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Modern Day Slavery

by Samuel Duru on 5th April, 2012 at 2:16 PM CEST

In a world where slave trade was avowedly abolished some centuries ago, it is awfully heart-rending to learn that slavery still thrives. Modern language uses human trafficking and child labor as if referring to a new phenomenon. What difference is there between today’s human trafficking and slave trade; and between child labor and slavery? These are just names adopted to denote some forms of the old evil of slavery; it is a matter of semantics, so to speak, as the ills perpetrated are exactly the same. These new forms of slavery are like the old – both locally and internationally.

Whilst some might argue that the comparison with slavery is perhaps overstating the case, the violation of the fundamental human rights of the victims inherent in the two scenarios is indisputable.

Photo by: tigweb.org

The children who are victims of abuse are mainly enticed by promise of a better life. The practice of taking children from their parents by well-to-do persons in other to better their lot was a magnanimous practice which has been completely manipulated and successfully hijacked, by modern day traffickers who have constituted themselves into a very powerful and deadly mafia. These children who happily left home expecting to experience a better life eventually find themselves in labor camps, and other dehumanizing jobs, like prostitution and drug trafficking.

Shockingly, human trafficking is now said to be the second largest and fastest growing criminal industry in the world, only second to arms trade. Sadly, 70% of the victims of human trafficking are females; majority of them–children. See more facts and figures: USA Today News

Phrases like: “hard working child”, “responsible child”,”promising child”, etc., are used to colour the real connotation of the tragic reality:”child abuse”. However, no amount of such pretentious coloration would suffice.

Often, it is only when we see children being forced into early marriages; working in factories, or other established labor camps that we remember child abuse. Child abuse is not limited to factory and sales of wares. It extends to instances of children being used as house helps, baby sitters, bus conductors, street hawkers, etc. Such children are given out in return for daily, monthly, or annual monetary returns for the family. Children in these categories are often asked to perform duties that are not commensurate with them. They hardly combine these works with their education, thus, they either quit school or attend school as a part time engagement.

Photo by: tigweb.org

Abuse has a number of effects on the child involved which are hazardous to their mental health. Abused children carry responsibilities for which they are not prepared. They are subjected to work overtime, mostly at nights, when other children are asleep – this is downright enslavement. Abuse injures the psyche of the child. All in all, the child is robbed of his/her fundamental human rights to education, health and security.

Moreover, it takes a considerable time and therapy for a victimized child to inhale the pure air of freedom and safety during rehabilitation process. Thus, families and the society at large should ensure that children are raised in an atmosphere of happiness, love and understanding – to ensure their full and harmonious development.

How can we as a community of changemakers in our various contexts and backgrounds help to mitigate the evil of modern day slavery and help those who have been victimized by this inhumane act?

Samuel Duru, Writers Action team #8

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Stefan Alievikj

Stefan Alievikj | C:F staff

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v =lFIOti7hjGc&feature=relat ed musical lament... when children become victims of slavery, many of them can't ever reach redemption.

Yes, it's crucial for children to be raised in warm atmosphere filled with love and not futility. It's basic fundamental thing they deserve. Apparently, not everyone has that luxury. Kids in foster homes live in miserable conditons (at least the foster homes I am informed about).

And Sam, this story you are sharing about "Chocolate's Child Slaves" is itching my skin..

5th April, 2012 @ 4:41 PM CEST

Stefan Alievikj

Stefan Alievikj | C:F staff

to add up.. there are many Roma kids in Macedonia who beg for money, or steal money and the general opinion is that they are made to the such things. They are slaves to someone... so, call them thieves or however you want, but modern day slavery is here.. slavery is not abbolished.

5th April, 2012 @ 4:51 PM CEST

Samuel Duru

Samuel Duru | Action team

Hey Stef,

Thanks for sharing the excerpt from Bob's Redemption Song - it's an evocative one. I like the slides. The story of the Roma People is another heart-rending one. I can't wait to see it published. Otherwise, hats off for the terrific comments.

10th April, 2012 @ 12:25 PM CEST

KEDEI INAH

KEDEI INAH

This is a very sensitive topic that really has to be looked into, of course modern slavery is common. Child abuse are in differrent forms nowadays like Children are used as maids, sell or hawk things during school hours and are even sold as sex hawkers.

11th April, 2012 @ 2:46 PM CEST

Samuel Duru

Samuel Duru | Action team

You are absolutely right Kedei. The use of children as maids and sex workers are forms of Slavery. Thanks for chiming in.

11th April, 2012 @ 3:08 PM CEST

Anatoliy Biliciler

Anatoliy Biliciler | Action team

You know what i love the most about the topic of slavery? The fact that the slavery is much closer to all than you think,yes i am talking about wage slavery the kind of slavery where slaver does not need to provide food, shelter for the slaves and just gives them a wage. Well you know the best slave is the one who thinks he is free

31st March, 2013 @ 4:08 PM CEST

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