Slavery: How It Affects You And Me
Slavery is closer to home than you think.
Researchers believe that are over 21 million slaves throughout the world today. Wait, 21 million slaves in the world today? That doesn’t seem right does it. We are in a modern world working to give everyone proper rights, how can there be that many slaves?
First off let’s start with a standard definition of slavery. The Free Dictionary online defines slavery as, “The condition in which one person is owned as property by another and is under the owner's control, especially in involuntary servitude.”
Merriam-Webster Dictionary describes human trafficking as “Organized criminal activity in which human beings are treated as possessions to be controlled and exploited (as by being forced into prostitution or involuntary labor)”
Do these definitions sound familiar? THAT’S BECAUSE THEY ARE.
Let’s compare these definitions more closely.
“The condition in which one person is owned as property by another and is under the owner's control, especially in involuntary servitude.”
“Organized criminal activity in which human beings are treated as possessions to be controlled and exploited (as by being forced into prostitution or involuntary labor)”
These are not just coincidences of including the same words. Human Trafficking has become the modern day slavery and it is closer to home than you think.
When people think and hear of slavery, they think about the Civil War, endangered servants, and third world countries. Human Trafficking is never what someone thinks of first when it comes to slavery. And rarely do they think about it occurring right in our backyard. That is because society has made us believe that this horrid event is not occurring in our home.
WRONG. WAY WRONG.
In the United States alone, between 14,500 and 17,500 people are trafficked each year. (dosomething) Human Trafficking and forced labor is a worldwide industry that makes $150 billion. (Polaris) This money comes from the buying and selling of slaves as well as the buying and selling of the products they make during their labor. The U.S. Department of Labor has identified 139 goods from 75 countries made by forced and child labor. (Polaris) Men, women, and children are all affected by this modern slavery. The average age of a child first forced into the sex slave trade is 13. (Caseact)
The United States is not the only country affected by this crime. The graphic below shows the breakdown of the different geographical areas of the country with the different percentages of the different ways humans are enslaved and used.
There are so many ways you can help advocate for Human Trafficking. Alone, it may seem as though you can’t do anything to help. But as a community, we can be the change this world needs. Here are some ideas of what you alone can do to make a different in the lives affected by human trafficking.
- You can call or write a letter to your senator informing them about the topic of human trafficking. One specific topic is ask them if they support the End Modern Slavery Initiative Act.
- You can share this article with your parents, your best friend, your favorite teacher, even your dog. Any exposure to the harsh realities of this topic is one step closer to finally ending it.
- Pray. Pray for the victims, the people on the hunt to save the enslaved, the organizations fighting for awareness, and most importantly, pray that our world is surrounded with love.
It is up to us to be the voice for those you don’t have one.