The New Year began with Pope Francis calling on everyone to join hands and end slavery once and for all:
All of us are called to be free, all are called to be sons and daughters, and each, according to his or her own responsibilities, is called to combat modern forms of enslavement. From every people, culture and religion, let us join our forces.
Why is the Pope so worried about a non-issue? Wasn’t slavery ended after the emancipation proclamation? Nope, slavery did not just up and disappear because of a single American civil war. Surprised…? In fact, it is getting worse. Much worse.
Time Magazine noted in 2011:
Despite more than a dozen international conventions banning slavery in the past 150 years, there are more slaves today than at any point in human history. Slaves are those forced to perform services for no pay beyond subsistence and for the profit of others who hold them through fraud and violence. While most are held in debt bondage in the poorest regions of South Asia, some are trafficked in the midst of thriving development.
There are more slaves than at any time in human history — 27 million.
Today’s slavery focuses on big profits and cheap lives. It is not about owning people like before, but about using them as completely disposable tools for making money.
Benjamin Skinner, who researches modern slavery, offers some chilling insights:
In an underground brothel in Bucharest, I was offered a young woman with the visible effect of Down syndrome. One of her arms was covered in slashes, where I can only assume she was trying to escape daily rape the only way she knew how. That young woman was offered to me in trade for a used car.
I knew that I could get that car for about 1,500 euros. While that may sound like a very low price for human life, consider that five hours from where I live in New York — a three-hour flight down to Port au Prince, Haiti, and an hour from the airport — I was able to negotiate for a 10-year-old girl for cleaning and cooking, permanent possession and sexual favors. What do you think the asking price was?
They asked for $100, and I talked them down to $50. Now to put that in context: Going back to the time when my abolitionist ancestors were on their soapbox, in 1850, you could buy a healthy grown male for the equivalent of about $40,000.
The worst offender of human slavery is India, according to Skinner who quotes the Global Slavery Index, containing more slaves thanany other country in the world. Despite this, America and much of the developed world is happy to benefit from the slavery while ignoring its victims, accepting India’s claims that poverty is the cause of this horror.
Skinner is quick to point out that Indian slavery is due primarily due to generational debt bondage, affecting kids whose grandparents made a bad decision, rather than simple poverty. The same kind of debt bondage that will soon afflict America, as even Bloomberg would be forced to admit:
Republicans and Democrats alike postponed a reckoning. They encouraged borrowing and ignored surging tuition, leaving loans to balloon to the size of mortgages, shocking even the system’s own architects.
“No one ever conceived this was a way to create a debtor class of former students, the indentured student,” said Tom Wolanin, who worked on federal higher education policy for 30 years.
You see, student loan debt cannot be discharged with bankruptcy. With more and more graduates underemployed, or even unemployed, the time required to pay off the debt really does approach a life-time, as observed in a few of the cases listed in studentdebtcrisis.org. Human trafficking and blatant slavery (as opposed to the less visible debt slavery) in America is also of concern.
Washington Blog warns that the rich would attempt to put us all in debt peonage. Indeed, inequality in America today is worse than experienced by slaves in colonial America, and is twice as bad as it had been in Rome. The irony is that after the emancipation proclamation, More Blacks Under Correctional Control today than In 1850 slaveholding America, more are In jail than In Apartheid South Africa.
Yet nobody seems to care anymore. There is no Abraham Lincoln, no Moses, no Gandhi, and no Martin Luther King Jnr. In this day and age of anti-heroes we have Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and Warren Buffet. Many claims of charity are made, while wealth inequality and human slavery continue ever onward.
Most people do not even know about the enslavement of humanity, and most of those who do know simply do not care.
Original source: http://www.zerohedge.com
its not that those who do know don’t care. It’s that many like myself do know, don’t know what they can do about it. Can your article include suggestions as to what the common person can do about it?
I’ve been researching this idea. I found this information while searching a PBS show called “A Path Appears”.
Christina, I liked your question as to what can be done. The media and facebook pages are flooding newsfeeds with all the horrible c.r.a.p. going on in our world but are not offering ideas, suggestions, plans or solutions on how to prevent it. In my opinion, It seems that focusing on the c.r.a.p. and other ‘issues’ that get the most ‘likes’, ‘shares’ and comments are more important than saving t.i.m.e., money, natural resources and the lives of innocent children, adults and animals.
I ‘like’ ‘We are Anonymous’ and I share many of their #behappyfacts on #yOURbehappynewspage (including this one about slavery)but I do find it very frustrating that they (and so many others) do not focus on, and share #behappysolutions.
To: We are Anonymous…
No I am NOT a spammer. I am just someone who wants to work with you and others to #CutTheCorruptionRhetoricAccusationsProfiteering,
#CutTheCrimeRacismAccidentsPoverty, Politics and other leading causes of hunger, homelessness, despair, fear, frustration, desperation, anger, violence, w.a.r.s., injuries, pain, d.e.a.t.h.s., sorrow, stress, inflation and taxes.
I would point out that the solution he offers is clear….. Rise up, and for once quit bitching about an article that offers useful information.
