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Feature photo by tim.matsui. Photo by camera_rwanda


2008 witnesses the 200th anniversary
of the abolition of the transatlantic slave trade in America. Amidst the celebrations, what many people fail to realize is that slavery persists today in the modern world on an enormous scale.

In spite of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the UN in 1948 stating that “slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms,” the figures accompanying the modern slave trade seem inconceivable in a global society that prides itself upon its modern-day values and emphasis on human rights.

1. There are more people in slavery now than at any other time in human history.

According to research carried out by the organization Free the Slaves, more people are enslaved worldwide than ever before.

In its 400 years, the transatlantic slave trade is estimated to have shipped up to 12 million Africans to various colonies in the West. Free the Slaves estimates that the number of people in slavery today is at least 27 million.

The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center suggests that three out of four slavery victims are women and that half of all modern-day slaves are children. ‘Countless other’ people are in other forms of servitude which are not legally classified as slavery, according to the Anti-Slavery Society, described ambiguously by some as ‘unfree labour’.

2. The value of slaves has decreased.

A slave in 1850 in American South cost the equivalent of approximately $40,000. According to figures published by FST, the cost of a slave today averages around $90, depending on the work they are forced to carry out.

Photo by saibotregeel

A young adult male laborer in Mali might only fetch $40, whereas an HIV-free female might attract a price of up to $1000.

Expert Kevin Bales says that because modern slavery is so cheap, it is worse than that of the Atlantic slave trade.

People have become disposable and their living conditions are worse than ever before as a result of their value.

3. Slavery still exists in the US.

Estimates by the US State Department suggest up to 17,500 slaves are brought into the US every year, with 50,000 of those working as prostitutes, farm workers or domestic servants.

According to the CIA, more than 1,000,000 people are enslaved in the US today. Thousands of cases go undetected each year and many are difficult to take to court as it can be difficult to prove force or legal coercion.

4.Slavery is hidden behind many other names, thus disguising it from society.

These names are chattel slavery (the traditional meaning of slavery), bonded labor, trafficking, forced labor, and forced marriage, amongst others.

Photo by saibotregeel

5. The least known method of slavery is the most widely used.

Bonded Labor occurs when labor is demanded in order to repay a debt or loan and the cyclical nature of debt and work can enslave the person for the rest of their life. Some conditions are so controlled that slaves are surrounded by armed guards while they work, many of whom are slaves themselves. This has been found in Brazil. It is estimated that there are 20 million bonded labourers in the world.

6. Human trafficking has recently been described as “the fastest growing criminal enterprise in the world.”

This shocking claim was made by former Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright. The UN estimates trafficked human cargo generates around $7 billion dollars a year.

Photo by gigawebs

7. To buy all bonded laborers out of slavery could cost as little as $40 per family.

The $40 figure was provided by the Center for Global Education, New York. Kevin Bales compares the total cost of ending all slavery with one’s week’s cost of the war on Iraq.

8. Free the Slaves believe it is possible to end all slavery within 25 years.

Ending slavery won’t be easy, but humanity is up to the challenge.

9. Many slave-produced goods might reach your home without you realizing their origin.

Industries where slave labor is often highly suspected include cocoa, cotton, steel, oriental rugs, diamonds and silk. Currently the only way to ensure the products you buy are slave-free is to buy Fair Trade certified goods.

Photo by saibotregeel

10. Your actions affect global slavery.

By buying fair trade, learning more about modern slavery, spreading the word, and joining a movement such as Free the Slaves, Anti-Slavery International, or the American Anti-slavery group, you as an individual can help abolish slavery completely.

With the number of slaves rising due to increasing economic returns, a universal lack of awareness and anti-slavery laws not being enforced, the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center believes “efforts to combat slavery will have only limited effectiveness” unless something is done on a larger scale.

The bicentennial of the abolition of the slave trade would be better commemorated by every individual taking meaningful action to help end the exploitation of human labor once and for all.

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  • Eva

    Great post! I really liked the way you built up from the really grim facts to the more hopeful, "what we can do" type facts.

    Just one minor quibble with your intro though, as a history nerd:

    "2008 witnesses the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the transatlantic slave trade in America."

    The 200th anniversary of the abolition of the transatlantic slave trade was last year, in 2007 and, as far as I'm aware, was strictly a British initiative with no (voluntary) participation from the USA. I've always thought it was a strange milestone to celebrate in any case – in 1807 the actual trade – the famous middle passage and all that – was abolished throughout the British Empire, and the Royal Navy was put to work trying to make sure no one else (ie the USA) continued the trade either, using blockades, etc. But the institution of slavery itself wasn't abolished in the British Empire until 1834 – and in the US, of course, not until after the Civil War.

    A museum dedicated to slavery worldwide (and up to the present) was opened in Liverpool last summer to mark the abolition anniversary, and if anyone is ever in the area, I highly recommend a visit. It's disturbing but important stuff to learn more about. Thanks again for a great post!

  • Eva

    Sorry, that should read that the abolition itself was a British initiative. Lots of people got involved with the anniversary celebrations… :D

  • James

    I agree with Eva — this is a wonderfully written and highly informative essay!

    On the bicentennial of the abolition of the slave trade, the British outlawed their trade in 1807, and the U.S. abolished its slave trade in 1808. These were entirely separate enterprises, and in fact, the U.S. legislation to abolish its trade was passed by Congress and signed by President Thomas Jefferson a few weeks *before* the British passed their ban. Far from being pressured by the British, the U.S. was simply acting the moment when its constitution permitted the banning of the trade.

    It's true that the U.S. wasn't directly involved in the British commemoration in 2007. But the U.S. Congess passed, and President Bush signed, legislation to officially commemorate the U.S. bicentennial in 2008.

    While there's been less attention paid to the U.S. bicentennial than there was last year in the U.K., there have been a variety of conferences, exhibitions, and public programs, and there will be a related documentary airing on PBS later this month.

  • http://www.matadorpulse.com Eva

    Great post! I really liked the way you built up from the really grim facts to the more hopeful, “what we can do” type facts.

    Just one minor quibble with your intro though, as a history nerd:

    “2008 witnesses the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the transatlantic slave trade in America.”

    The 200th anniversary of the abolition of the transatlantic slave trade was last year, in 2007 and, as far as I’m aware, was strictly a British initiative with no (voluntary) participation from the USA. I’ve always thought it was a strange milestone to celebrate in any case – in 1807 the actual trade – the famous middle passage and all that – was abolished throughout the British Empire, and the Royal Navy was put to work trying to make sure no one else (ie the USA) continued the trade either, using blockades, etc. But the institution of slavery itself wasn’t abolished in the British Empire until 1834 – and in the US, of course, not until after the Civil War.

    A museum dedicated to slavery worldwide (and up to the present) was opened in Liverpool last summer to mark the abolition anniversary, and if anyone is ever in the area, I highly recommend a visit. It’s disturbing but important stuff to learn more about. Thanks again for a great post!

  • http://www.matadorpulse.com Eva

    Sorry, that should read that the abolition itself was a British initiative. Lots of people got involved with the anniversary celebrations… :D

  • http://blog.jdewperry.com James

    I agree with Eva — this is a wonderfully written and highly informative essay!

    On the bicentennial of the abolition of the slave trade, the British outlawed their trade in 1807, and the U.S. abolished its slave trade in 1808. These were entirely separate enterprises, and in fact, the U.S. legislation to abolish its trade was passed by Congress and signed by President Thomas Jefferson a few weeks *before* the British passed their ban. Far from being pressured by the British, the U.S. was simply acting the moment when its constitution permitted the banning of the trade.

    It’s true that the U.S. wasn’t directly involved in the British commemoration in 2007. But the U.S. Congess passed, and President Bush signed, legislation to officially commemorate the U.S. bicentennial in 2008.

    While there’s been less attention paid to the U.S. bicentennial than there was last year in the U.K., there have been a variety of conferences, exhibitions, and public programs, and there will be a related documentary airing on PBS later this month.

  • Candice

    Wow, I was completely unaware of these facts. Thank you so much for the information, I'm going to forward this article to some friends.

  • Don Murphy

    Uncle B
    Slavery is depriving a person of the fundamental right to be in control of their person. It is the exploitation of one human being by another for economic gain. Above all it is the worst crime of humanity against humanity. Crime of this magnitude must never be condoned or perverted be some sort vehicle to a better life. In fact that is the reasoning often used to lure human beings into slavery: the promise of a better life, opportunity in a foreign land, etc.

    As for politicians with strong moral convictions stepping in to humanely regulate slavery, that is an oxymoron of the highest order. Please don't forget that the United States had "regulated" slavery; the result of which was the civl war and a legal system that prevented an entire race of people from sharing in the glory of freedom. I am sure you don't want to turn back the clock.

    Don Murphy, President and CEO
    National Underground Railroad Freedom Center

  • Eva

    Thanks, James, for that clarification! I hadn't heard anything at all about the US anniversary, and didn't realize they had banned their trade so soon as well. (I suspect my British education overlooked that fact…) :P

    I still find it odd to celebrate such a partial milestone as the abolition of the trade itself, since that wasn't much consolation to the existing slaves. But I guess with such a grim, worldwide phenomenon, it's important to celebrate the positive steps along the way – and then, as this article does, point out the huge work that remains to be done.

    Uncle B – Not even sure that that's worthy of a reply. Perhaps you'd like to volunteer to become one of the slaves in a "humanely regulated" people-trafficking industry?

  • Tim Patterson
  • Candice

    Wow, I was completely unaware of these facts. Thank you so much for the information, I’m going to forward this article to some friends.

  • uncle B

    Slavery may be the only means for a person in a poorer society to move to a richer society. It would not be so bad if it were recognized for what it is and humanely regulated, but that would take gutsy politicians with strong moral conviction and support . We have none of these in the U.S.A.

  • http://freedomcenter.org Don Murphy

    Uncle B
    Slavery is depriving a person of the fundamental right to be in control of their person. It is the exploitation of one human being by another for economic gain. Above all it is the worst crime of humanity against humanity. Crime of this magnitude must never be condoned or perverted be some sort vehicle to a better life. In fact that is the reasoning often used to lure human beings into slavery: the promise of a better life, opportunity in a foreign land, etc.

    As for politicians with strong moral convictions stepping in to humanely regulate slavery, that is an oxymoron of the highest order. Please don’t forget that the United States had “regulated” slavery; the result of which was the civl war and a legal system that prevented an entire race of people from sharing in the glory of freedom. I am sure you don’t want to turn back the clock.

    Don Murphy, President and CEO
    National Underground Railroad Freedom Center

  • http://www.matadorpulse.com Eva

    Thanks, James, for that clarification! I hadn’t heard anything at all about the US anniversary, and didn’t realize they had banned their trade so soon as well. (I suspect my British education overlooked that fact…) :P

    I still find it odd to celebrate such a partial milestone as the abolition of the trade itself, since that wasn’t much consolation to the existing slaves. But I guess with such a grim, worldwide phenomenon, it’s important to celebrate the positive steps along the way – and then, as this article does, point out the huge work that remains to be done.

    Uncle B – Not even sure that that’s worthy of a reply. Perhaps you’d like to volunteer to become one of the slaves in a “humanely regulated” people-trafficking industry?

