By Beatriz Gomez De Castro
It’s the beginning of 2016 so on the topic of slavery, you might assume this chapter of history has been put to an end. What you may not be aware of, or choose to ignore, is the amount of people still living in slavery today. With over 38 million victims, modern day slavery has taken a new approach to the mistreatment of human lives.
Society has come a far way from racial slavery since the late 19th century but there are still complications in society that need to be brought attention to and stopped. Modern slavery is an issue many people know about, or have heard about, and yet nothing has truly being done to put an end to this part of society that is seen in various parts of the world, including first world countries such as the United States. It is not as distinguished as it was years ago with the purchase of people of color, but it is as drastic. It’s morphed itself into a money making commercial activity that affects millions of individuals from around the world.
Modern slavery occurs through scams and false job offers that, most of time, takes people to a different country that traps them in situations they are not able to escape, or through the employment of a person with an unhealthy experience that earns them little to no pay.
Big names in Fashion Industries, such as, Nike and Coca-Cola take people to work for them and then create harsh labor conditions that are barely considered humanly, mostly in third world countries where the protection of work labor is not as secure.
It is also society's fault for turning a blind eye and in a way contributing to the problem. By purchasing certain products, we help specific corporations exploit workers and gain a profit from buyers consumption. Although these companies are to blame for deliberately creating a corrupt evil in the world, it is also society's fault for turning a blind eye and in a way contributing. The clothes we wear have been made by people who are forced to work long hours to earn close to nothing, threatened for some kind of punishment if they don’t continue, and yet we are aware of this and continue to buy the company's products. Indifference will always help the perpetrator continue to expand its malicious actions instead of helping the victim. We’re bombarded daily with advertisements that promote materialistic products to help people fit into a certain image, usually things we don’t necessarily need, and avoid discussing what is happening in the grander scale, such as modern day slavery.
Human trafficking, the illegal purchase of people for forced labor or commerced sexual exploitation, is another form of slavery that is still expanding and finding more people to fall victim to it, according to the State of California Department of Justice. This usually occurs through job opportunities that result being scams and used to get people trapped into slavery. There are precautions that are trying to be passed on to make it a less recurring problem, although, the millions of people that are already in that situation rely on us to gain their freedom once again.
Some ways to help is by simply recognizing victims of trafficking to report it to the police. In order to do this you must understand the different forms of trafficking; labor or sex trafficking, as well as health characteristics of a trafficked person. Because they are poorly treated, their mental and physical health take a tool. Some health problems that may be evident include poor personal hygiene, signs of sexual abuse, bruising, broken bones, or post traumatic stress and psychological disorders.
Slavery isn’t an easy topic to discuss and it’s not really the trending topic at the moment. Because of this, however, is why we should make it be one and talk about it more. It’s easier to complain about things we have no power or control over than focusing on fixing things we actually can.
You’ll most likely go on with your life and get occupied with something else, because ultimately it’s not affecting us, but there is someone, somewhere that would benefit immensely if we would just keep the conversation going and put more of an importance to it.