Modern Slavery

And now for a serious topic.

This morning I finished an excellent book entitled “Vanish” by Tess Gerritsen. It is a work of fiction based on events that happen in our world, indeed even in the United States, everyday. The story revolves around the illegal importation of young girls from Eastern Europe who believe they are entering the US legally to work at jobs waiting for them. Shortly after they arrive on American soil they are covertly sold as sex slaves.

According to The Week newsmagazine:

“The U.S. State Department reports that the slave trade is now the third largest type of illegal trade in the world, after drugs and weapons. Between 600,000 and 800,000 people are trafficked across national borders each year, with up to 17,500 of them entering the U.S. The International Labor Organization estimates that slave trading generates $31 billion per year.

The victims encompass a range of ages, caught up in a shadowy international trade stretching from the farthest reaches of the undeveloped world to sweatshops, massage parlors, and the private homes of the wealthy in the US and other Western nations.

Countries with the worst slavery records include China, Laos, Saudi Arabia and Mexico – who say they are trying to crack down on this activity.

The Human Rights Center at the University of California at Berkeley found that 46% of enslaved people in the US are pressed into some form of prostitution. Domestic service accounts for another 27%, agriculture 10%, sweatshop or factory labor 5%, and hotel and restaurant work 4%.”

Some victims are sold to slavery by their parents, others unwittingly answer want ads abroad,then discover once it’s too late that they have been kidnapped and what their “jobs” will really entail.

Victims usually do not escape, as their captors employ physical and psychological methods which totally demoralize them and prevent them from attempting escape.



Filed under Books, Life

4 responses to “Modern Slavery

  1. Candace

    Hmmm, this story has me wishing it was wordless Wednesday again. I am speechless (note this day on your calendar, it only happens on very rare occassions).

  2. glorious

    This is not new to humanity by any means.

  3. seb

    This stuff is scary, you hear a lot about it happening in Europe… It’s terrible, I don’t know how the people who get enslaved can ever recover psychologically even if they are given the chance.

  4. I am sure it is even worse than we imagine too.

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