  • http://thetravelersnotebook.com/how-to/how-to-travel-for-free/ Tim Patterson

    For a look at how the other half lives, I highly recommend T.C. Boyle’s latest novel, The Tortilla Curtain, about neighbors in the suburbs of LA.

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/1995/09/10/RVC7940.DTL

  • Julie

    Thanks for this important and informative article, Caroline.

  • http://www.collazoprojects.com Julie

    Thanks for this important and informative article, Caroline.

  • Tom Yesberger

    Your conclusion that the only way to ensure a lack of slavery is to buy 'fair trade' is flawed, The only way to prevent slavery is to know who you buy from and how they source all their products. The 'fair trade' system is not fool proof and in some ways the 'fair trade' system is used to justify paying low wages which may not be slavery, but it is not exactly freedom either. Once someone is certified 'fair trade', and protected by that label, there is no incentive to pay more than the bare minimum to support this. Also, once certified you can quietly source from even cheaper unregulated outlets if necessary – this is quite common.

  • http://www.lightonfairtrade.com Tom Yesberger

    Your conclusion that the only way to ensure a lack of slavery is to buy ‘fair trade’ is flawed, The only way to prevent slavery is to know who you buy from and how they source all their products. The ‘fair trade’ system is not fool proof and in some ways the ‘fair trade’ system is used to justify paying low wages which may not be slavery, but it is not exactly freedom either. Once someone is certified ‘fair trade’, and protected by that label, there is no incentive to pay more than the bare minimum to support this. Also, once certified you can quietly source from even cheaper unregulated outlets if necessary – this is quite common.

  • Pingback: 10 Shocking Facts About Global Slavery in 2008 | Yeeeeee | What will you find today?

  • Soner

    In my opinion there is something wrong in this article: the assumption that human slavery is wrong or negative.

    'Good' or 'bad' (right or wrong) are fairly relative concepts; what is 'right' for you can be 'wrong' for another man, and vice versa. Besides, great cultures lived with slavery and approved of it. A huge amount of modern technology has been developed thanks to the high efficiency rate that forced labor provides.

  • Soner

    In my opinion there is something wrong in this article: the assumption that human slavery is wrong or negative.

    ‘Good’ or ‘bad’ (right or wrong) are fairly relative concepts; what is ‘right’ for you can be ‘wrong’ for another man, and vice versa. Besides, great cultures lived with slavery and approved of it. A huge amount of modern technology has been developed thanks to the high efficiency rate that forced labor provides.

  • Eva

    You're wrong, Soner (in addition to being horrifyingly callous). Slavery and progress do not go hand in hand. To pick just one example: the ready availability of slave labour in the cotton-picking South actually killed any incentive to develop modern technologies – it was in other, less-populated areas, such as West Texas, that mechanized pickers and other vastly more efficient tools were developed, while manpower (and mule power) prevailed for decades longer in the slave belt.

    Even if you were right about the 'positive' results of slavery, the idea that the end justifies the means boggles my mind a little bit. You mention the 'great cultures' that were built on slavery – so in your book, does a significant cultural contribution justify treating some people as sub-human? Gary Glitter's "Rock'n'Roll Part II" is arguably one of the catchier pop songs of all time – does that mean it's okay for him to rape pre-teen Vietnamese girls? Come on. Find your humanity – I know it's got to be in there somewhere.

  • Kevin Bales

    Thanks for a great post. Setting out the these facts about modern slavery begs the question of what can be done to bring it to an end – so I wanted to bring your attention to my new book: Ending Slavery: How We Free Today's Slaves – which is a detailed 25 year plan for the end of slavery in our lifetime. You can order it from Amazon (and others) or directly from http://www.freetheslaves.net – where you can find lots more information about contemporary slavery.

    I was about to write something to Soner, but Eva said it better. I'd just add that I have been with people in slavery, and got to know them, in many parts of the world. They do not want to be slaves, they want what we all want – freedom and a chance to build decent, productive lives. They would deserve that even if there were some truth to the idea that slave labor is "highly efficient" which in nearly every instance where I have been able to do the measurements, it is not. In fact, remarkable economic growth often occurs when slavery ends – there is a measurable and significant "Freedom Dividend." Cool eh?

    Thanks!
    Kevin Bales

  • http://www.matadorpulse.com Eva

    You’re wrong, Soner (in addition to being horrifyingly callous). Slavery and progress do not go hand in hand. To pick just one example: the ready availability of slave labour in the cotton-picking South actually killed any incentive to develop modern technologies – it was in other, less-populated areas, such as West Texas, that mechanized pickers and other vastly more efficient tools were developed, while manpower (and mule power) prevailed for decades longer in the slave belt.

    Even if you were right about the ‘positive’ results of slavery, the idea that the end justifies the means boggles my mind a little bit. You mention the ‘great cultures’ that were built on slavery – so in your book, does a significant cultural contribution justify treating some people as sub-human? Gary Glitter’s “Rock’n'Roll Part II” is arguably one of the catchier pop songs of all time – does that mean it’s okay for him to rape pre-teen Vietnamese girls? Come on. Find your humanity – I know it’s got to be in there somewhere.

  • http://www.freetheslaves.net Kevin Bales

    Thanks for a great post. Setting out the these facts about modern slavery begs the question of what can be done to bring it to an end – so I wanted to bring your attention to my new book: Ending Slavery: How We Free Today’s Slaves – which is a detailed 25 year plan for the end of slavery in our lifetime. You can order it from Amazon (and others) or directly from http://www.freetheslaves.net – where you can find lots more information about contemporary slavery.

    I was about to write something to Soner, but Eva said it better. I’d just add that I have been with people in slavery, and got to know them, in many parts of the world. They do not want to be slaves, they want what we all want – freedom and a chance to build decent, productive lives. They would deserve that even if there were some truth to the idea that slave labor is “highly efficient” which in nearly every instance where I have been able to do the measurements, it is not. In fact, remarkable economic growth often occurs when slavery ends – there is a measurable and significant “Freedom Dividend.” Cool eh?

    Thanks!
    Kevin Bales

  • Daniel Harbecke

    No, I have to agree with Soner. Ancient Egypt accomplished great things because of slavery, so we should take note of their lesson. In accordance, we should also worship cats and marry our sisters. Don't you just love the informal fallacy of appealing to tradition? You can make all sorts of stuff make sense!

    Besides, how do we know slaves really mind their condition, anyway? Everything's relative, after all! Watch: I can close my eyes, and poof! The world is gone! So when I bat my eyes and say "slavery's no big thang," sorry for the strobe effect, everyone.

    Surely you jest, Soner.

  • Kerry

    This is an extremely important topic that many people don't know about. Human trafficking often ends up with the victims enslaved without passports in a foreign country where they have no conceivable hope of escape.

    Amazing that anyone could even suggest that slavery is okay. I suggest the film "Lilya 4-Ever," a Russian-language film about sex trafficking. Heartbreaking – even more so because it happens in the world today.

  • Daniel Harbecke

    No, I have to agree with Soner. Ancient Egypt accomplished great things because of slavery, so we should take note of their lesson. In accordance, we should also worship cats and marry our sisters. Don’t you just love the informal fallacy of appealing to tradition? You can make all sorts of stuff make sense!

    Besides, how do we know slaves really mind their condition, anyway? Everything’s relative, after all! Watch: I can close my eyes, and poof! The world is gone! So when I bat my eyes and say “slavery’s no big thang,” sorry for the strobe effect, everyone.

    Surely you jest, Soner.

  • http://goeasteurope.about.com Kerry

    This is an extremely important topic that many people don’t know about. Human trafficking often ends up with the victims enslaved without passports in a foreign country where they have no conceivable hope of escape.

    Amazing that anyone could even suggest that slavery is okay. I suggest the film “Lilya 4-Ever,” a Russian-language film about sex trafficking. Heartbreaking – even more so because it happens in the world today.

  • Richard

    Daniel Harbecke, you almost made me shoot coffee out my nose!
    Soner, the wrongness of slavery is not an " assumption". It has been carefully considered for thousands of years and decided to be wrong many times except by the unscrupulous type who stand to gain. It has also been described as a truth that is "self-evident". The truth of it has even been agreed upon by the original relativists, the hindis and buddhists.You are correct that there are no universal ethics, but only if you look at the human race from afar, if you are part of humanity then compassion is in-built and therefore universal. Drop your analytical mind for a moment and consider yourself or someone you love as a slave. Would you be happy to be a slave if you knew that your master was making a better life for himself? Or would you toil away, content in the knowledge that there is no such thing as " good or bad "?

  • Richard Brinton

    Unfortunately slavery is a very successful business model – get the product cheap and sell if for a huge profit – so eradicating this horrible business worldwide is going to be practically impossible.

    Also impeding the eradication of slavery is the tacit approval in the Koran of enslaving non-believers. (Google: Koran and slavery and note that; "the right hand possess" is a term that is used throughout in the Koran as a synonym for slaves.)

    In the research for my novel – The Slavers – (http://www.theslavers.com) I found that slavery has been with us for over 6000 years. The Sumerians had a Cuneiform symbol for slave and I never discovered a major civilization that was not slaver and slave at some time in their history.

    As with most evils in society, I believe that education is the answer. Unfortunately, those in power, especially in third world nations, don't want an educated population.

  • Richard

    Daniel Harbecke, you almost made me shoot coffee out my nose!
    Soner, the wrongness of slavery is not an ” assumption”. It has been carefully considered for thousands of years and decided to be wrong many times except by the unscrupulous type who stand to gain. It has also been described as a truth that is “self-evident”. The truth of it has even been agreed upon by the original relativists, the hindis and buddhists.You are correct that there are no universal ethics, but only if you look at the human race from afar, if you are part of humanity then compassion is in-built and therefore universal. Drop your analytical mind for a moment and consider yourself or someone you love as a slave. Would you be happy to be a slave if you knew that your master was making a better life for himself? Or would you toil away, content in the knowledge that there is no such thing as ” good or bad “?

  • joe

    Awesome, I love that no matter where I read "your comments will be moderated"
    I understand there are slaves. I understand it sucks.
    What I don't understand is the numbers this article suggests. 1 million in the USA? Why don't I hear about this on the news more; or at least see an arrest, once in a while, for someone enslaving someone else.
    1 million seems like a big number to hide. How throughly is this number researched before it is estimated?
    Also, I am tired of seeing slavery linked to sex. I live overseas, and I've met sex workers and watched asia based documentaries/exposes on the sex trade; the vast majority of the girls choose to become sex workers. Of course, most of them have lousy lives, poor families, mental disorders, etc., and I agree that the industry preys on these less fortunate people. They certainly don't have the full plate of options that we have. That being said, they are not slaves, nobody owns them, and they are free to do what they like at any point.

    I also think I understand the other fellow who was talking about the technological advancements, which everyone was so quick to jump on. In Asia, we have a lot of "shops" where your cellphones, computer chips, tv panels, etc are assembled, mostly for pennies, and often by women and children. Once again, they have lousy lives, with limited choices, so they end up at some sweatshop, making our victoria secret underwear. That being said, they, again, are not slaves. I am not sure if they are classified as slaves by the article or not, but I think the other guy meant we wouldn't have all the technological crap we do without them.

