in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The laws, however, merely drove slavery underground, and some nations do not enforce existing laws. Modern slavery thrives through deception and secrecy. Traffickers lure millions of victims through lies, fraud, and coercion. A trafficker may offer to smuggle someone into a nation for legitimate work, such as becoming a waitress or nanny. Later, the unsuspecting target discovers the evil bait-and-switch! The actual labor is sinister and exploitive, with no pay, insane hours, and physical brutality (Alford, 2007)
In his book “Disposable People: New Slavery in the Global Economy”, Kevin Bales defines a “new” slavery that is not based on conventional ownership but on other legal mechanisms like debt and worker contracts. Unlike in the past, these slaves are cheap and “disposable”. They are lured out of extremely poor and vulnerable areas and promised good wages and food (2004). Enslaved people work in a variety of unpleasant professions including prostitution, pornography, stripping, domestic servitude agriculture, construction and landscaping, mining, sweatshops, child soldiers, peddling and begging, hospitality industries and any other poorly regulated industries National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, 2009).
Who are today’s Slaves?
Nearly three out of every four victims are women. Half of modern-day slaves are children. There are various types of visuals that would support and illustrate the points within the topic of my paper. An estimated 40,000 women and young girls are forced in the sex industry each year. The CIA and US State Department estimate that over 50,000 women and children are trafficked into the US each year.Between 1988 and 1998 there were over 100,000 slaves on 226 estates in Brazil, according to the Pastoral Land Commission (CPT).Children are exploited through prostitution, trafficking and pornography. They are often kidnapped, bought, or forced to enter the sex market. Child sex tourism is particularly common in Asia (National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, 2009).
Where and Why Slavery Occurs
Modern slavery continues to exist for mainly one cause and that is large-scale profits. However slavery is not simply about extreme impoverishment and having too few choices. Slavery is not restricted to child labor and prison labor. Violence, either implicit or explicit, is common to most forms of slavery, and this warrants a look at the current legal systems of countries where the slavery trade flourishes and their failure to enforce or enact current anti-slavery laws (Bales, 2004). Efforts to combat slavery will have only limited effectiveness unless anti-slavery laws are recognized, implemented and enforced by law enforcement officers, courts, and political leaders. Public awareness is also critical: slavery will remain an invisible scourge unless or until an informed public becomes actively engaged and committed in helping identify situations in which some form of slavery is suspected. An aroused public also can bring public pressure to bear those in power to address those cases (National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, 2009). The countries listed here are by no means the only ones were slavery continues to exist. They represent only a sampling of the hidden evil of modern slavery.
Mauritania is a coercive military dictatorship located in northwest Africa. Its population and history grow out of the violent relationship between the Black south and the Arab north, and its society is made up of three main groups: the Arab Moors (often called the “White Moors”); the slaves and ex-slaves; and the Afro-Mauritanians, from the southern part of the country (Skinner, 2002).
Slavery has been an accepted part of Mauritanian society for generations, even after a 1981 law banning the practice. An estimated 20 percent of Mauritania's 3 million people are slaves. Most of those hail from the "slave caste" -- the Haratine -- and are born into slavery. Their only chances for freedom are to be liberated by their masters or to escape. A further 15 percent of people descended from enslaved ancestry face systematic discrimination (Terzieff, 2007).
Slavery in Mauritania is less a political reality and more a permanent part of the culture. Even though it has been abolished in Mauritania, as late as 2002 the Mauritanian government denied the existence of slaves, and refused to prosecute any current cases, according to Skinner (2002). Skinner further reports that Amnesty International released a report in 2002 that detailed slavery in the country and criticized the government for turning a "blind eye" to the problem. According to the report, Skinner quotes, "the government has not prosecuted a single offender for retaining a slave, or for buying or selling someone into slavery." Instead the task has fallen to former slaves still living in Mauritania. Since 1995 their advocacy group SOS Slaves has worked to free slaves throughout the country through information campaigns, legal advocacy and even clandestine rescue operations (Skinner, 2002).
It wasn't until August 2007 that the country's parliament voted to criminalize the practice, setting down punishments of five to 10 years in prison for slavery practitioners and up to two years in prison for those supporting the practice. Mauritanian authorities arrested two people on slavery-related charges Oct. 31, the first arrests since the country set up legal mechanisms for punishment of the practice.The two arrested last month allegedly held a16-year-old girl and her 14-year-old brother as slaves in their home. The two are now being held on the lesser charges of infringing upon the rights of a child and preventing access to an education, but rights groups are urging the government to bring slavery charges (Terzieff, 2007).
Unfortunately in countries where slavery flourishes both government action and public awareness are limited. For example in Thailand prostitution is illegal but girls are sold into sex slavery by the thousands. As many as 35,000 girls have been sold into sex slavery in Thailand, where two-thirds of the tourists in the 1990s were unaccompanied men(Mason, 2005).
The brothels where these young women work and live are only a small part of a much wider sex industry. Thailand’s economic boom and social acceptance of prostitution greatly contribute to the continued existence of these brothels. Most of Thailand is rich with food and culture and starvation is very rare in its history. However, the mountainous northern region of Thailand is not so rich in the necessities of life. In fact, this northern area has not traditionally been a part of Thailand and was only integrated late in the nineteenth century and is heavily influenced by Burma, one of the poorest nations of Southeast Asia (Bales, 2004).
