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Slavery is not old; It still exists today

By       Message Min Sung Lee       (Page 1 of 1 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   1 comment

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(First of all, before to start off writing my article, I am a student, a sophomore in high school, not a professional writer or scholar for this certain matter. I would like to use the background of my learning from my Humanities Class during freshmen year in high school and my previous knowledge. Please read with out much consideration of grammar or word use.)  

 Although most people consider slavery as an ancient matter, it still exists right this moment today. Though one may not believe it, there are more slaves in our world today than it was during the ancient periods, working unpaid, even for some products we use daily in our lives. Modern slavery does not mean that there are slaves in households serving as maids and workers for the owners. It means that there are workers whom have been forcefully pulled away from their homes to work for their holders for a few years, unpaid and tortured. People should support stopping global slavery, and uphold human rights for the people who deserve it.

  Slaves were popularly used since the start of civilization. They were one of the most favorite and popular products (as for here, slaves would be considered as products since they are bought and sold), though slaves had relatively high price than any other. Slaves also were very few in numbers, and their common deaths from transportation to other places made them even rarer and valuable. The small slaves to people ratio made slaveholders the relatively rich people, and ancient slavery was considered as a rich men's possession. However in ancient slavery, although they were slaves, they were treated humanely with the rights they deserved.

  Modern slavery, on the other hand is totally opposite; slaves today are cheap, priceless when useless, and are treated with the worst conditions a human can be treated. Slaves usually are cheap because there are so many abundant slaves for slaveholders to buy, to trick, or even kidnap. Workers in Ghana and Brazil are being deceived by slaveholders that they would guarantee workers high wages if they would work from a place which is 800-1000km apart from where they live-eventually of course, ending up as slaves. Girls in Thailand are bought from their parents by slaveholders with the guarantee the girl would be raised up, however eventually ending up as prostitutes at an age when they need maternal care. Boys in India are kidnapped by a slaveholder and brought to places 200~300km apart, making carpets 21 hours a day at an age usually less than 6.

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When any slave tries to escape from a slaveholder, slaves are usually forced to go find the runaway slave. If the slaves cannot find the runaway slave, they are punished. Of course if the slave is caught, he or she is punished worse. Police are helpless, since slaveholders bribe them with money, and ask the police to indifferently ignore the whole problem from slavery. Nothing really helps to solve slavery problems in the areas, and modern slaves lose their youth for their slaveholders.   

As a solution, this problem should definitely be considered and helped from the people all around the globe. As human beings, these people do not deserve to be treated like this, just because they are now the possessions of their holders. First of all, we right now may be helping or supporting modern slavery through our consumption of some necessities. These would include chocolate (60% of chocolate you buy is made by slaves. Cocoa, which is a major ingredient in chocolate, is produced by slaves in Ghana.  Carpets--some carpets bought in India sold  to England could be a child-made carpet,  if it does not have the rugmark. Cigarettes-children in India are making this for the other rich people to smoke. Sugars--Dominican Republic includes sugars made from slaves, and many are exported, 15% of it to the US.  And a lot of other products which we use in common.

These products should be carefully considered before bought; Rugmark should be marked for carpets, fair-trade marks should be marked on the chocolates or sugars you buy in the supermarket. Secondly, we must inform others of relatives or friends of this terrible disaster happening today, and the fact that we are supporting some of them. As for many people, modern slavery would be a new concept. Usually slavery makes us think of ancient slaves in Egypt who used to fan their masters with huge palm leaves. We must bring in the new concept that slavery means our daily products, young boys making cigarettes, young men working on Cocoa plantation sites, young people working for us, and most importantly, the concept that slavery is not over. If we do not think differently when we consume another product, slavery will not come to an easy end.  

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Although some may be aware, there still exists tremendous slaves globally but no one really is aware of the fact that their consumption of some products could actually be supporting slavery somewhere around the globe. As Victor, a young boy who had escaped from a cocoa plantation site and never had tasted chocolate said, "They buy something I suffer to make. They are eating my flesh." Slavery should be over, if we want forgiveness from this poor boy for what we have done to steal his youth from him.


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I am a student of HKIS currently in sophomore year. My name is.. a boy's name.

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