Sunday, August 21, 2011

The worst of worlds

Slavery today is not just forcing people to work, it is often rape. But first, the abductors ensure the victim cannot escape. They bring them to a different country, usually with the promise of good work, then take their identification (passports). This does two things. It takes them away from everyone they know and puts them in an environment with which they are unfamiliar.

It's only rarely that we hear or read about this on the news, which is interesting because according to the Freedom Center ( there are between 12 - 27 million people in some form of enslavement today. Many of those are children while about 75% are female. There are approximately 600,000 - 800,000 people trafficked internationally every year ( If it is so prevalent, why do we not hear more about it.

Obviously, those in control of the slave trade do not want it to be front and center. They prefer it stays a non-issue. Also, many people would prefer not to admit it occurs.

It is interesting to me that we have a "War on Drugs" that most Americans know is a miserable failure, but we do not have a "War on Slavery." It may be challenging, but I think it is worth it to begin reallocating resources to stop slavery. The resources wasted on the war on drugs can be reduced by decriminalizing some drugs (for example, marijuana). This would also have the positive effect of increasing taxes, just think about how much in taxes is collected on tobacco (many millions of dollars).

We are starting to wake up. There are more resources available to educate people about human trafficking, both government and non-profit. There have also been some successes with convicting those guilty of trafficking. However, it needs to be a bigger issue. When people are oblivious to the fact that thousands of humans are brought into the country specifically for forced prostitution, how good can we feel about our society?