Thursday, November 08, 2007

Free The Slaves


"None of us is truly free while others remain enslaved." -Archbishop Desmond Tutu

We as Americans don't like to use the word slaves and slavery. We reserve that term for the past and, subsequently, we imagine that slavery is a thing of the past. The truth, however, is that we are fast approaching 2008 and, in almost every country, there are humans who are enslaved by others.
Through Free the Slaves’ research, first published in Kevin Bales’ Disposable People, our conservative estimate is that there are 27 million people in slavery today. This means that there are more people in slavery today than at any other time in human history. Slavery has existed for thousands of years, but changes in the world’s economy and societies over the past 50 years have enabled a resurgence of slavery.

Three trends have contributed most to the rise of modern-slavery. The first, a recent population explosion has tripled the number of people in the world, with most growth taking place in the developing world. The second, rapid social and economic change, have displaced many to urban centers and their outskirts, where people have no ‘safety net’ and no job security. The third, government corruption around the world, allows slavery to go unpunished, even though it is illegal everywhere. In this way millions have become vulnerable to slave holders and human traffickers looking to profit through the theft of people’s lives. This new slavery has two prime characteristics: slaves today are cheap and they are disposable.

Is this the type of world in which we want to live? Is this the sort of world in which we want to raise our children?

Go to this website to find out more about slavery today and what you can do to make it history.

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