Slavery in Modern Times

To conclude our month on a brief history of slavery, anyone who thinks slavery ended with the 13th Amendment is not paying attention. According to National Geographic article, there are more slaves today than were seized from Africa in four centuries of the trans-Atlantic slave trade. The modern commerce in humans rivals illegal drug trafficking in its global reach—and in the destruction of lives.  According to the latest State Department statistics, as many as 100,000 people in the United States are in bondage and perhaps 27 million people worldwide. Victims of human trafficking are vulnerable men, women or children coerced into servitude for sex or labor. They might be transported from Russia to Europe, from the Philippines to Dubai, or held in their hometown – don’t forget those in the United States.

In 2000, the United States enacted an anti-trafficking law and the United Nations adopted the Palermo Protocol. Both call for countries to criminalize trafficking, punish offenders and provide shelter to victims.  In its 2011 trafficking report, the State Department concluded that last year only 32 of 184 countries fully complied with the standards set by the American law. The number on the list of the worst violators rose to 23 from 13, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait are on the list.  For more info on where slavery is prevalent and the type of slavery practiced. Graphic descriptions that may disturb: http://www.infoplease.com/spot/slavery1.html

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