Modern Day Slavery

 

Modern Day Slavery

Yes! it is still happening!




A young girl works splitting used batteries for parts, in Dhaka, India. 

Modern Day Slavery.

Facts, Stories,
Child Soldiers, Blood Diamonds, Sex trafficking 


Modern Day Slavery

From India to Indiana more people are enslaved today than ever before. Find below an extract of an article written by Dr. Charles Jacobs, President of the American Anti-Slavery Group.

In 1993, Abdul Momen traveled to the town of Tungipara, 25 miles from Bangladesh’s capital, Dhaka, where 1,000 children, mostly girls, were reported missing. A dozen mothers told him the same tale: Their children had left with labor contractors who promised good jobs in the Persian Gulf.

Young boys rescued from camel jockeying:
Thousands of poor Bangladeshis send their children to work in the Gulf States to help support their families back home. But these children hadn’t been heard from since, and their mothers were maddened by the rumors: that these employment agents were slavers; that the children had been sold — the girls now stocking the brothels of India and Pakistan; that the boys shipped to the Gulf to be camel jockeys. After months of investigation, Momen, head of Women and Children International, concluded that the rumors were true. The children of Tungipara are slaves.

Most people believe slavery no longer exists, but it is still very much alive. From Khartoum to Calcutta, from Brazil to Bangladesh, men, women, and children live and work as slaves or in slave-like conditions. According to the London-based Anti-Slavery International (ASI), the world’s oldest human-rights organization, there are at least 27 million people in bondage. Indeed, there may be more slaves in the world than ever before.

The amount of people living in slavery in the 21st Century is more than the total population of the continent Australia!

This fact is generally not known. In part, this is because modern-day slavery does not fit our familiar images of shackles, whips, and auctions. Contemporary forms of human bondage include such practices as forced labor, servile marriage, debt bondage, child labor, and forced prostitution. Modern slaves can be concubines, camel jockeys, or cane cutters. They might weave carpets, build roads, or clear forests. Though the vast majority is no longer sold at public auction, today’s slaves are often no better off than their more familiar predecessors. Indeed, in many cases, their lives are more brutal and hazardous.

Who are these people? How do they become slaves? What might be done for them? A review of government documents, human-rights reports, news stories, and conversations with modern abolitionists around the globe uncovers a shocking reality.

For more information about the global problem of slavery contact The American Anti-Slavery Group at www.iabolish.org

Sex Slavery: a True Story

“Lin-Lin” was 13 when her mother died. Her father took her to a job placement agency, which promised to get her a good job, and took $480 as an advance on her earnings.
Instead she was taken to a brothel, where she sits in a windowed room with a number. Clients pay the owner $4 an hour for her. She cannot leave until she pays off her debt, which is her cost to the brothel owner, plus interest and expenses.

If “Lin-Lin” refuses to take care of her clients, she might be beaten, burned with cigarettes, or have her head immersed in water until she relents. If she tries to escape, she might be killed.

“He’s the one”: A former sex slave identifies her Australian abuser after a brothel raid.
Of the $4, she theoretically gets about $1.60, plus tips. The owner keeps her money… and the records. “Lin-Lin” will be there a long time.

Hundreds of thousands of Asia’s children, mostly girls but also boys, have been taken from their homes and delivered to bordellos, where they fuel a sex industry that thrives in great part by servicing Western and Japanese men.

Although child prostitutes are used by Asian locals, some countries in Southeast Asia have become centers of sex tourism and targets of organized pedophile rings. Centered in Thailand but spread throughout Asia, this international flesh trade consumes girls as young as eight years of age, according to Christine Vertucci, information officer with ECPAT.

The sexual enslavement of children is part of the general exploitation of children in impoverished parts of the world. Indeed, sex slaves are captured in much the same way as Haitian cane cutters, India’s carpet weavers, and Persian Gulf camel jockeys. They are lured with false promises of decent employment, caught in debt bondage, kidnapped, or simply sold outright by parents, friends, or people they know.

Debt bondage in particular continues to enslave millions today in Asia. They are trapped by an obligation that may be passed from generation to generation; indeed, because of incredibly low wages, high interest charges, and cheating, it may never be repaid. Armies of debt-bonded slaves — including little children — work in rock quarries, as housemaids, building roads, weaving carpets, or as forced prostitutes. With no social safety net, a bad harvest or serious illness might mean starvation; bondage is better than death.

