Modern Slavery

At Dagblog, Oxy Mora posted Slavery Program Has Glitches to turn black conservative Ben Carson’s argument on its head:

At the Value Voters Summit today, Mr. Ben Carson curiously juxtaposed the practice of Slavery with “Obamacare”, saying: “Obamacare is the worst thing since Slavery”. … When Carson presented his Slavery analogy a tingle went through the crowd … Listening to it I couldn’t tell if the crowd was reacting to the pure intellectual supremacy of the analogy or just the fact that they had their own black person at the podium to lay into Obamacare …

A prominent neurosurgeon, Carson invoked slavery as a horror of the past. It is interesting how many otherwise well-educated people believe that slavery persists, if at all, only in corrupt third world backwaters. In fact, modern slavery is far closer to home, and in concert with sex-trafficking seems to be increasing its grip.

At The Automatic Earth blog, Ilargi translates a Der Spiegel article, In Europa leben 880.000 Sklavenarbeiter, into much more readable English than the online translation option:

Around 880,000 people in the EU are slave laborers, and more than a quarter of them are being exploited sexually, according to CRIM, a special committee for the European Parliament which investigates organized crime, money laundering and corruption in Europe. … Besides the €25 billion in human trade, they make a €18-26 billion profit trading human organs and wild animals, while cybercrime causes €290 billion in damage. …

Some of the committee recommendations:

• European tax havens must disappear

• Buying votes should be made a criminal offense in all countries

• Everyone convicted for money laundering or corruption should be banned from public functions for at least 5 years

• Whistleblower protection needs to be strengthened, so that no-one exposing corruption either in government or private business can be prosecuted

The Scotsman posts, Silence over slavery in Scotland deafening:

THIS Friday, 18 October, is the UK’s Anti-Slavery Day. This stems from the Westminster parliament’s unanimous recognition in its Anti-Slavery Day Act 2010 that this most hidden of crimes needs the status only law can provide – to keep it in the public gaze and to stop us forgetting that Britain and Scotland have a slavery problem.

Human trafficking is complex, accounts for most of what we call modern slavery today, and afflicts the vulnerable from overseas and these isles too. It is not explicable only as migration, organised crime or prostitution, but it is always a human rights violation symptomatic of a deeper, uncomfortable truth: of how organised or opportunistic human exploitation is perpetrated by the few whilst being tolerated, condoned or simply not registered by the many, in Scotland and beyond.

And, whilst Scotland is not peculiar in having slavery, it is rising. Prosecutions remain stubbornly low for traffickers but perversely high for survivors criminalised for being compelled to do their slave masters’ dirty work. The silence over the control, fear and abuse of survivors is deafening. This is no marginal social problem lurking in the shadows. It is integral, not peripheral, to Scotland and it reflects back how, unconsciously, much of our consumerist lives are fuelled by exploitation here and abroad, as would be clear if we paused to consider our own slavery footprints.

In upscale Fairfield County, Connecticut, the Wilton Bulletin posts Human trafficking: Modern-day slavery exists here in many forms:

“We have more slavery today than at any time in history,” said Alicia Kinsman … director of victim services at the International Institute of Connecticut … human trafficking, she said “is happening here, probably in Wilton.” [and] did not refer to the illegal physical movement of people, but rather forced or compelled work. “It’s a job where an employee can’t leave without facing a dire threat of physical or emotional abuse,” she said. “It is more than just a bad job.”

Victims are often isolated from their family and friends. They may be under constant surveillance or threatened with deportation. Their passport, driver’s license or other identification may be taken away.

Cases may occur in a private home in the form of domestic servitude as well as in hotels, nail salons, restaurants, bars, strip clubs and massage parlors.

Human trafficking, Ms. Kinsman said, “is the fastest-growing criminal enterprise in the world.” Compared to drug or gun trafficking, “it offers a high profit at a low risk,” she said.

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