    I think we should direct our focus and attention to raising standards of living and the implementation of proper health care, food/water access, etc., especially for less developed countries, and we might find things like "slavery" fade to black.

    /Joe

  • http://www.theslavers.com Richard Brinton

    Unfortunately slavery is a very successful business model – get the product cheap and sell if for a huge profit – so eradicating this horrible business worldwide is going to be practically impossible.

    Also impeding the eradication of slavery is the tacit approval in the Koran of enslaving non-believers. (Google: Koran and slavery and note that; “the right hand possess” is a term that is used throughout in the Koran as a synonym for slaves.)

    In the research for my novel – The Slavers – (www.theslavers.com) I found that slavery has been with us for over 6000 years. The Sumerians had a Cuneiform symbol for slave and I never discovered a major civilization that was not slaver and slave at some time in their history.

    As with most evils in society, I believe that education is the answer. Unfortunately, those in power, especially in third world nations, don’t want an educated population.

  • Strikefullness

    TECHNICLLY, it's not called slavery…

    i disagree with this article,
    the idea of "slave labor" is wrong.
    because it's not called slavery is it?
    no..

    and don't you remember?
    the civil war, when Lincoln finally Emancipated the slaves (Emancipation Proclamation). one of the reasons he was killed by John Wilks Booth.

    and the Radical Republicans plan, where in the plan it said SLAVERY ABOLOISHED.

    so no, it's not called slavery.

  • Frank

    If people find this ethically moral, then I will state that it is my ethics that state that I can enslave each and everyone of you.

    The U.S. Supreme court states that even though that you are free to believe something, the right for free exercise of that belief is not absolute. If absolute, the Free Exercise clause would allow practices like vampirism and human sacrifice.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_Exercise_Clause
    The only thing I doubt is when people say that solving social problems will be easy as sending money. Phooey! You have to go over there and kick some slave-owner butt.

  • System Fix

    Well, let's hope the moderators aren't harsh graders, when dealing with truth(this, being my first post).
    I am honestly extremely impressed with the article, but very surprised by the overall ignorance, of the bulk of the comments (including things that have not been mentioned, that clearly are imminent threats to 'free' society:
    OK, I watched a documentary on Nike's appalling 7-day a week, inhumane, and blatantly underacknowledged slave labor. A brave young man and woman moved to become employees in this camp, for one month. The human waste and disease flowed between the tiny, tent-like housing, and the people were totally hopeless. When the two returned, and approached Phil Knight, he became angry and eventually got up and stormed his fat-5ss out of the restaurant.
    I will never buy a Nike product, EVER, again, Wal-Mart, is now, not only destroying the lives of their employees and making healthcare a non-option, but the Walton family has assetts in the area of $600,000,000! Of course, they have outsourced jobs also, to China, and leave in their wake a generation of lifelong employees who trusted them,,but got NOTHING, except a life-long work pass.
    This is the same for every major Capitalist enterprise in this country! YOU ARE SLAVES! You ignore a President who has robbed you of your liberties. You think that things will be different in November.
    The elite thieves, who comprise the top 1/2 of 1% are easy to find. They run your 'Federal' Reserve Bank, they own majority stock in all the major enterprises and they control production and inflation, through illegal, privatized, hidden monopolies.They have 100% control from every end. This is a world network, and, there are less than 100 families involved. They are enslaving you, as I write this, o you'd better start recognizing the severity of reality.
    I might say, that JFK tried to warn us, after he became upset at the opposition (by the banking and media families like the Rockefellers, Rothschids, the Morgans, the Bushs, etc.), so he moved to eliminate the illegal Federal Reserve Bank, and the IRS, and gave a speech to the Country. You can find it easily on You Tube. You must realize he knew he was dead as he gave that address. And, a day later, he was assassinated. These people are so rich that it is the power the money brings, that drives them, not the money, itself.
    In a few short years, without action, by the people, we will be enslaved, and 80% of us will be killed.
    I encourage anyone to read Noam Chomsky, or watch him on Google, or 'free documentaries.com'.
    We must unite against these tyrants and war criminals.

  • Google Search

    In such a sheltered world I live.
    ————————-

    http://googlesearchgame.com

  • irlandes

    Joe, the reason you don't see more of the one million slaves dealt with is because there are not 1,000,000 slaves in the US. Numbers such as this are created to attempt to attract attention. Enforcement of laws varies quite a bit, but at any hint of slavery or forced service, the entire US police force comes running.

    I urge anyone here including writer, to report any cases of slavery you happen to know of. Failure to do so, which is implied by presenting such numbers, makes you part of the problem.

    Of course, to avoid political strife I have chosen to ignore a large number of slaves, that is people who are forced to work for another person with no benefits at all, which is the case when child support payers are refused court ordered contact with the children for whom they are paying support. That number is way more than one million.

  • ctny

    This article deals with a serious issue, but the way it is constructed is flawed.

    "According to research carried out by the organization Free the Slaves, more people are enslaved worldwide than ever before."

    It is hard to determine if this is good or bad, since there are more people live now than 1,000 years ago. If there 10% of population were slaves 1,000 years ago, now only 0.001%, but the population is 100,000 times more, isn't that a good thing?

    "2. The value of slaves has decreased."

    No sure the point here. The slave's value is in relation to what he can produce. Cheaper price means manual labor is not profitable nowadays. Lower price does not mean more people will want to buy slaves. There is still the cost of housing and feeding. Lower slave cost may actually mean it is easier for slaves, or someone else, to buy their freedom.

    "7. To buy all bonded laborers out of slavery could cost as little as $40 per family."

    This is a poor argument. As soon as all the current slaves' freedom is purchased, more people will fall into slavery. It will be a never ending purchase. The cost is infinite per family.

    "Estimates by the US State Department suggest up to 17,500 slaves are brought into the US every year, with 50,000 of those working as prostitutes, farm workers or domestic servants."

    The numbers seem made up… 17,500 come into US to become 50,000 workers?

    "According to the CIA, more than 1,000,000 people are enslaved in the US today."

    This number is hard to believe. If true, why is CIA sitting on their ass not busting the traffickers? Out of 1,000,000, there must be at least 100,000 masters. CIA can't catch even 1? Why don't we hear about these on the news every single day? Sounds like a bust would be front-page material.

  • Chris Murphy

    I highly recommend E. Ben Skinner's book "A Crime So Monstrous" on this subject.

    Hideous. To the point it makes me question how wrong it would be to commit a different kind of genocide: the complete eradication of slave traders and owners off the face of the planet. No torture, no pain or suffering, merely a quick painless death. Not anything like what their victims suffer.

  • Ben

    Slavery is relative. I am a slave of corporate America. My government doesn't serve or protect me or represent my interests. They represent the interests of the well-connected few. I earn enough money to continue eating, sleeping and working for shareholders of corporations.

  • Derp

    Can someone clarify the "17,500 slaves become 50,000 workers" bit? Can someone provide a link to the relevant statistics, surveys, studies and reports that came up with the results quoted in this article (e.g. $40 for every family would save all slaves, but it doesn't say how many families require saving; 1,000,000 is a too-rounded number; and of course, the 17,500<50,000 issue)?

    It's good to have articles like this to help raise awareness, but the dearth of detailed statistics and cited resources damages the credibility. Slavery in the United States and abroad does exist, but questionable statistics hurts the cause.

  • http://dizz.com joe

    Awesome, I love that no matter where I read “your comments will be moderated”
    I understand there are slaves. I understand it sucks.
    What I don’t understand is the numbers this article suggests. 1 million in the USA? Why don’t I hear about this on the news more; or at least see an arrest, once in a while, for someone enslaving someone else.
    1 million seems like a big number to hide. How throughly is this number researched before it is estimated?
    Also, I am tired of seeing slavery linked to sex. I live overseas, and I’ve met sex workers and watched asia based documentaries/exposes on the sex trade; the vast majority of the girls choose to become sex workers. Of course, most of them have lousy lives, poor families, mental disorders, etc., and I agree that the industry preys on these less fortunate people. They certainly don’t have the full plate of options that we have. That being said, they are not slaves, nobody owns them, and they are free to do what they like at any point.

    I also think I understand the other fellow who was talking about the technological advancements, which everyone was so quick to jump on. In Asia, we have a lot of “shops” where your cellphones, computer chips, tv panels, etc are assembled, mostly for pennies, and often by women and children. Once again, they have lousy lives, with limited choices, so they end up at some sweatshop, making our victoria secret underwear. That being said, they, again, are not slaves. I am not sure if they are classified as slaves by the article or not, but I think the other guy meant we wouldn’t have all the technological crap we do without them.

    I think we should direct our focus and attention to raising standards of living and the implementation of proper health care, food/water access, etc., especially for less developed countries, and we might find things like “slavery” fade to black.

    /Joe

  • gene haynes

    Slavery? You only present images of foreign laborers and mention the horrors of prostitution in the US? I think your assessment falls a bit short of full understanding of America.

    Did you ever notice that there is only one untethered freedom left in America? And it's not freedom-to-speak-your-mind against the corporate owners of your life. In fact any voice against your inherent enslavement by corporations is roundly ignored. Nor do Americans have freedom to ever fully own their property free-and-clear. Nope you will always be leasing your property from the state due to taxation.

    There is one freedom left in America. You have the freedom to travel across the land as long as you stay within the narrow confines of the public roadway > and you have this freedom as long as you don't sleep on the public right-of-way > and you have this freedom as long as you travel in an registered, insured vehicle [unless it's a bicycle] > and keep in mind while traveling freely across America that you will be afforded little legal protection unless you travel in a registered, insured vehicle > in fact, without a registered, insured vehicle you will be subject to, and must yeild to, random stops to verify your identity and purpose.

    Given the state of ownership in America, I think your definition of slavery is a bit narrow.

  • Kevin Stanchfield

    John McCain once said about war that as awful as it is, there were worse things – and that Slavery was one of them. He's right. I shudder to think what Obama has to say on this topic – and lets hope he's reading from a teleprompter when he says it.

  • Strikefullness

    TECHNICLLY, it’s not called slavery…

    i disagree with this article,
    the idea of “slave labor” is wrong.
    because it’s not called slavery is it?
    no..

    and don’t you remember?
    the civil war, when Lincoln finally Emancipated the slaves (Emancipation Proclamation). one of the reasons he was killed by John Wilks Booth.

    and the Radical Republicans plan, where in the plan it said SLAVERY ABOLOISHED.

    so no, it’s not called slavery.

  • Frank

    If people find this ethically moral, then I will state that it is my ethics that state that I can enslave each and everyone of you.

    The U.S. Supreme court states that even though that you are free to believe something, the right for free exercise of that belief is not absolute. If absolute, the Free Exercise clause would allow practices like vampirism and human sacrifice.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_Exercise_Clause

    The only thing I doubt is when people say that solving social problems will be easy as sending money. Phooey! You have to go over there and kick some slave-owner butt.