It is also true, according to Chis McMahon of the Centre for the Protection of Children’s Rights (CPCR) in Bangkok, that some girls are simply sold by parents who have fallen on hard times — not so much from a bad harvest but due to a drinking or drug problem. Some have been filled by TV’s corrupting materialism and simply must have a car, television, or VCR.

According to Vertucci of ECPAT, many of the little girls who are used by their families to pay off a debt do not know what the original principal or interest rate is, and so they will never buy back their freedom. Brothels can range from the seedy to the hideous. Often, they are closed compounds from which the girls may not leave without escorts. The local police are corrupt: A raid is an opportunity to collect a payoff, or even to sell back the girls to the brothel owner, who then adds that cost to the girls’ debt. The police themselves are frequently bordello patrons.

Sex slavery is now so ingrained in Thailand that many girls accept their fate as just another way of life. “More and more from their village have done it, and the Thai girls may pay the debt and stay in a life of prostitution, getting some economic return,” reports McMahon.
Indeed, the worst cases of brutally forced prostitution now involve non-Thai groups. The fear of AIDS has spawned an intense demand for girls who are supposedly disease-free.

Thai-based sex slavers now seek out the very young and girls from other countries. Tens of thousands of girls from Burma, China, and Cambodia are being lured and kidnapped. ECPAT is waging an international campaign for Western countries to criminalize the sexual abuse of children by their own citizens in foreign countries. (The U.S. Congress enacted such a provision under President Clinton’s crime bill.) In June 1995, Swedish courts chalked up the first such extraterritorial conviction, jailing a man caught in bed in Thailand with a 14- year-old boy. Outside pressure has brought some changes in Thailand as well.

A new Crime Suppression Division has been formed to battle forced prostitution. The CSD is a national police force whose men are moved constantly so they can less easily form relationships with brothel owners. But there are only 30 or so of them in the entire country, and their effectiveness is marginal. For example, on March 1, 1995, the CPCR organized a raid on a brothel in Chiang Mai, Thailand’s second-largest city, to free foreign girls who were held against their will. The girls were from the Akha hill tribe and were trafficked from China to Burma and then Thailand. The CPCR called in the CSD. The raid worked, the girls were rescued, and the pimps and mama-san were arrested. But they were immediately released on bail, and, when they disappeared, local Thai police were “too busy” to rearrest them. The brothel is now functioning as before.

The anti-slavery activists rescued 13 girls in this raid — 11 from Burma, 2 from China. The girls are now undergoing rehabilitation. But as Amihan Abueva of the child welfare group Salinlahi Foundation in Manila says, “It’s more difficult to rehabilitate children who have been sexually exploited than even those who have been traumatized by war.”

The Cadena smuggling ring trafficked women, some as young as 14, from Mexico to Florida. The victims were forced to prostitute themselves with as many as 130 men per week in a trailer park. Of the $25 charged the “Johns” the women received only $3. The Cadena members kept the women hostage through threats and physical abuse. One woman was kept in a closet for 15 days for trying to escape. Some were beaten and forced to have abortions (the cost of which was added to their debt). The women worked until they paid off their debts of $2,000 to $3,000.

Domestic servants in some countries of the Middle East are forced to work 12 to 16 hours a day with little or no pay, and subject to sexual abuse such as rape, forced abortions, and physical abuse that has resulted in death.

Traffickers in many countries in West Africa take girls through voodoo rituals in which girls take oaths of silence and are often raped and beaten, prior to their leaving the country. They are also forced to sign agreements stating that, once they arrive in another country, they owe the traffickers a set amount of money. They are sworn to secrecy and given detailed accounts of how they will be tortured if they break their promise. Traffickers have taken women and young girls to shrines and places of cultural or religious significance; they remove pubic and other hair and then perform a ceremony of intimidation.
In August 2001, soldiers with the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Eritrea were purchasing ten-year-old girls for sex in local hotels.

Before the arrival of 15,000 UN troops in Cambodia in 1991, there were an estimated 1,000 prostitutes in the capital. Currently, Cambodia’s illegal sex trade generates $500 million a year. No less than 55,000 women and children are sex slaves in Cambodia, 35 percent of which are younger than 18 years of age.