OMG! Do you people not realize that you are shooting the messenger? How will people know about this crisis? The regular media hardly if ever makes mention of it. First, we must realize that a problem exists before anyone can fix it. It’s a hugely complication situation that would require numerous courses of action to correct.
Raise awareness! that is something anybody can do 🙂
i know it sounds like doing nothing but if sufficiently enough people would share, these people doing slavery wouldn’t have where to hide anymore.
Another thing anybody could do would be to denounce to local authorities people doing this, whenever they found out about it.
look for, sign and share petitions, boycott the worst offenders, Kraft and Nestle use children in neck chains to pick cacao for cheap chocolate bars. Lobby the worst companies such as the tuna companies all using slaves. Say not in my name any way you can. Say it loud and often. You have the power to say that you will not support the slave industry. Each one of us decides to stop and we will have the power of numbers we must act together to create change. There are many anti slavery petitions on my page @petition for change. Check them out, sign them and please like the page. Thank you.
There are lots of us who can’t afford to live, let alone afford luxuries like going to a dentist/eating solid food, or living without rats that climb over you like you barely exist.
I’m just sayin. I bet there’s someone within a mile radius of your house that can’t chew an apple, or is sleeping in someone else’s backyard.
You don’t have to help me, but help SOMEONE.
what a pathetic article. Comparing real world slavery to American debt is abhorent. shame.
That comparison was a tiny portion of the article. Pathetic? That’s rather extreme for an article highlighting the potential for debt slavery world-wide….. Even in America, though it is not yet that bad, the potential exists clearly.
You’ve missed the point completely. The article points out that slavery is now worldwide. Yes, buying a girl for $50 is worse than being a life-debtor in the United States, but nonetheless, it’s still a form of slavery. Just because the former is worse, it doesn’t negate the existence of the latter.
Could any of these children be brought to our own country & given a loving home & childhood?
And if we buy those lives, free them, care for them and teach them. The world will be better and we will progress. Away from where they will be exploited. It takes and investment of your time and money. Are you ready for the challange?
i am daipayan basu. i am 18yrs old and i am presently in class 12th. i am an indian and i am aware of what is taking place in my country. i have read this article and i have been reading the comments above. people from other countries offer solutions like buying them up and freeing them or taking them to their countries to give them a loving home. these solutions are all very well for a few thousands but it does’nt work for millions. we are a population of mostly non violent common people who have to keep themselves and their families fed. we are all of us slaves. we simply cannot take up arms go out to fight. we are all of us afraid for our families. the people who enslaved us own the companies we work for. they own our banks. they own our hospitals. they own our transports, our factories, our stock market. they own the police and the government. how do we fight them? and why should we have to leave our homeland to be free? the problem with india is that most of the population is poor. most of us have work 12-18 hours everyday to make our ends meet. we do not have a fixed minimum wage. what we need is education and technology. only that can get us out of this mess.
Im so pissed right now. I typed for almost an hour and even my internet wants to silence me.
Ok. So, call me Crux.
When I was 19 i went to a for-profit college. Smart kid. 3.5 GPA Average. BUT – my family is nightmare fuel. This relate to the Student Debt Trap (slavery cycle). I lived with my mother until I was 17; I got really sick; turns out she has Munchhausen syndrome by proxy and may be schitzo effective (delusional, hears voices, times with bipolar disorder and spice with addiction problems and abusive BFs). I had long term problems with her psych issues (and PTSD of my own from her) and I had good reasons to live on the street or a foster home (brain tumor scare; she refused to bring me to a doctor anymore a year later), but I wanted to finish highschool and get to college without getting molested like all the other foster kids that lived in the projects with me. School was the only break from her madness, and that just told me I had to put my life into my own independence. School made me think the answer to that was to go to college to get a good job.
Now, I asked my father and stepmother to live with them. I got better because I got treatment (it was a CFS leak and through-the-sinsuses-impacted wisdomteeth, not a tumor it turns out), but I spiralled into anorexia and severe PTSD. My parents lived in a suburb, were considered up end, and the completely opposite of the urban projects i lived in before. But they were just as abusive (my father goes after similar women). I’ve had my eyes burned with bleach, hands held under hot water, told to shoot myself (and offered a gun), and joked they would sell me for a drowery (I had already been sexually abused a’plenty and they said i was lying.) I had to be home every night by 7 to make them dinner and clean, even on prom night. They did not teach me how to drive, but charged me rent, and I lived in an area where we did not have any Taxi or Uber. I opted that dorming and going to college was my best shot. My father wanted me gone, so he co-signed as a “gift.”
I got to college. Out of 2 older brothers, I was the only one to even graduate highschool. I thought I’d take a year long course to keep myself from living minimum wage and help me get into holistics as a career. I became the tutor of the class, and all the while dealing with a college sexual assault (I had to move out of the dorm because they threatened to kick ME out because of his feelings about how he was overweight!!!! He was a smelly 250lb mexican guy, i was 125lb white girl just trying to hold together for tomorrow!), an abusive boyfriend, no car, 3 jobs, and then full time school. I’m not kidding.
Then the last month of school, I find the test isn’t covering school loans like my teachers said it would, and I just paid rent. We had a week left of class. 2 months later the whole school closed, and I couldn’t even get vocational advice. There, starts the Student Debt Trap.