  • http://www.myspace.com/allgrownsup28 System Fix

    Well, let’s hope the moderators aren’t harsh graders, when dealing with truth(this, being my first post).
    I am honestly extremely impressed with the article, but very surprised by the overall ignorance, of the bulk of the comments (including things that have not been mentioned, that clearly are imminent threats to ‘free’ society:
    OK, I watched a documentary on Nike’s appalling 7-day a week, inhumane, and blatantly underacknowledged slave labor. A brave young man and woman moved to become employees in this camp, for one month. The human waste and disease flowed between the tiny, tent-like housing, and the people were totally hopeless. When the two returned, and approached Phil Knight, he became angry and eventually got up and stormed his fat-5ss out of the restaurant.
    I will never buy a Nike product, EVER, again, Wal-Mart, is now, not only destroying the lives of their employees and making healthcare a non-option, but the Walton family has assetts in the area of $600,000,000! Of course, they have outsourced jobs also, to China, and leave in their wake a generation of lifelong employees who trusted them,,but got NOTHING, except a life-long work pass.
    This is the same for every major Capitalist enterprise in this country! YOU ARE SLAVES! You ignore a President who has robbed you of your liberties. You think that things will be different in November.
    The elite thieves, who comprise the top 1/2 of 1% are easy to find. They run your ‘Federal’ Reserve Bank, they own majority stock in all the major enterprises and they control production and inflation, through illegal, privatized, hidden monopolies.They have 100% control from every end. This is a world network, and, there are less than 100 families involved. They are enslaving you, as I write this, o you’d better start recognizing the severity of reality.
    I might say, that JFK tried to warn us, after he became upset at the opposition (by the banking and media families like the Rockefellers, Rothschids, the Morgans, the Bushs, etc.), so he moved to eliminate the illegal Federal Reserve Bank, and the IRS, and gave a speech to the Country. You can find it easily on You Tube. You must realize he knew he was dead as he gave that address. And, a day later, he was assassinated. These people are so rich that it is the power the money brings, that drives them, not the money, itself.
    In a few short years, without action, by the people, we will be enslaved, and 80% of us will be killed.
    I encourage anyone to read Noam Chomsky, or watch him on Google, or ‘free documentaries.com’.
    We must unite against these tyrants and war criminals.

  • http://googlesearchgame.com Google Search

    In such a sheltered world I live.
    ————————-

    http://googlesearchgame.com

  • Lo'

    The picture of the Sexodrome is in Paris… almost right across from the Moulin Rouge.

  • irlandes

    Joe, the reason you don’t see more of the one million slaves dealt with is because there are not 1,000,000 slaves in the US. Numbers such as this are created to attempt to attract attention. Enforcement of laws varies quite a bit, but at any hint of slavery or forced service, the entire US police force comes running.

    I urge anyone here including writer, to report any cases of slavery you happen to know of. Failure to do so, which is implied by presenting such numbers, makes you part of the problem.

    Of course, to avoid political strife I have chosen to ignore a large number of slaves, that is people who are forced to work for another person with no benefits at all, which is the case when child support payers are refused court ordered contact with the children for whom they are paying support. That number is way more than one million.

  • ctny

    This article deals with a serious issue, but the way it is constructed is flawed.

    “According to research carried out by the organization Free the Slaves, more people are enslaved worldwide than ever before.”

    It is hard to determine if this is good or bad, since there are more people live now than 1,000 years ago. If there 10% of population were slaves 1,000 years ago, now only 0.001%, but the population is 100,000 times more, isn’t that a good thing?

    “2. The value of slaves has decreased.”

    No sure the point here. The slave’s value is in relation to what he can produce. Cheaper price means manual labor is not profitable nowadays. Lower price does not mean more people will want to buy slaves. There is still the cost of housing and feeding. Lower slave cost may actually mean it is easier for slaves, or someone else, to buy their freedom.

    “7. To buy all bonded laborers out of slavery could cost as little as $40 per family.”

    This is a poor argument. As soon as all the current slaves’ freedom is purchased, more people will fall into slavery. It will be a never ending purchase. The cost is infinite per family.

    “Estimates by the US State Department suggest up to 17,500 slaves are brought into the US every year, with 50,000 of those working as prostitutes, farm workers or domestic servants.”

    The numbers seem made up… 17,500 come into US to become 50,000 workers?

    “According to the CIA, more than 1,000,000 people are enslaved in the US today.”

    This number is hard to believe. If true, why is CIA sitting on their ass not busting the traffickers? Out of 1,000,000, there must be at least 100,000 masters. CIA can’t catch even 1? Why don’t we hear about these on the news every single day? Sounds like a bust would be front-page material.

  • ctny

    Slavery is not the cause, rather the result of an economical situation. A slave is fed and housed, however poorly. The alternative is starvation. The real solution is not just freeing the slaves, rather to improve the economical environment.

  • Chris Murphy

    I highly recommend E. Ben Skinner’s book “A Crime So Monstrous” on this subject.

    Hideous. To the point it makes me question how wrong it would be to commit a different kind of genocide: the complete eradication of slave traders and owners off the face of the planet. No torture, no pain or suffering, merely a quick painless death. Not anything like what their victims suffer.

  • Anon y Mous

    Sources?

    Not one source cited….

    Sorry, if you can't provide data, and can only produce emotional appeals, then I am skeptical of your claims.

    I recently read that the claims of slavery are highly overrated: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/arti
    I'm not saying there isn't slavery, but I'd like to see less emotional appeals and some more facts.

  • Ron Paul

    Great article. I am astounded at times by the number of people enslaved around the world. We have only scratched the surface. In my opinion a majority of prison inmates should be considered slave labor. Drug offenses compose the largest percentage of this population. The CIA plays gatekeeper to the drug trade that enslaves the poor from harvest to conviction. Poverty is the prison with out bars. "Shortages" of Oil and Food will bring the rest of the world to it's knees. Only the rich and powerful Elite will remain free. It is a Prison Planet.
    Wake up. Please Wake up.

    The Sun

  • Ben

    Slavery is relative. I am a slave of corporate America. My government doesn’t serve or protect me or represent my interests. They represent the interests of the well-connected few. I earn enough money to continue eating, sleeping and working for shareholders of corporations.

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  • Joe V.

    I realize I'm criticizing an otherwise good article, but point one is bad statistical analysis. The reason every advocacy group can pump out a number saying there are more people with X quality or in Y situation than ever before is because roughly six percent of the people who have <i>ever</i> lived are alive today. And yes, I know I'm missing the forest for the trees.

  • ctny

    The comments by System Fix really missed the mark.

    This article deals with people who are not paid to work, have no freedom and are owned like objects. But you sit in your AC'ed house, type on your $1000 laptop, drink your $5 Starbucks, and proclaim we are all "slaves" to capitalism &amp; we must be saved first!

    While your concern for NIKE and other workers is heartfelt; however, these workers are not slaves. They are free to NOT work 12hr-a-day and NOT collect that $3-a-day salary. So why do they show up anyway? Is it because 12hrs-for-$3 is the best work there is in the area, and without it the alternative is to die of starvation? Let's say we all stop buying NIKE shoes and NIKE closes the factories in poor countries, what is your plan to save the displaced workers?

    JFK got killed for wanting to change the government? Sure, why not? That's as good of a theory as both JFK and Robert Kennedy were dating Marilyn Monroe, and Robert got rid of the competition…

  • James

    plus, I know slavery still exists because I have seen it in Cameroon when I was a Peace Corps volunteer. The technical term for the type of slavery I saw is "debt peonage," but essentially, when a man is in debt, he gives his kids or one of his wives to the debt holder. The peon then works off the debt — which can be days or years. Once the debt is paid off, the peon is freed and can go back home. However, many times, the parents will give their kids to their debt holder and then take off and never come back out of shame. The peon then remains with the debt holder until the moment the holder decides enough is enough. Sometimes, that moment never comes. While in bondage, the peon does not own his/her own labor or even their sexuality.

  • Gary

    The article struck me as a rehash of something I read a few weeks or months ago, but it is provoking. The replies are always interesting.

    You want to end slavery? Stop paying parasites for investing money. Oil goes up, buy less. Use that principle and there will be more for everyone. Buy a smaller house. Walk somewhere. Turn the lights off at night. Cancel a cell contract, you do not have to be constantly in touch. Relax a bit and enjoy all life has to offer. Stop jumping every time a speculator says "This will go up because of supply and demand." Stop believing government will solve your problems.

    Look at the sub-prime crisis. Parasites get bailed out by government, banks, and financial houses and now construct the oil crisis. Next? Food? Drugs? Water? Air? You can't harm the parasites, the political appointments, or government. But you have the freedom to stop dancing to their tune. Then, like all leeches, they wither away.

    Stop being greedy, do something helpful for a neighbor or a stranger. That will end slavery.

  • Joe

    Americans reading this should read their Constitution more carefully – slavery is still legal in the US for convicts, and is increasingly used in the privatized prison system.
    These businesses have every incentive not to rehabilitate offenders, so generating repeat business and more slaves for themselves. This is also why you'll never see the US drug laws changed – most people in prison are there for minor drug offenses.

  • Derp

    Can someone clarify the “17,500 slaves become 50,000 workers” bit? Can someone provide a link to the relevant statistics, surveys, studies and reports that came up with the results quoted in this article (e.g. $40 for every family would save all slaves, but it doesn’t say how many families require saving; 1,000,000 is a too-rounded number; and of course, the 17,500<50,000 issue)?

    It’s good to have articles like this to help raise awareness, but the dearth of detailed statistics and cited resources damages the credibility. Slavery in the United States and abroad does exist, but questionable statistics hurts the cause.

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  • Mitch

    A lot of people seem unable to believe the numbers presented in the post because they never see arrests on the news. I can't speak for the US, but if the situation is anything like Australia it's because human trafficking laws are very hard to enforce. Despite having received international criticism for high numbers of sex slaves, Australia's sole successful prosecution is currently being re-tried due to a technicality in the trial. The low number of prosecutions is due to a combination of inflexible legislation and the unwillingness of the victims to cooperate with police: victims of sex trafficking are told that the 'manager' has connections in the Australian police, that the government will place them in a detention centre for not having a visa (there is some truth to this) and are threatened with violence. There is an additional hurdle in obtaining witnesses in that many of the victims come from countries with oppressive governments and as such don't trust our police.

    An earlier poster wrote that 'sex slavery' doesn't exist, as many girls make the choice willingly. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Girls are often misled into thinking they are immigrating to Australia for legitimate work. On arrival their passports are stolen and they are forced to service customers without pay under the pretence of working off an obscenely high debt ('bonded labour', as the article calls it). Here's a good example:

    http://www.downundernewslinks.com/?tag=wei-tang

  • Mitch

    Goddamn it, don't click the link I posted, it's a fairly obscene racist website. I only linked to it because it was the first site to turn up in a Google search for 'wei tang'. Here's a better site:
    http://blogs.theaustralian.news.com.au/garyhughes

  • Jane

    I have an issue with point number seven. Buying all of the bonded laborers is an impossible endeavor. As soon as they were being bought up the amount of money required would skyrocket, and we would therefore be unable to buy them all. Making the business tactics that lead to bonded laborers illegal seems like a more intelligent idea, if not more practical.

  • gene haynes

    Slavery? You only present images of foreign laborers and mention the horrors of prostitution in the US? I think your assessment falls a bit short of full understanding of America.

    Did you ever notice that there is only one untethered freedom left in America? And it’s not freedom-to-speak-your-mind against the corporate owners of your life. In fact any voice against your inherent enslavement by corporations is roundly ignored. Nor do Americans have freedom to ever fully own their property free-and-clear. Nope you will always be leasing your property from the state due to taxation.

