Modern Day Slavery

I just found out that here in the US it’s National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. I bet if someone were to take a poll, the vast majority of Americans would think that Slavery went out with the Emancipation Proclamation in 1865. Not so much.

According to WGBH’s “Human Trafficking: Modern-Day Slavery in America” by Phillip Martin, “About 18,000 people are trafficked to the U.S. each year, according to the State Department. What do they have in common? Most are indebted to smugglers and traffickers. According to the Polaris Project, a national anti-human trafficking group, victims have also been pressed to work in factories, farms, strip clubs, begging and peddling rings and as domestic workers — for little or no money.“

Imagine coming to America, thinking that it’s the land of the free, where the streets are all paved with gold and all your dreams can come true, only to have your passport taken away and then be forced to work in the fields for 16 hours a day in the middle of nowhere so Americans can have cheap vegetables, or forced to service up to 30 men a day. Imagine being turned into a drug addict, dependent upon your captor for your next fix. Imagine being told if you try to get help, you will be killed and your family will never know what became of you. Imagine the shame, the pain, the fear, and the complete feeling of helplessness.

Human trafficking in the US is only the tip of the iceberg, of course. This is a world wide problem. Everyone should educate themselves on this topic. How to recognize it. How to stop it. How to prevent it. How to help. In addition to the Polaris Project mentioned above I urge you to go to Youtube and type in trafficking and you’ll be presented with a whole host of really good documentaries, both short and long, on the topic.

Here’s one that is less than 2 minutes long, and it will really make you think. It takes place in Amsterdam, in the red light district, and it renders a bunch of tourists, who think that place is all fun and games, speechless. It’s called Girls Going Wild in Red Light District. It’s a must see. Watch it until the very end to get the full message.