Tuesday, May 03, 2011


“Consenting to slavery is a sacrilegious breach of trust, as offensive in the sight of God as it is derogatory from our own honor or interest of happiness”
-John Adams

Street Walker
If you ask most people about slavery, they will act as if this is some relic of the past, a 19th century oddity that ended with the US Civil War (or War Between the States, if you prefer). But slavery persists into the 21st century, and has never slowed in some areas.

Most slaves in the modern era are women, forced into the sex trade through brutal treatment, drugs, and a lack of alternatives. This sort of sex slavery is worldwide, in even the most enlightened and free countries through prostitution and "exotic dancing" industry as well as at least some pornography production. The less free the country gets, the worse it gets for the girls.

Recently Breitbart reported on Mexican migrant slavery:
"They bring women from Honduras, preferably under 18," said Villamil, who has already recorded a dozen cases of minors between 14 and 17 years old being forced into prostitution.

"They steal their innocence. They hit them, mistreat them, humiliate and rape them," she said.

Witness accounts map out a route starting in the poor communities of Honduras, passing through Guatemala before crossing the border into Mexico.
The girls are then distributed among several dozen bars and brothels in Chiapas, which are each thought to employ between eight and 14 foreigners.

The US State Department estimates that between 600,000 and 800,000 every year are bought and sold across national borders every year. Not all of these are sex slaves. In Brazil, for example, the steel industry requires charcoal by the ton. Companies that produce this resource do so on the backs of enslaved children.

Ethanol is another industry that relies on slaves. Cutting cane for sugar-based ethanol is labor intensive, and slavery is as cheap labor as you can get - if you don't particularly care about the health and survival of the slaves.

Every year, as required by the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act, the US State Department issues a "Trafficking In Persons" report detailing the slave trade around the world, how to fight it, and what has changed from previous years.

These reports detail how slavery has continued unabated in some countries, particularly Northern Africa and the Middle East, for centuries. Muslim countries in particular are some of the world's worst offenders, with slavery a part of life for millennia.

Slavery is still a very real part of our world, a misery and horror that some never escape in their lives. It is going on on the streets of your city with young women and it is still a part of some nations that used to sell slaves to the United States and Europe centuries ago.

Everyone who loves liberty, justice, human rights, and the dignity of humanity has to oppose this, and we as a free people must work harder to end this horror in our midst rather than look away or blame the victims of these crimes as so often happens in the case of prostitutes.

*This is dedicated to Anna Venger, whose blog was tireless in its fight against sex slavery. It originally ran on the Washington Examiner Opinion Zone.

For more thoughts on Slavery and modern times, check out my essay on the subject.

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