    There is one freedom left in America. You have the freedom to travel across the land as long as you stay within the narrow confines of the public roadway > and you have this freedom as long as you don’t sleep on the public right-of-way > and you have this freedom as long as you travel in an registered, insured vehicle [unless it's a bicycle] > and keep in mind while traveling freely across America that you will be afforded little legal protection unless you travel in a registered, insured vehicle > in fact, without a registered, insured vehicle you will be subject to, and must yeild to, random stops to verify your identity and purpose.

    Given the state of ownership in America, I think your definition of slavery is a bit narrow.

  • Marty

    It seems our debt ridden society has most of us slaving to repay debt. Sometimes at a so called "minimum wage". I call it here a few bucks to eat after you slave away for your debt.

  • Tommie Miller

    US Prison System. Slavery. One and the same. The US imprisons a greater percentage of its population than any other country in the world (I'll leave it to you to look up the stats, sorry, I'm in a hurry).

    Companies that use prison inmates (and there are many) are not required to comply with the health and safety regulations that other companies must comply with, nor are they required to pay minimum wage (or anything at all, for that matter).

    Are we to understand that Americans are genetically inclined to such devious behavior that more and more of them must be put away? Or is the population of the US held in the grips of a fleet of unscrupulous greedy investment designs and corrupt gov't officials. Compare our country to any other. For the greatest comparison try Canada, Sweden, Norway, France, England; countries one might consider, well, civilized to some extent.

    Tomorrow it could be you, or you, or me caught up in this gruesome machinery. It is designed to provide slave labor. The public pays for the legal system to grab bodies and hold them, and the companies maneuver their way in and FLEECE!

    The purpose of this article is to look and see slavery where you didn't see it before.. And try to do something about it. It's slavery. And don't say : Do the crime, do the time. It's the type of remark that explains why we're in this situation. It's oh-so-cool until you are in it. Then it is too late.

  • rguinn

    This is a pretty terrible article, and most of the points are irreparably flawed. But I'll just tackle the first one.

    This "fact" is misleading firstly because it makes no effort to account for the overall growth in population. Yes, there were fewer slaves back then. Of course, just 200 years ago there were fewer than 1 billion people overall. Now there's nearly 7 billion people.

    This "fact" is misleading secondly because it compares a rather narrow old source (transatlantic slave trade) to an all-encompassing current estimate. Or at least I believe so. It's hard to tell, as the writer has been vague and made almost no effort to cite any sources.

  • PauPer

    Do You Own Yourself? Butler Shaffer

    "If you do own yourself, then why do you allow the state to control your life and other property interests? And if you answer that you do not own yourself, then what possible objection can you raise to anything that the state may do to you?"
    We then proceed to an examination of the case of whether Dred Scott was a self-owning individual, or the property of another, is the same question at the core of the debate on abortion. Is the fetus a self-owning person, or an extension of the property boundaries of the mother? The same property analysis can be used to distinguish "victimizing" from "victimless" crimes: murder, rape, arson, burglary, battery, theft, and the like, are victimizing crimes because someone’s property boundaries were violated. In a victimless crime, by contrast, no trespass to a property interest occurs. If one pursues the substance of the "issues" that make up political and legal debates today, one always finds a property question at stake: is person "x" entitled to make decisions over what is his, or will the state restrain his decision-making in some way? Regulating what people can and cannot put into their bodies, or how they are to conduct their business or social activities, or how they are to educate their children, are all centered around property questions.

  • vanderleun

    "Estimates by the US State Department suggest up to 17,500 slaves are brought into the US every year, with 50,000 of those working as prostitutes, farm workers or domestic servants."

    Ah, would you like to explain how you get 50,000 out of 17,500?

    This is just one example of the kind of unsourced and unexplained statements that undermine the "feeling" of this list.

    Seems to me that if you are going to fight the good fight against slavery, you might want to take a bit more care with how you express it.

  • Isaac Mason

    Wake up America! The working class and poor in the country are all slaves under the guise of being an employee. At your work place, you are not free to come and go as you please.

    Your salary often does not reflect your true value as an employee and furthermore, they do not control the borders as they now have a new form of slavery by the name of illegal immigrants. They get paid barely enough to survive and receive absolutely no benefits.

    To add to an earlier respondent, in reference to driving, most U.S. citizens have been brainwashed into believing that driving is a privilege and not a right. Another lie by our police state, as we are guaranteed free passage without hindrance according to the Constitution of the United States ( a republic, by the way).

  • Kevin Stanchfield

    John McCain once said about war that as awful as it is, there were worse things – and that Slavery was one of them. He’s right. I shudder to think what Obama has to say on this topic – and lets hope he’s reading from a teleprompter when he says it.

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  • Lo’

    The picture of the Sexodrome is in Paris… almost right across from the Moulin Rouge.

  • graverubber

    Slaves built my laptop.

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  • yuo

    What a nice story from someone who made it in the west. Nye is not a western name, so she made it to west and what is her comment about us? We are all slavers. If there would not be so much overstock in afrcia and other places, no slaves. They all come out of free will to the west, just to steal work by being underpaid. Only solution can be if we close the borders to these suckards!

  • Anon y Mous

    Sources?

    Not one source cited….

    Sorry, if you can’t provide data, and can only produce emotional appeals, then I am skeptical of your claims.

    I recently read that the claims of slavery are highly overrated: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/09/22/AR2007092201401_pf.html

    I’m not saying there isn’t slavery, but I’d like to see less emotional appeals and some more facts.

  • Ron Paul

    Great article. I am astounded at times by the number of people enslaved around the world. We have only scratched the surface. In my opinion a majority of prison inmates should be considered slave labor. Drug offenses compose the largest percentage of this population. The CIA plays gatekeeper to the drug trade that enslaves the poor from harvest to conviction. Poverty is the prison with out bars. “Shortages” of Oil and Food will bring the rest of the world to it’s knees. Only the rich and powerful Elite will remain free. It is a Prison Planet.
    Wake up. Please Wake up.

    The Sun

  • Joe V.

    I realize I’m criticizing an otherwise good article, but point one is bad statistical analysis. The reason every advocacy group can pump out a number saying there are more people with X quality or in Y situation than ever before is because roughly six percent of the people who have ever lived are alive today. And yes, I know I’m missing the forest for the trees.

  • ctny

    The comments by System Fix really missed the mark.

    This article deals with people who are not paid to work, have no freedom and are owned like objects. But you sit in your AC’ed house, type on your $1000 laptop, drink your $5 Starbucks, and proclaim we are all “slaves” to capitalism & we must be saved first!

    While your concern for NIKE and other workers is heartfelt; however, these workers are not slaves. They are free to NOT work 12hr-a-day and NOT collect that $3-a-day salary. So why do they show up anyway? Is it because 12hrs-for-$3 is the best work there is in the area, and without it the alternative is to die of starvation? Let’s say we all stop buying NIKE shoes and NIKE closes the factories in poor countries, what is your plan to save the displaced workers?

    JFK got killed for wanting to change the government? Sure, why not? That’s as good of a theory as both JFK and Robert Kennedy were dating Marilyn Monroe, and Robert got rid of the competition…

  • James

    The American transatlantic slave ended on Jan. 1, 1808. That date was written into the Constitution when it was ratified. The American and British abolitionist movements cannot be looked at independently.

  • James

    plus, I know slavery still exists because I have seen it in Cameroon when I was a Peace Corps volunteer. The technical term for the type of slavery I saw is “debt peonage,” but essentially, when a man is in debt, he gives his kids or one of his wives to the debt holder. The peon then works off the debt — which can be days or years. Once the debt is paid off, the peon is freed and can go back home. However, many times, the parents will give their kids to their debt holder and then take off and never come back out of shame. The peon then remains with the debt holder until the moment the holder decides enough is enough. Sometimes, that moment never comes. While in bondage, the peon does not own his/her own labor or even their sexuality.

  • Gary

    The article struck me as a rehash of something I read a few weeks or months ago, but it is provoking. The replies are always interesting.

    You want to end slavery? Stop paying parasites for investing money. Oil goes up, buy less. Use that principle and there will be more for everyone. Buy a smaller house. Walk somewhere. Turn the lights off at night. Cancel a cell contract, you do not have to be constantly in touch. Relax a bit and enjoy all life has to offer. Stop jumping every time a speculator says “This will go up because of supply and demand.” Stop believing government will solve your problems.

    Look at the sub-prime crisis. Parasites get bailed out by government, banks, and financial houses and now construct the oil crisis. Next? Food? Drugs? Water? Air? You can’t harm the parasites, the political appointments, or government. But you have the freedom to stop dancing to their tune. Then, like all leeches, they wither away.

    Stop being greedy, do something helpful for a neighbor or a stranger. That will end slavery.

  • Joe

    Americans reading this should read their Constitution more carefully – slavery is still legal in the US for convicts, and is increasingly used in the privatized prison system.
    These businesses have every incentive not to rehabilitate offenders, so generating repeat business and more slaves for themselves. This is also why you’ll never see the US drug laws changed – most people in prison are there for minor drug offenses.

  • Mitch

    A lot of people seem unable to believe the numbers presented in the post because they never see arrests on the news. I can’t speak for the US, but if the situation is anything like Australia it’s because human trafficking laws are very hard to enforce. Despite having received international criticism for high numbers of sex slaves, Australia’s sole successful prosecution is currently being re-tried due to a technicality in the trial. The low number of prosecutions is due to a combination of inflexible legislation and the unwillingness of the victims to cooperate with police: victims of sex trafficking are told that the ‘manager’ has connections in the Australian police, that the government will place them in a detention centre for not having a visa (there is some truth to this) and are threatened with violence. There is an additional hurdle in obtaining witnesses in that many of the victims come from countries with oppressive governments and as such don’t trust our police.

    An earlier poster wrote that ‘sex slavery’ doesn’t exist, as many girls make the choice willingly. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Girls are often misled into thinking they are immigrating to Australia for legitimate work. On arrival their passports are stolen and they are forced to service customers without pay under the pretence of working off an obscenely high debt (‘bonded labour’, as the article calls it). Here’s a good example:

    http://www.downundernewslinks.com/?tag=wei-tang

  • Mitch

    Goddamn it, don’t click the link I posted, it’s a fairly obscene racist website. I only linked to it because it was the first site to turn up in a Google search for ‘wei tang’. Here’s a better site:
    http://blogs.theaustralian.news.com.au/garyhughes/index.php/theaustralian/comments/inside_australias_slave_trade/

  • Marty

    It seems our debt ridden society has most of us slaving to repay debt. Sometimes at a so called “minimum wage”. I call it here a few bucks to eat after you slave away for your debt.

  • Tommie Miller

    US Prison System. Slavery. One and the same. The US imprisons a greater percentage of its population than any other country in the world (I’ll leave it to you to look up the stats, sorry, I’m in a hurry).

    Companies that use prison inmates (and there are many) are not required to comply with the health and safety regulations that other companies must comply with, nor are they required to pay minimum wage (or anything at all, for that matter).

    Are we to understand that Americans are genetically inclined to such devious behavior that more and more of them must be put away? Or is the population of the US held in the grips of a fleet of unscrupulous greedy investment designs and corrupt gov’t officials. Compare our country to any other. For the greatest comparison try Canada, Sweden, Norway, France, England; countries one might consider, well, civilized to some extent.