So, that was 10 years ago. I’m turning 30 in 2 months.
What I had done was I I deffered as long as I could without a penalty (6months), trying to find a job that paid for rent, savings for a license and a car, and then 200 a month for loand in a state where the minimum was 8 dollars an hour. But i could never afford the 800$ testing to get into Massage, my college field, because I made . And that job that paid for it all? It didn’t happen. You can’t work 40 hours a week on 3 part time jobs even with a decent amount of overtime because your rent is 800 and that’s leaving you with nothing after utilities. And I couldn’t get food stamps because I was told I made too much and I wasn’t a minority. (racism goes both ways, America)
Now, because my father needed his credit to buy his house (the renter died and left buying as an option) and suddenly my 3 neices had to live with him because their deadbeat dad (my brother) slept with their mom, who HAPPENS to be my stemother’s daughter. (and went off to his girlfriend the hour after and not pay childsupport for years). So, I love those kids, and they did no wrong, and I had to do what i felt my part, even if I don’t see them for years.
i realized my school loans had my family hostage through my dad cosigning, as miserable as I think he is anyway. I couldnt do that to them.
Then they jacked up my interest.
When I called in to make payments, they’d give me a confirmation number and go through the whole process, for it to not go through, and no record of a confirmation number. Contract alert! Father cannot be released for 3 years every time it happens. Stuck.
I couldn’t defer and sacrifice my credit for freedom even sleeping on the streets of New England in the winter. So, I worked whatever jobs I could to get by. I’ve been homeless many times. You go to work to stay warm. Sleeping in a snowbank because you had to quit your job because you were relocated 50 miles away with no car, JUST so you could get a single night stay at the nearest homeless shelter- BUT you needed to cater to your School Loans or the bank puts kids out on the street or DSS. It puts a chip on your shoulder. Through eating on 20 a week groceries from the Dollar Tree, going without heat for whole winters, dangerous domestic situations, i squeezed by for years.
I finally payed off my federal part of the loan with my taxes one year.
Then laws changed a year, and my interest went up really high, and more loop holes and contract shit. I had to pay 300 a month to at least take off a chip of interest.
Then another law changed, and suddenly, I hear about class action lawsuits, both against my school and the lender. What they did is called Predatory Lending. I managed to find a very informative law group, and they’re one of 3 who are doing this class action lawsuit. The lender has been known for being smiley before, so if the case doesn’t end with me getting a settlement, they need to charge me for the school loans (so I never stop paying into them) and a flat rate to make money, and i’d still be responsible for 1/4 of my loan, which will be out of the slavery interest bracket. But since they did the math on my interest and current amounts owed, they found I would be stuck paying until I am in my late 60’s at 200 dollars a month I didn’t even have anyway. But I see a light. Even if I somehow lose this case against the lenders in the class action lawsuit, I only have to pay monthly to the lawyer for 7 more months, then find out the outcome.
It’s already been 10 years for one year of school. I had dreams I wanted to pursue.
Now I have the best fiance ever. A car (I’ve been homeless years, but my credit is still fair even after my school lender is pulling illegal crap and lowering it while we are in court). I got some treatment for the PTSD, but I can’t afford a longterm health plan for it and it’s a problem ALL the time. My primary health insurance is not accepted widely because they don’t pay their doctors, and I need to use them to use the state-supporting secondary insurance, so no healthcare or dental for me. Nothing has changed with me and the family, and they are no better than before, but my nieces are moving out and they grew up smart and kind and funny. I’m proud. I never want them to go through what I did. But I haven’t talked to them in more than a year and a half because of the SSDD with them.
Now I work at a printing press making 17$ an hour. My boyfriend works at a gas station making 12 an hour, and can only work part time because of the child support system- he’d be responsible for his kid’s healthcare and could lose up to 60 percent of his check working full time. He’d make less money and we still eat at the soup kitchen because we are within 10$ after gas to get to work every week.
Now, get this. This shows something else is wrong.
If I work full time at 17 an hour, and he works 12, and I’m marked as full time, and him part time, after all the mandatory things taken out of our checks he takes home 50$ more than me if he only works 10 hours of overtime. (And that’s happened a few times because he had to take someone’s shift, and is NO guarantee [his boss gets yelled at]). I realized that in my career, i had to stop my 401k. No retirement for me- we needed the $$.
And every job I had has had sexual harassment, avoiding workman’s comp by playing dirty, short term disability insurance forcing you to go back to work early by using technicalities on what type of surgery you had (i got my tubes tied because i have a breastcancer risk of 40%.)
And btw, that test for genetic cancer genes? If you get it, and you have a gene, in any state outside of a commonwealth with laws protecting you, any insurance company can say you had a pre-existing condition if you get that cancer. I risked it, and I don’t have a known one, but it could be…ENVONRONMENTAL! My mother, grandmother, and great grandmother lived in a town with poisoned water from a tannery. I lived where A Civil Action was about.
So, this NDPL is terrifying too.
The walls are closing in.
Does anyone else see the cage? Why is it so invisible?