Friday, October 18, 2013

Blog 6: Slavery Around the World

A new report of The Global Slavery Index has been published listing out the worst places in the world for slavery. According to the report India has the highest number of slaves throughout the world, while the West African nation of Mauritania has the highest percentage, with four percent of its own population enslaved. This report used not only the traditional definition of slavery but redefined it to be "the possession and control of a person in such a way as to significantly deprive that person of his or her individual liberty, with the intent of exploiting that person through their use, management, profit, transfer or disposal. Usually this exercise will be achieved through means such as violence or threats of violence, deception and/or coercion." The high numbers in India are said to be due to the cultural “debt bondage” would is tied to their caste system. Many of the reported cases in the Middle East and North Africa were due to trafficking of women. The report concluded that many people are enslaved because of socially accepted exploitation such as forced marriage, child labor, or exploitation of migrant workers. So generally people are enslaved as means of some sort of labor around the world.
This report has brought to our attention just how many people around the world are being enslaved in one way or another. All of which are violations of basic human rights, according to the UN’s Declaration of Human Rights which states “No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms” and “No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment”. This all coincides with our discussions on crime as well, because human trafficking or corporations taking advantage of their workers are each different forms of crime that we have discussed. The fact that the report has an all-encompassing definition of what constitutes slavery also allows us to see that while the numbers are astronomical not all of these people are enslaved in an illegal way and that some are enslaved due to what these individual societies see as deviant or not. For example since many of these cases are contributed to child labor, we can see that while in our society that child labor is very much looked down upon, around the world it is still very much a cultural norm. Most importantly, this article brings forth the fact that as human beings we still have a long way to go to raise the standards around the world to protect people’s most basic rights.

Nicole Egna
2:40 pm

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