    Tomorrow it could be you, or you, or me caught up in this gruesome machinery. It is designed to provide slave labor. The public pays for the legal system to grab bodies and hold them, and the companies maneuver their way in and FLEECE!

    The purpose of this article is to look and see slavery where you didn’t see it before.. And try to do something about it. It’s slavery. And don’t say : Do the crime, do the time. It’s the type of remark that explains why we’re in this situation. It’s oh-so-cool until you are in it. Then it is too late.

  • rguinn

    This is a pretty terrible article, and most of the points are irreparably flawed. But I’ll just tackle the first one.

    This “fact” is misleading firstly because it makes no effort to account for the overall growth in population. Yes, there were fewer slaves back then. Of course, just 200 years ago there were fewer than 1 billion people overall. Now there’s nearly 7 billion people.

    This “fact” is misleading secondly because it compares a rather narrow old source (transatlantic slave trade) to an all-encompassing current estimate. Or at least I believe so. It’s hard to tell, as the writer has been vague and made almost no effort to cite any sources.

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  • http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig/shaffer9.html PauPer

    Do You Own Yourself? Butler Shaffer

    “If you do own yourself, then why do you allow the state to control your life and other property interests? And if you answer that you do not own yourself, then what possible objection can you raise to anything that the state may do to you?”
    We then proceed to an examination of the case of whether Dred Scott was a self-owning individual, or the property of another, is the same question at the core of the debate on abortion. Is the fetus a self-owning person, or an extension of the property boundaries of the mother? The same property analysis can be used to distinguish “victimizing” from “victimless” crimes: murder, rape, arson, burglary, battery, theft, and the like, are victimizing crimes because someone’s property boundaries were violated. In a victimless crime, by contrast, no trespass to a property interest occurs. If one pursues the substance of the “issues” that make up political and legal debates today, one always finds a property question at stake: is person “x” entitled to make decisions over what is his, or will the state restrain his decision-making in some way? Regulating what people can and cannot put into their bodies, or how they are to conduct their business or social activities, or how they are to educate their children, are all centered around property questions.

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  • vanderleun

    “Estimates by the US State Department suggest up to 17,500 slaves are brought into the US every year, with 50,000 of those working as prostitutes, farm workers or domestic servants.”

    Ah, would you like to explain how you get 50,000 out of 17,500?

    This is just one example of the kind of unsourced and unexplained statements that undermine the “feeling” of this list.

    Seems to me that if you are going to fight the good fight against slavery, you might want to take a bit more care with how you express it.

  • Isaac Mason

    Wake up America! The working class and poor in the country are all slaves under the guise of being an employee. At your work place, you are not free to come and go as you please.

    Your salary often does not reflect your true value as an employee and furthermore, they do not control the borders as they now have a new form of slavery by the name of illegal immigrants. They get paid barely enough to survive and receive absolutely no benefits.

    To add to an earlier respondent, in reference to driving, most U.S. citizens have been brainwashed into believing that driving is a privilege and not a right. Another lie by our police state, as we are guaranteed free passage without hindrance according to the Constitution of the United States ( a republic, by the way).

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  • ctny

    Here is an article from Washington Post that’s a bit more informative:

    (reposted from http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/09/22/AR2007092201401_pf.html)

    Human Trafficking Evokes Outrage, Little Evidence
    U.S. Estimates Thousands of Victims, But Efforts to Find Them Fall Short

    By Jerry Markon
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Sunday, September 23, 2007; A01

    Outrage was mounting at the 1999 hearing in the Rayburn House Office Building, where congressmen were learning about human trafficking.

    A woman from Nepal testified that September that she had been drugged, abducted and forced to work at a brothel in Bombay. A Christian activist recounted tales of women overseas being beaten with electrical cords and raped. A State Department official said Congress must act — 50,000 slaves were pouring into the United States every year, she said. Furious about the “tidal wave” of victims, Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-N.J.) vowed to crack down on so-called modern-day slavery.

    The next year, Congress passed a law, triggering a little-noticed worldwide war on human trafficking that began at the end of the Clinton administration and is now a top Bush administration priority. As part of the fight, President Bush has blanketed the nation with 42 Justice Department task forces and spent more than $150 million — all to find and help the estimated hundreds of thousands of victims of forced prostitution or labor in the United States.

    But the government couldn’t find them. Not in this country.

    The evidence and testimony presented to Congress pointed to a problem overseas. But in the seven years since the law was passed, human trafficking has not become a major domestic issue, according to the government’s figures.

    The administration has identified 1,362 victims of human trafficking brought into the United States since 2000, nowhere near the 50,000 a year the government had estimated. In addition, 148 federal cases have been brought nationwide, some by the Justice task forces, which are composed of prosecutors, agents from the FBI and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and local law enforcement officials in areas thought to be hubs of trafficking.

    In the Washington region, there have been about 15 federal cases this decade.

    Ronald Weitzer, a criminologist at George Washington University and an expert on sex trafficking, said that trafficking is a hidden crime whose victims often fear coming forward. He said that might account for some of the disparity in the numbers, but only a small amount.

    “The discrepancy between the alleged number of victims per year and the number of cases they’ve been able to make is so huge that it’s got to raise major questions,” Weitzer said. “It suggests that this problem is being blown way out of proportion.”

    Government officials define trafficking as holding someone in a workplace through force, fraud or coercion. Trafficking generally takes two forms: sex or labor. The victims in most prosecutions in the Washington area have been people forced into prostitution. The Department of Health and Human Services “certifies” trafficking victims in the United States after verifying that they were subjected to forced sex or labor. Only non-U.S. citizens brought into this country by traffickers are eligible to be certified, entitling them to receive U.S. government benefits.

    Administration officials acknowledge that they have found fewer victims than anticipated. Brent Orrell, an HHS deputy assistant secretary, said that certifications are increasing and that the agency is working hard to “help identify many more victims.” He also said: “We still have a long way to go.”

    But Tony Fratto, deputy White House press secretary, said that the issue is “not about the numbers. It’s really about the crime and how horrific it is.” Fratto also said the domestic response to trafficking “cannot be ripped out of the context” of the U.S. government’s effort to fight it abroad. “We have an obligation to set an example for the rest of the world, so if we have this global initiative to stop human trafficking and slavery, how can we tolerate even a minimal number within our own borders?”

    He said that the president’s passion about fighting trafficking is motivated in part by his Christian faith and his outrage at the crime. “It’s a practice that he obviously finds disgusting, as most rational people would, and he wants America to be the leader in ending it,” Fratto said. “He sees it as a moral obligation.”

    Although there have been several estimates over the years, the number that helped fuel the congressional response — 50,000 victims a year — was an unscientific estimate by a CIA analyst who relied mainly on clippings from foreign newspapers, according to government sources who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the agency’s methods. Former attorney general Alberto R. Gonzales told Congress last year that a much lower estimate in 2004 — 14,500 to 17,500 a year — might also have been overstated.

    Yet the government spent $28.5 million in 2006 to fight human trafficking in the United States, a 13 percent increase over the previous year. The effort has attracted strong bipartisan support.

    Steven Wagner, who helped HHS distribute millions of dollars in grants to community groups to find and assist victims, said “Those funds were wasted.”

    “Many of the organizations that received grants didn’t really have to do anything,” said Wagner, former head of HHS’s anti-trafficking program. “They were available to help victims. There weren’t any victims.”

    Still, the raw emotion of the issue internationally and domestically has spawned dozens of activist organizations that fight trafficking. They include the Polaris Project, which was founded in 2002 by two college students, and the Washington-based Break the Chain Campaign, which started in the mid-1990s focusing on exploited migrant workers before concentrating on trafficking after 2000.

    Activist groups and administration officials strongly defend their efforts, saying that trafficking is a terrible crime and that even one case is too many. They said that cultural obstacles and other impediments prevent victims from coming forward.

    Mark P. Lagon, director of the State Department’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, said that such problems make the numbers “naturally murky. . . . There are vigorous U.S. government efforts to find and help victims in the United States, not because there is some magic number that we have a gut instinct is out there. Any estimate we’re citing, we’ve always said, is an estimate.”

    But Lagon said he is convinced that “thousands upon thousands of people are subject to gross exploitation” in the United States.

    Few question that trafficking is a serious problem in many countries, and the U.S. government has spent more than half a billion dollars fighting it around the world since 2000.

    Last year, anti-trafficking projects overseas included $3.4 million to help El Salvador fight child labor and $175,000 for community development training for women in remote Mekong Delta villages in Vietnam, according to the State Department. Human trafficking, in the United States and abroad, is under attack by 10 federal agencies that report to a Cabinet-level task force chaired by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

    In the United States, activists say that trafficking has received far more attention than crimes such as domestic violence, of which there are hundreds of thousands of documented victims every year.

    The quest to find and help victims of trafficking has become so urgent that the Bush administration hired a public relations firm, a highly unusual approach to fighting crime. Ketchum, a New York-based public relations firm, has received $9.5 million and has been awarded $2.5 million more.

    “We’re giving money to Ketchum so they can train people who can train people who can train people to serve victims,” said one Washington area provider of services for trafficking victims, who receives government funding and spoke on condition of anonymity. “Trafficking victims are hidden. They’re not really going to be affected by a big, splashy PR campaign. They’re not watching Lifetime television.”

    Yet the anti-trafficking crusade goes on, partly because of the issue’s uniquely nonpartisan appeal. In the past four years, more than half of all states have passed anti-trafficking laws, although local prosecutions have been rare.

    “There’s huge political momentum, because this is a no-brainer issue,” said Derek Ellerman, co-founder of the Polaris Project. “No one is going to stand up and oppose fighting modern-day slavery.”
    A Matter of Faith

    Throughout the 1990s, evangelicals and other Christians grew increasingly concerned about international human rights, fueled by religious persecution in Sudan and other countries. They were also rediscovering a tradition of social reform dating to when Christians fought the slave trade of an earlier era.

    Human trafficking has always been a problem in some cultures but increased in the early 1990s, experts say.

    For conservative Christians, trafficking was “a clear-cut, uncontroversial, terrible thing going on in the world,” said Gary Haugen, president of International Justice Mission in Arlington, a Christian human rights group.

    Feminist groups and other organizations also seized on trafficking, and a 1999 meeting at the Capitol, organized by former Nixon White House aide Charles W. Colson, helped seal a coalition. The session in the office of then-House Majority Leader Richard K. Armey (R-Tex.) brought together the Southern Baptist Convention, conservative William Bennett and Rabbi David Saperstein, a prominent Reform Jewish activist.

    The session focused only on trafficking victims overseas, said Mariam Bell, national public policy director for Colson’s Prison Fellowship Ministries.

    “It was just ghastly stuff,” Armey recalled last week, saying that he immediately agreed to support an anti-trafficking law. “I felt a sense of urgency that this must be done, and as soon as possible.”
    A New Law

    A law was more likely to be enacted if its advocates could quantify the issue. During a PowerPoint presentation in April 1999, the CIA provided an estimate: 45,000 to 50,000 women and children were trafficked into the United States every year.

    The CIA briefing emerged from the Clinton administration’s growing interest in the problem. First lady Hillary Rodham Clinton had been pushing the issue, former administration officials said.

