Friday, December 02, 2016

Modern Day Slavery - 11 Articles

December 02 is the annual  International Day for the Abolition of Slavery. Me so [real] horny gets boring after a while. Once a year I write about modern day slavery and real people, whose suffering is real. This year a selection of 11 articles that chronicle modern day slavery.

Slavery, a 21st century evil

The freedom to make your own choices - especially when it comes to playing games, no matter how weird they are - is a privilege. In the real world millions of people live in terrible conditions that are so bad that they are referred to as modern day slaves. This June I wrote about a newspaper article stating that there are 17.500 modern slaves in the Netherlands. I was shocked.

We close our eyes
Western governments and its people have closed their eyes for too long when it comes to modern day slavery. The first International Day for the Abolition of Slavery was celebrated just 30 years ago. Once a year, on December 02 - International Day for the Abolition of Slavery - I write about slavery in the real world. This year I selected 11 articles that chronicle modern day slavery. So please, next time when you proudly proclaim "for us it's real", think about what you say.

modern day slavery - al jazeera - 45.8 million people in 167 countries.
Even in the "civilized' world - our world.

First up is Al Jazeera, the independant Middle East broadcaster with a round-up of the facts. Right now there are some 46 million people in slavery in 167 countries. About two thirds of them are subject to forced labour. Most of those in forced labour are women and girls.

Turmoil seems to rule the world. The Middle East is on fire. The African continent is embroiled in bloody conflicts wherever you look. Two months ago The Guardian wrote how 70% of migrants arriving in Europe by boat become victims of trafficing or are exploited outright. One thing that especially caught my eye is the phrase "organ trafficking".

The world's three worst countries for modern day slavery, according to, are Mauritania where one in five is a modern day slave.

Then there is Haiti. It occupies the Western half of an island located East of Cuba. The other half of the island is home to the Dominican Republic. In 2010 Haiti was devastated by an earthquake. Afterwards for the most part it was left to its own devices. As a result many people lost their homes. According to Walk Free, one in 10 children are currently being exploited. Women and children forced into camps for internally displaced people after the earthquake are at an increased risk of sex trafficking and forced labor.

The third worst country for modern day slavery is Pakistan. By absolute numbers India tops the charts, but the list goes on another 164 countries, including the Netherlands.

Closer to home
Most people think slavery in the 21st century doesn't occur in the Western world. They are wrong. As mentioned at the beginning of this article research estimates that my native Holland has some 17.500 modern day slaves. That is a lot if you consider the fact that the entire population of the Netherlands is some 17 million people. Much less than the number of people living in the greater London area for instance.

In 2015 Great Britain introduced the Modern Slavery Act. It requires big firms to publicly and prominently report what they are doing to ensure there is no slavery in their operations and supply chains. Some 85 percent of firms do not comply with the act as of 2016 according to an Al Jazeera investigation.

Governments are well aware that modern day slavery is part of the production chain for most companies. In fact, the US Department of State has come up with a list of 7 types of modern day slavery - very similar to the one I discussed in 2013, that occur right in front of us.

Whichever way you look at it, modern day slavery is big business. Estimates range from USD 35 billion annually to USD 150 billion annually. Big numbers. The latter is three times the turnover that Apple - the world's largest company - reported in 2015. Those numbers get even more depressing once you realize how little modern day slaves go for. Globally, the average cost of a slave is $90.

Even those who acknowledge the existence of modern day slavery, often get their numbers wrong. For instance: not sexual slavery but forced labour is the most common form of modern day slavery.

So who is affected by modern day slavery? The short answer is: we all are. Either be it because you buy a product made with slave labour - against your express wishes or be it that you loose your job because cheap slave labour undercuts the price for which your boss sells its stuff.  Governments meanwhile spend your tax money on prosecuting those who exploit their fellow humans.

What about me?
So what can you do? My honest answer is: "very little". Most of modern day slavery happens out of sight and we are not aware of it. If you think there is something odd, my advice is to report it. Other than that, very little.

Me, I like to travel. One thing I've learned over the years is not to give money to beggars. When you find yourself off the beaten track, like I do, you come across children missing a limb. Sometimes they are born that way, but more often than not they are victims of modern day slavery. Their "owners" disfigure them so they can extract cold hard cash from their "investment".

I've learned that the best way to build up resilience against such terrible misery is to spend lavishly on a charity before you leave. It will not make the lives of those children any more bearable. And yes I know how difficult it is to walk by a handicapped child who is begging as if his life depends on it. Just remember: you cannot change the past. Accepting the reality of the here and now just might rescue some innocent kid from that very same terrible faith. And no, it never gets any easier, which is probably the only good thing in this whole story.

I'll leave you with a link to photographer Lisa Kristine, who travels the world documenting the unbearably harsh realities of modern-day slavery.

December 02 is the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery. As a reminder for us kinky people about the ugly truth of real world slavery, once a year I write about modern day slavery.
heavy metal shackles

No comments :

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...