Over 5,000 women and children have been trafficked from the Philippines, Russia and Eastern Europe and are forced into prostitution in bars servicing the U.S. Military in South Korea

Debt Bondage:

The most prevalent form of modern day slavery, known as debt bondage or bonded labor, occurs when a child becomes a form of security against a debt or small loan a family member of a friend may have taken. In India and other developing countries, these loans range from $14 to $214, and are usually incurred for basic necessities like food, emergency needs, medical treatment, marriage dowry (a long-standing tradition), or funeral expenses. With exorbitant interest rates of up to 60 percent, these loans are difficult, if not impossible, to repay. Individuals thus become trapped within a system of debt bondage that forces them to repay loans by working unconditionally for their entire lives – even passing on the same debt for generations. Human rights groups estimate that 15 to 20 million slaves are represented by bonded labor in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Nepal alone.

Debt bondage and other types of slavery are prevalent in both export-oriented and domestic industries. Both adults and children are enslaved, though the frequency of child slavery is much higher, as children are easier to exploit. Nevertheless, it is often difficult to differentiate between illegal child labor and child slavery.

All of the industries that use child slaves also use illegal child labor (with the possible exception of child prostitution). India has some 44 million workers under the age of 13, with 300,000 in the carpet-making industry alone. These numbers also include child slaves.

By conservative estimates, there are thought to be at least 5 million children in bonded labor in India alone. Debt bondage, as the most common form of modern-day slavery, is used to exploit people in India -especially children- in all sorts of work, including:

Agriculture
Prostitution
Clothing and textile manufacturing
Silk production
The leather industry
Match-making
Glass blowing
Gemstone polishing
Salt production
Cigarette rolling
Soccer ball stitching
The firework industry
The hand-knotted carpet-making industry.

For more information about debt bondage visit antislavery.org

They Are Not Protected

Children from Pakistan and Bangladesh are kidnapped or sold by their parents to traffickers who take them to Persian Gulf States including the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, to work as camel jockeys. These children 3 to 7 years of age and are malnourished to keep their weight below 35 pounds. They suffer physical abuse from the traffickers and work all day training camels. Many of these children suffer extreme injuries or death from falling off camels during the races.

Child victims of trafficking are very vulnerable to HIV/AIDS. Misconceptions that having sex with a virgin can cure HIV/AIDS have fueled an increased demand for child prostitutes.

Girls from 15 to 17 years of age are trafficked from Thailand and Taiwan to South Africa. Traffickers recruited these girls to work as waitresses or domestic workers. Once they arrive in South Africa they are forced into prostitution.

Filipino children are trafficked to countries in Africa, the Middle East, Western Europe and Southeast Asia, where they are sexually exploited. Traffickers loan parents a sum of money, which the girl must repay to the trafficker through forced prostitution. In one case, a Filipino woman rented her 9-year-old niece to foreign men for sex, and eventually sold her to a German pedophile.

Child Soldiers

Just as children are exploited commercially for sex and labor, another burgeoning area of exploitation, which is more of a broad based category, appears in the form of political exploitation. Whether, the children are being recruited as child soldiers to fight political battles, or whether their being kidnapped and held captive for political reasons, the political exploitation of children is another area in which we hope to help bring awareness and resources to.

Clearly the exploitation of children can take on many forms, so it’s important in understanding the forms this exploitation may take. Please visit this site for more specific detail: www.child-soldiers.org



 

24-hr Human Trafficking Emergency Hotline 1-619- 666-2757
(English & Spanish)

The BSCC Trafficking Hotline is a direct link to the BSCC Trafficking Emergency Response Team.

The Trafficking Hotline is bilingual and available 24 hours a day and 7 days a week to assist victims, service providers, and law enforcement.

BSCC’s purpose is to bilaterally prevent and intervene in the commercial and sexual exploitation of men, women and children while advocating for all exploited persons.




Psalm 8:3-5

I often think of the heavens your hands have made, and of the moon and stars you put in place.
Then I ask, “Why do you care about us humans? Why are you concerned for us weaklings?”
You made us a little lower than you yourself, and you have crowned us with glory and honor.

And we ARE worth more !

The Human Trafficking Movie Project

Human Trafficking Movie PosterHuamn.Trafficking.icon

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