    But information was scarce, so a CIA analyst was told to assess the problem in the United States and abroad. She combed through intelligence reports and law enforcement data. Her main source, however, was news clippings about trafficking cases overseas — from which she tried to extrapolate the number of U.S. victims.

    The CIA estimate soon appeared in a report by a State Department analyst that was the U.S. government’s first comprehensive assessment of trafficking. State Department officials raised the alarm about victims trafficked into the United States when they appeared before Congress in 1999 and 2000, citing the CIA estimate. A Justice Department official testified that the number might have been 100,000 each year.

    The congressional hearings focused mostly on trafficking overseas. At the House hearing in September 1999, Rep. Earl F. Hilliard (D-Ala.) changed the subject and zeroed in on Laura J. Lederer, a Harvard University expert on trafficking.

    “How prevalent is the sex trade here in this country?” Hilliard asked.

    “We have so very little information on this subject in this country. . . . so very few facts,” Lederer said.

    “Excuse me, but is the sex trade prevalent here?” Hilliard asked.

    Nobody knows, Lederer said.

    Bipartisan passion melted any uncertainty, and in October 2000, Congress enacted the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, significantly broadening the federal definition of trafficking. Prosecutors would no longer have to rely on statutes that required them to prove a victim had been subjected to physical violence or restraints, such as chains. Now, a federal case could be made if a trafficker had psychologically abused a victim.

    The measure toughened penalties against traffickers, provided extensive services for victims and committed the United States to a leading role internationally, requiring the State Department to rank countries and impose sanctions if their anti-trafficking efforts fell short.

    The law’s fifth sentence says: “Congress finds that . . . approximately 50,000 women and children are trafficked into the United States each year.”
    Raising Awareness

    Just as the law took effect, along came a new president to enforce it.

    Bell, with Prison Fellowship Ministries, noted that when Bush addressed the U.N. General Assembly in 2003, he focused on the war in Iraq, the war on terrorism and the war on trafficking.

    Soon after Bush took office, a network of anti-trafficking nonprofit agencies arose, spurred in part by an infusion of federal dollars.

    HHS officials were determined to raise public awareness and encourage victims to come forward. For help, they turned to Ketchum in 2003.

    Legal experts said they hadn’t heard of hiring a public relations firm to fight a crime problem. Wagner, who took over HHS’s anti-trafficking program in 2003, said that the strategy was “extremely unusual” but that creative measures were needed.

    “The victims of this crime won’t come forward. Law enforcement doesn’t handle that very well, when they have to go out and find a crime,” he said.

    Ketchum, whose Washington lobbying arm is chaired by former U.S. Rep. Susan Molinari (R-N.Y.), formed coalitions of community groups in two states and 19 cities, to search for and aid victims. The coalition effort was overseen by a subcontractor, Washington-based Capital City Partners, whose executives during the period of oversight have included the former heads of the Fund for a Conservative Majority and the Manhattan Institute, a conservative think tank, in addition to the former editorial page editor of the conservative Manchester (N.H.) Union Leader newspaper.
    Trying to Get the Number Right

    Three years ago, the government downsized its estimate of trafficking victims, but even those numbers have not been borne out.

    The effort to acquire a more precise number had begun at the Library of Congress and Mercyhurst College in Pennsylvania, where graduate students on a CIA contract stayed up nights, using the Internet to find clippings from foreign newspapers.

    Once again, the agency was using mainly news clips from foreign media to estimate the numbers of trafficking victims, along with reports from government agencies and anti-trafficking groups. The students at Mercyhurst, a school known for its intelligence studies program, were enlisted to help.

    But their work was thought to be inconsistent, said officials at the Government Accountability Office, which criticized the government’s trafficking numbers in a report last year.

    A part-time researcher at the Library of Congress took over the project. “The numbers were totally unreliable,” said David Osborne, head of research for the library’s federal research division. “If it was reported that 15 women were trafficked from Romania into France, French media might pick it up and say 32 women and someone else would say 45.”

    A CIA analyst ran the research through a computer simulation program, said government officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were discussing the CIA’s methods. It spat out estimates of destination countries for trafficking victims worldwide. The new number of victims trafficked into the United States: 14,500 to 17,500 each year.

    The simulation is considered a valid way to measure probability if the underlying data are reliable. “It seems incredibly unlikely that this was a robust, sound analysis,” said David Banks, a statistics professor at Duke University.

    The CIA’s new estimate, which first appeared in a 2004 State Department report, has been widely quoted, including by a senior Justice Department official at a media briefing this year. It’s also posted on the HHS Web site.

    The Justice Department’s human trafficking task force in Washington has mounted an aggressive effort to find victims.

    But at a meeting of the task force this year, then-coordinator Sharon Marcus-Kurn said that detectives had spent “umpteen hours of overtime” repeatedly interviewing women found in Korean- and Hispanic-owned brothels. “It’s very difficult to find any underlying trafficking that is there,” Marcus-Kurn told the group.

    People trafficked into the United States have traditionally been the focus of the crackdown. In recent years, there has been increasing debate about whether the victim estimates should include U.S. citizens. For example, adult U.S. citizens forced into prostitution are also trafficking victims under federal law, but some say that such cases should be left to local police.
    D.C.: A Trafficking Hub?

    In a classroom at the D.C. police academy in January, President Bush appears on a screen at a mandatory training session in how to investigate and identify trafficking. The 55 officers who attended watch a slide show featuring testimonials from government officials and a clip from Bush’s 2003 speech to the United Nations.

    Sally Stoecker, lead researcher for Shared Hope International in Arlington, which aims to increase awareness of sex trafficking, takes the microphone. “It’s a huge crime, and it’s continuing to grow,” Stoecker says, citing the government’s most recent estimate of victims.

    The D.C. officers are among thousands of law enforcement officials nationwide who have been trained in how to spot trafficking. In Montgomery County, police have investigated numerous brothels since the force was trained in 2005 and last year. Officers have found a few trafficking victims, but there have been no prosecutions.

    The Justice Department runs law enforcement task forces across the country. It’s a top priority for the department’s Civil Rights Division.

    Justice officials have said there has been a 600 percent increase in U.S. cases. But the department said in a report last September: “In absolute numbers, it is true that the prosecution figures pale in comparison to the estimated scope of the problem.”

    The 148 cases filed this decade by the Civil Rights Division and U.S. attorney’s offices might not include what Justice officials call a limited number of child trafficking prosecutions by the Criminal Division, Justice officials said Friday. They could not provide a number.

    Arlington County Commonwealth’s Attorney Richard E. Trodden, who studied trafficking for the Virginia Crime Commission, said he doesn’t know of any local prosecutions in Northern Virginia.

    Nearly seven years after it began, the anti-trafficking campaign rolls on.

    “This is important for me personally,” Gonzales said in January as he announced the creation of a Justice Department unit to focus on trafficking cases. Encouraged by Gonzales, who sent letters to all 50 governors, states continued to pass anti-trafficking laws.

    Maryland enacted a law in May that toughens penalties.

    Virginia has not taken legislative action; some legislators have said that a law isn’t needed.

    HHS is still paying people to find victims. Last fall, the agency announced $3.4 million in new “street outreach” awards to 22 groups nationwide.

    Nearly $125,000 went to Mosaic Family Services, a nonprofit agency in Dallas. For the past year, its employees have put out the word to hospitals, police stations, domestic violence shelters — any organization that might come into contact with a victim.

    “They’re doing about a thousand different things,” said Bill Bernstein, Mosaic’s deputy director.

    Three victims were found.

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  • Greg

    Congrats on being made popular on Digg!

    This was a very well written article, I actually learned a few things that were absolutely shocking about global slavery.

  • richard

    Caroline, the artical mentioned slavery in the steel trade, could you suggest a good source or does anyone have anyfurther information on the steel trade slavery issue?

  • http://greenteahealing.com/ Greg

    Congrats on being made popular on Digg!

    This was a very well written article, I actually learned a few things that were absolutely shocking about global slavery.

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  • Rick

    Two Points;

    First: It's been recently proven that Egypt did not build the pyramids with slave labor. It was a well structured work force that lived in fairly well built towns for the time and place.

    Second: Do some research and find that Nike did not have control of working conditions in Third World countries, just like other large manufacturers such as Starbucks and Hershey (both of who benefit from slave labor very heavily.) Nike has setup a program to remove sweatshop and slave labor from their supply chain that has been in place for 20 years, and have even gone so far as to produce a lit of their suppliers (at the risk of giving that information away to competitors,) to prove that they're being a good Corporate Citizen.

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  • http://www.1nova.com Rick

    Two Points;

    First: It’s been recently proven that Egypt did not build the pyramids with slave labor. It was a well structured work force that lived in fairly well built towns for the time and place.

    Second: Do some research and find that Nike did not have control of working conditions in Third World countries, just like other large manufacturers such as Starbucks and Hershey (both of who benefit from slave labor very heavily.) Nike has setup a program to remove sweatshop and slave labor from their supply chain that has been in place for 20+ years, and have even gone so far as to produce a lit of their suppliers (at the risk of giving that information away to competitors,) to prove that they’re being a good Corporate Citizen.

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  • Bill Hoover

    Of course that $40 per family is an interesting way of breaking it down, but misleading. If we all paid for our own slave to set free the profits would lead to twice as many slaves tomorrow. The cost of ending slavery by force would probably be a multiple of the cost of war in Iraq. Buying free trade coffee is unlikely to make a major dent in this problem in most of the world (and of course it does encourage low-yield farming that has a higher environmental cost, but that'a another issue). So I doubt the wiping out a few thousand years of slavery in 25 years estimate, however laudable the sentiment.

  • Bill Hoover

    Of course that $40 per family is an interesting way of breaking it down, but misleading. If we all paid for our own slave to set free the profits would lead to twice as many slaves tomorrow. The cost of ending slavery by force would probably be a multiple of the cost of war in Iraq. Buying free trade coffee is unlikely to make a major dent in this problem in most of the world (and of course it does encourage low-yield farming that has a higher environmental cost, but that’a another issue). So I doubt the wiping out a few thousand years of slavery in 25 years estimate, however laudable the sentiment.

  • Hal R. Hosfeld

    Blacks are the only perpetually enslaved race in human history.

    Why is that?

    • http://yahoo.com Jmart

      Blacks are not the only race in slavery. Throughout history, Jews as well as every poor class of people are taken into slavery. You only choose to see Africans as the only ones. China and Asia as a whole are just as bad, if not worse.

    • http://www.motionphr.com Jeff

      American Indians also keep slaves. it is sad but a lot of people of all races had slaves

    • http://crazyfunsfs.piczo.com Mandy

      Why so? How do you know? Yes, in American history, the blacks are the main group of people who were enslaved. but there is a possibility that there might be other people who faced those prejudice, too, isn’t that right? and that is still only in American history. There is slavery in other countries too, and there might be arabic, and muslim or people like that facing it. and doesn’t matter which groups of people get slavery—- all we know for sure is, the slavery is not right, and whoever the victim is, we must stop it.

  • kay

    "It is the exploitation of one human being by another for economic gain."

    Um, isn't this what big corporations do every day all over the world? It is the exploitation of one human being by another for economic gain. So is every place that pays crap pay and lays off workers so their bottom line is increased.

