Much as there is an assumption that slavery no longer exists, it is a known fact that it is being practiced only in ways that are not as explicitly as before. A slave is said to be a person who through force or threat of force both mentally and physically is controlled by another who forces him or her to work on their behalf without pay. The share also does not have freedom to move around as they wish. Taking this definition of slavery on then realizes that there are very many slaves around us just that they no longer bear the trademarks that were associated with slavery in times gone.
Human trafficking involves coercing, forcing or defrauding people into labor or even sexual exploitation for the benefit of the one doing the convincing. This is seen as the modern day slavery. (Bureau of Public Affairs May 24, 2004). Majority of the people who fall prey to the people who deal with this slavery are mostly from third world countries. This is done either through promising them a safe passage to the developed world where they would get jobs and better education or even get married.
Some are not promised anything but are instead forced into doing so by threats to their lives or that of their family members thus constituting mental and physical torture. Women and children are the most trafficked human beings. This trafficking takes place not only across borders but also with in borders. The loan sharks provide loans that have exorbitant rates of pay, which prove to be impossible and thus end up taking some family members in lieu of the monetary pay.
All this happens despite the fact that slavery is banned in all countries of the world. It is usually prohibited by 1948 universal declaration of Human Rights and also the 1956 UN Supplementary Convention on the abolition of slavery, the slavery trade and institutions and practices similar to slavery (http://www. antislavery. org). In the 1850’s slavery was an institution and to won a slave was very expensive and thus very prestigious one African slave would cost around $40,000.
In contemporary slavery, the price of a human being has diminished in value to a point that the most expensive slave is an Eastern Europe woman who costs $500 while the cheapest is a child from India who is sold for as low as $35. However, there is trafficking of men too especially to work in the Brazilian estates as farm laborers and they can cost around $100. The problem is that there are too many desperate people in the world and the traffickers take advantage of this desperation to get more people in the trade.
The low price at which they are gotten for makes them dispensable. There is little value placed on human life and this means that if any of these forced workers are killed for any reason like refusing to work or not doing so completely. There are many different types of slavery in the contemporary world and they include; labor slaves, ritual offerings, sex slaves, and organ and skin trafficking, slave soldiers, pedophilia and also early and forced marriages. Women and children are mostly used for sex trade.
Other slaves are used to remove organs to be used for black magic and also during operations. Apart from those who are obviously slaves, there are other slaves who are not exactly slaves because they are being paid but are bonded in other ways. Their pay may be slightly better than what slaves get and thus live in such object poverty that they cannot be able to quit their jobs. This sort of labor is known as sweatshop labor which exploits workers yet they cannot leave the jobs.
They are also those who are bondage slaves who are captured by the loan sharks because of the high interests they require from those they loan money to. This then leads to slavery by descent because the debt is passed on to the next generation. Currently, there are about 27 million people who are enslaved in either form of enslavement. The human trafficking has generated a lot of money for the economy. It actually generates billion in a year for the international economy. They are also used as barter trade for most of the illegal drugs, arms and toxic waste.
By using slave labor, the industries are able to keep the prices of their goods low due to low cost of labor. This is especially so in China. It has become next to impossible to curb this trade because it is not done openly and thus the money trail cannot be followed. There is no system put in place to track the trail of human beings as commodities. Some economies also benefit so much from the production of the slaves that they are reluctant to put in place policies that would end their source of income.
Some of the emerging economies are benefiting largely from the input of the slaves and hence would not do anything to harm the trafficking. The lifestyle of the world would also change because almost everything from food to cloths to sources of pleasure including prostitution would become expensive for people to afford. There is therefore little effort on the part of the government to curb this vice although it is running the lives of so many people (Jancius A. 2006).
References 1. Anti-Slavery ILO (N. D. ) What is Modern Slavery? Retrieved on 2nd November 2007 from http://lists.ysu.edu/pipermail/urbanth-l/2006-June/000986.html