Rotary International District 1240
Home | Stop People Trafficking | People Trafficking and Slavery
The Slave Trade
Two years ago, when the British Government celebrated the bicentenary of the abolition of the slave trade, slavery was still being discussed as an historical phenomenon. The image of captured Africans herded into the holds of ships for the dangerous Atlantic crossing, after which the survivors would be paraded at slave markets, has huge resonance — but most people treat it as a closed chapter of colonial history.Where does that put Modern Slavery
"Child slavery" can be and is often confused with "child labour" or "child exploitation" It is a fact of life that there are millions of children all over the world who are 'working' in places like food stalls, hotels & restaurants or as domestic servants quite possibly because they may be the only bread winners in their family. But for these children, unfortunate as they may be, at least they have a choice, albeit a very difficult one, to work or not to work. A child who is a slave, does not have that choice. A slave is someone who is "unpaid, unable to leave and is controlled by violence or the threat of violence". A slave is owned.
Slavery is illegal in every country in the world, yet there are more slaves now then ever before - an estimated 27 million at any one time. That is more than twice the number of people taken out of Africa during the 400 years leading up to abolition. Slave Trade and the number of enslaved people are growing, because of corruption, custom, criminality, poverty and man's greed for cheaper goods. The majority of these slaves are children who are increasingly being exploited by unscrupulous land, factory and plantation owners. In some cases these children have been lured away from their parents by contractors on the pretext that the children will receive a good education, learn some skills and subsequently help to improve the economic conditions of their own family. However that is far from the truth, in many instances, the children are lied to, or stolen from their parents, imprisoned in atrocious living and working conditions and beaten if they do not obey their owners, or try to escape.
So just what is Trafficking?
TRAFFICKING IS…to be deceived or taken against your will, bought, sold and transported into slavery for sexual exploitation, sweat shops, child brides, circuses, sacrificial worship, forced begging, sale of human organs, farm labour, domestic servitude.
TRAFFICKING IS…where family members and friends deceive parents to release their children or sell them for as little as $20 each, selling them on to local gang-masters or serious organised international trafficking rings.
TRAFFICKING IS…growing. 2–4 MILLION men, women and children are trafficked across borders and within their own country every year. More than one person is trafficked across borders EVERY MINUTE, which is equivalent to five jumbo jets every day. Trafficking is a trade that earns twice as much worldwide revenue as Coca Cola.
TRAFFICKING IS…where victims usually suffer repeated physical abuse, fear, torture and threats to families to break their spirits and turn them into saleable commodities. A person can be, and usually is, sold and trafficked many times.