Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Ending Slavery

This blog is usually about space, technology, science, education, books, and the future (and sometimes music). It's not that I'm unconcerned about social and political issues, it's simply not the focus of this particular blog. But I just read an article from Paste Magazine about an estimated $31 billion industry that simply should not exist in the twenty-first century: the world-wide trade in human slaves. This is not the first thing I have read about this horrible situation, but the figure of some 27 million slaves in the world today reminded me of the scale of the problem. More people are living in slavery now than at any time in history. It's happening all over the world, including the United States, Europe, and other "advanced" countries. How can that be?

I usually don't recommend books unless I have read them, but I have to at least mention a book I have just ordered on this subject, Not For Sale by David Batstone. The subtitle just about sums up the situation: "the return of the global slave trade - and how we can fight it." This is a pretty unusual post to start the new year with, but I think this is an important issue that everyone should know more about.


Anonymous said...

If you go to the PASTE website: www.pastemagazine.com in the upper right corner there is a link whre if you click OurStage.com will donate two dollars to the cause of ending slavery.

Kevin Bales said...

Hi FlyingSinger,

Thanks for a great post, to learn more about modern slavery, please visit our website: freetheslaves.net. We're the American wing of Anti-Slavery International, the world's first and oldest human rights groups - we started in 1787 to fight the slave trade.

On the website you'll a section for "Artists against Slavery" and you can also watch several short films about modern slavery (one about slavery in the US today) right there youtube style.

Warm wishes,
Kevin Bales

Anonymous said...

UK government has the problem of slavery as one of its strategic interests. If you have any good ideas, I think FCO would gladly receive them.

Anonymous said...

I had not realized that slavery was still a major issue in today's society until one of my students was giving a public presentation about his being a freed slave and slavery today. His story was even the cover story of Christianity Today a while back. This is an issue that should have long since been dealt with. Slavery should have no part of the world today.