A combination of many things keeps the illegal sex slavery industry alive in Thailand. Thai politicians generally do not take sex slavery very seriously. Conspiracies between gangs, police, and immigration officials allow trafficking on a large and increasing scale. New sex slavery laws have been passed, but prostitution is still criminalized in a way that allows pimps and police to continue working together, using the law as a threat to control commercial sex workers (Bales, 2004).
The religion practiced in northern Thailand is mainly a type of Buddhism which holds women as distinctly inferior to men and that sex is seen as an attachment to the physical and natural world, a world of suffering and ignorance, and the implication being that if you must have sex, have it as impersonally as possible, helping to provide important justifications for sales of daughters to brothels. So we can see religion as an institution almost supporting slavery in an indirect way. And since the society sees women as the inferior sex, these young women just come to accept the fact that they are weaker and should submit themselves to men in whatever way, in this case as sex slaves (Bales, 2004).
In Brazil, hundreds of people are held in debt-bondage in coal-making camps. Much of the slavery in this country grows out of social chaos: environmental destruction and economic disaster can cause an existing society to collapse and slavery can grow in the wreckage (Bales, 2004). The vast rain forests of eucalyptus are drained of their trees, burned down into coal, and sold as fuel to the large steel-making industry of Brazil. The slavery here is that of the “new” form. Brazil suffers one of the greatest economic disparities of any place on earth. On one end of the scale are the 50,000 Brazilians (out of a population of 165 million) who own almost everything, especially the land, and on the other end of the scale are 4 million peasants who share 3 percent of the land (Marshall 2007).
Gatos (recruiters for massive coal-making plantations) come into extremely impoverished cities and offer good work for good pay and food. Naturally, hundreds and hundreds of the poor jump at this opportunity. They must hand over their birth certificates and work cards and are carted off by the gatos hundreds of miles away from any city. On the way to the work camp the gatos give the men strong alcohol so they will be too drunk to remember how they got to the camp.Upon arrival at the camp, they are told that they owe the gato money for the ride and other expenses. If they will work they will be able to pay off their debt to the gato. In most all cases, they will never be paid any money at all. They will be given just enough low quality food to keep them working and a shanty in which to live. Instead of pay they will be told time and time again that they owe the gato far too much money to leave their job, keeping them in a never-ending debt-bondage to the gato. The charcoal-making camps are very dangerous and most workers suffer severe burns, and the camps usually only operate for about two years. When it is time to move on, the workers are left behind, only to get picked up by another gato elsewhere. (Davidson& Lambertson, 2005).
India and Pakistan
In Pakistan and India, a “new” form of slavery is practiced. In Pakistan, brick-makers are held in heritable debt-bondage through fraud and dishonest accounting. There are about 15 million landless peasants in Pakistan and over 7,000 brick-making kilns. The slavery here is simple. After World War II, the demand for bricks increased dramatically. Bricks were needed for the rapidly expanding infrastructure- roads, buildings, and bridges were using bricks at a phenomenal rate and the number of kilns increased. Left with few options and often homeless, landless peasants sold themselves into debt bondage to owners of brick kilns. The first generation of brick workers was drawn almost entirely from the ranks of displaced farm workers, and today their children and grandchildren inherit both the job and the debt that holds them in it (Bales, 2004).
Much the same thing goes on in India. Each farm worker trapped by debt receives no money for his or her labor, instead getting just over one kilogram of wheat, rice, or beans. And in return for this daily food supply, the laborers will work all day, every day, for their landlord. Unlike the brick kilns of Pakistan, where it was possible, though not likely, that a family could keep track of their earnings and debt payments, agricultural bonded labor in India leaves with no freedom and no wage or piece rate (Bales, 2004).
Contemporary slavery/human trafficking remains a reality for many victims in the United States, where both American citizens and foreign nationals are trafficked into and within the United States for forced labor. Victims are men, women, and children and are from diverse nationalities, ethnicities and religions. They are found in any situation where another person is willing to exploit another for profit. Victims have included, among others:
1. Members of a Zambian boys choir who were forced to sing to earn their traffickers a profit and withheld from obtaining an education were promised;
2. Hearing-impaired Mexicans (men, women and children) who were forced to peddle items on the streets of New York to earn money for their traffickers;
3. South Asian women forced to work in a textile factory without pay and with constant physical and sexual violence against them
4. Young American girls forced to prostitute themselves on the streets of Los Angeles (and dozens of other cities) while under constant physical and sexual violence from pimps and those purchasing the sex;
5. Latino men forced to work on farms without pay, long hours, under armed guard, and constant violence or threat of violence against them (National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, 2009).
Efforts to combat slavery will have only limited effectiveness unless anti-slavery laws are recognized, implemented and enforced by law enforcement officers, courts, and political leaders. Public awareness is also critical: slavery will remain an invisible scourge unless or until an informed public becomes actively engaged and committed in helping identify situations in which some form of slavery is suspected. An aroused public also can bring public pressure to bear those in power to address those cases.
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