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  • kay

    “It is the exploitation of one human being by another for economic gain.”

    Um, isn’t this what big corporations do every day all over the world? It is the exploitation of one human being by another for economic gain. So is every place that pays crap pay and lays off workers so their bottom line is increased.

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  • samoau

    I just have a question about the "value of slaves" section. Is comparing the value of slave labor today to the value of slaves from the American South accurate? The majority of slaves from the transatlantic slave trade went to Central and South America. I am by no means trying to undermine the the atrocity that occurred in the American South – I am just am curious about whether or not you you are using facts from all forms of slavery and from all regions, not just a narrowed perspective.

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  • samoau

    I just have a question about the “value of slaves” section. Is comparing the value of slave labor today to the value of slaves from the American South accurate? The majority of slaves from the transatlantic slave trade went to Central and South America. I am by no means trying to undermine the the atrocity that occurred in the American South – I am just am curious about whether or not you you are using facts from all forms of slavery and from all regions, not just a narrowed perspective.

  • Richard Brinton

    Hal said, "blacks are the only perpetually enslaved people".

    Not true. Caucasians (indo-Europeans) have been enslaved as early as 6000 years ago. [Google "Sumer and Cuneiform] and many many Caucasians are slaves today.

    The question is, how have Blacks managed to corner the market on being the victims of slavery when, in fact, they are only a small percentage of the total of people enslaved over the past 6000 years?

    Richard Brinton
    http://www.theslavers.com

  • vanderleun

    I am continually amazed by how much traction this ham-handed and misinformed and mistaken chunk of intern-driven fact piling can receive this much credence.

  • http://www.theslavers.com Richard Brinton

    Hal said, “blacks are the only perpetually enslaved people”.

    Not true. Caucasians (indo-Europeans) have been enslaved as early as 6000 years ago. [Google "Sumer and Cuneiform] and many many Caucasians are slaves today.

    The question is, how have Blacks managed to corner the market on being the victims of slavery when, in fact, they are only a small percentage of the total of people enslaved over the past 6000 years?

    Richard Brinton
    http://www.theslavers.com

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  • Matthew Dickinson

    Thanks for this article. I wasn't aware of this organization (Free the Slaves).

  • Matthew Dickinson

    Thanks for this article. I wasn’t aware of this organization (Free the Slaves).

  • Jasper

    Bit over the top this story. The human condition has never been this good in the history of mankind. This is the time for mass migration, but to compare it to slavery simple had no merits.

    Let me guess : another propaganda story, to trick white people into feeling guilty and donate money. Thus making this post, and the free-the-slaves thingy the moral highground in today's world?

    Go get a job, better yet : be more realistic, and positive. The guild periods are over. Now is the time for new mankind.

  • ArmyOfAardvarks

    I'm glad that this is finally being brought to people's attention. Modern slavery in all it's forms tends to go unnoticed as it's in its nature to want to go unnoticed; however, I think people are finally starting to become aware of what's going on right in front of us.

    It did however bother me that where it was implied that if we weren't spending money on Iraq, we could tackle this issue.
    ("the total cost of ending all slavery with one’s week’s cost of the war on Iraq")

    Allowing dictators to remain in power is what causes things like this. (I'm not implying that Hussein was responsible for slavery. However, he is responsible for genocide, torture, and the pre-war deaths of 400,000 of his own people.)

    To fix this problem, it needs to be dealt with in both diplomacy and economics. However, to gain any headway, we also need to address this militarily. Otherwise, it is simply going to continue.

    • Truth Speaker

      … and who installed, armed and supported this dictator until a spat in the 90s?

      You got it, America and the West.

  • http://- Jasper

    Bit over the top this story. The human condition has never been this good in the history of mankind. This is the time for mass migration, but to compare it to slavery simple had no merits.

    Let me guess : another propaganda story, to trick white people into feeling guilty and donate money. Thus making this post, and the free-the-slaves thingy the moral highground in today’s world?

    Go get a job, better yet : be more realistic, and positive. The guild periods are over. Now is the time for new mankind.

  • ArmyOfAardvarks

    I’m glad that this is finally being brought to people’s attention. Modern slavery in all it’s forms tends to go unnoticed as it’s in its nature to want to go unnoticed; however, I think people are finally starting to become aware of what’s going on right in front of us.

    It did however bother me that where it was implied that if we weren’t spending money on Iraq, we could tackle this issue.
    (“the total cost of ending all slavery with one’s week’s cost of the war on Iraq”)

    Allowing dictators to remain in power is what causes things like this. (I’m not implying that Hussein was responsible for slavery. However, he is responsible for genocide, torture, and the pre-war deaths of 400,000+ of his own people.)

    To fix this problem, it needs to be dealt with in both diplomacy and economics. However, to gain any headway, we also need to address this militarily. Otherwise, it is simply going to continue.

  • Yonghwee

    Truly an an opening article!

  • http://www.thesecondpress.com/blog/ Yonghwee

    Truly an an opening article!

  • NikkiMaffei

    I really enjoyed this article and although I already knew a lot of the facts it was written in a very clear and inspiring manner. I thought you might be interested in the organization I am currently involved with, The Emanciaption Network. This organization is working to combat modern day slavery in positive and hopefully ways. We are always looking for new people to get involved in the cause and if you are interested in focusing an article on the wonderful advances in combating the issue we would love to help in any way possible. Currently we are also involved in a contest that could help us provide human trafficking survivors with $5,000. If you are interested in our organization please visit our website at http://www.madebysurvivors.comor feel free to contact me.

  • Walter

    I'm not sure I agree with your reply to System Fix. I think what System Fix is saying is that through the economic system and the monetery system we are all slaves to they elitists. The only way you can say you have a choice of not being a slave is if you can rightfully claim land without payment in order to grow your food and build your shelter without government intervnetion or taxation. That however is not the case. Therefore, you must work for food/shelter, and thus the right to live in general. The other options is you start your own business and hire your own slaves, but you need start up capital to do this. The bank is not likely to lend you money without collaterol, and without your mom and dad's money many of these people have no choice to death other than slavery.

  • walter

    Also, if you work hard to save money for your retirement or your business venture, and the government keeps pumping more money into the economy to devalue your money throuhg inflation then how can you possibly get out of slave status. Look at Gold prices, and these wars and tell me the average person's income is keeping up with inflation. It used to take one working person to raise a familiy…..now look at things. Did you have any support from your family money growing up for things such as education, clothes, cars, housing, etc?

  • walter

    Do you realize the the US has killed over a million people in Iraq, and please understand many of those were citizens and not miliatary personell. In addition to that Iraq has over 4 million refugees as a result of our unjust invasion. If you truly believe we are there to build a true democracy I would say it's time for you to turn off your television and your AM radio, and turn on your brain and your critical thinking ability. This unjust war is for control of the middle east resources, and to push towards a one world government by the elitist such as the international bankers, and giant multinational corporations. Slavery is done through the control of the currency. YOu can thank Woodrow Wilson for handing our money supply over to the private Federal Reserve, and thank Nixon for taking us offf the gold standard which has resulted in the extreme devaluing of our dollar (and your savings accounts value). "Permit me to issue and control the money of a nation, and I care not who makes its laws." Mayer Amschel Rothschild, International Banker

  • Edge Ukayted

    Strikefullness: Your attempt at semantic word play is, I find, insulting to those who are in fact enslaved in the U.S. and worldwide. First, the Emancipation Proclamation, which you state freed all slaves in America, was effective on January 1, 1863, that was issued by President Abraham Lincoln and declared freedom for all slaves in ONLY those states still in rebellion against the federal government. It is, in fact, the 13th Amendment declares slavery and peonage are illegal in the United States and truly abolishes slavery. Abolition, however, is the act of formally repealing an existing practice's legal means, but making something illegal is not remotely the same thing as eradicating it. If this were true there be no need for a justice system. So, yes, it is called slavery. Despite your attempt at nullifying this article based on one word, the word itself and your entirely incorrect interpretation of it and of history, is completely irrelevant. It is not what it is called, but what it IS that matters. It is attitudes much like yours, that deny the existence of slavery, that make it evident that slavery may never be eradicated.

  • Emily

    I never knew that slavery was still around today. Well this has been very interesting, informative and useful. Thank you

  • Vish Seshadri

    Great post. I may write my master's thesis on slavery today based on your article. Before this, it was going to be humanitarian interventions. Any suggestions on what I can focus on? What aspect of this issue is still largely unknown?

  • Riley

    This is bad, okay

  • venita benitez

    James great reply.

  • Dan

    Thanks not exactly what I was looking for, so I read it a few and it made me realize :P Still doing a research.

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  • rick

    #7 is indeed misleading.

    Buying out slaves to set them free only increases the demand for them, and will lead to more enslaving. This was evident in the 1990s where the attempt to free slaves in Sudan by purchasing them led slave owners to try and reap the profits by gathering more slaves to sell. In some instances, there were even fake slaves.

  • http://crazyfunsfs.piczo.com Mandy

    WOW!! i never knew these things. and there is slavery going on here in USA? that is outrageous. I thought this country was a land of freedom and equality, and was an example to all the other countries that have prejudice! what a shame.

  • http://personalwebguide.com/ Travis

    It’s amazing how many people are shocked by these facts. Slavery has been around for thousands of years, it’s just now in modern times they disguise the language to make it appear as if it were other things. It’s not the stereotypical slavery of the American South, but that doesn’t mean it’s non existent nonetheless.

  • http://google.com/zsxdg sandrar

    Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. :) Cheers! Sandra. R.

  • http://www.elusivekate.blogspot.com kate

    blacks are the only perpetually enslaved race because they slavery is entrenched in our cultures. study the way married coupes relate to each other and the way most parents relate to their children. it is usually in aservant- master way.is that not slavery?

  • Genesis

    did spanish people had slaves back then ?

  • notone

    I agree with you. Most of the world does not know about modern slavery. Sad…

    Thankfully you are out there reminding the world of this horrible human condition.
    I donated to an anti-slavery organization today and will do so monthly from now on.

    Please keep up the fight to inform people…

    to Walter, above:
    one million people? Really? How do you arrive at this statistic, especially when there have over a million people killed in the Democratic Repulic of Congo in the last few years alone? Where is your outrage over that? Have you talked to Iraqis recently? They come up to Americans and often thank them for liberating the country from Sadaam. Sadaam was killing about 30,000 of his own people a year. In combination with the licienced rapists, he was terrorizing his own people. I did not hear you complain about that. I wonder where your sense of balance is.
    If you belittle slavery in the world today, what else do you discount? Human life in general?
    |

  • Cameron Emery

    The sad part is, the people that care about the slaves are the people without money and power.

    Somewhere there needs to be a society WITHOUT MONEY. as long as there is money, there is unfairness. Who knows if the guy giving you a 20 dollar bill actually did work for it? most people wouldn’t see why that could be a problem.

    NEITHER DOES AMERICA!!

    THERE IS A NATURAL SOLUTION!
    every store that sells the cheap things you like to buy so much, LIES.
    everyone needs to Stop buying from almost every store and start growing crops in their backyards(which is easy). learn to sew your own clothes(which is harder but way easier than you think) and trade food and goods with your friends.

    i’m still learning about the world but i’m going to graduate high school in 2012 and with the way things are going i’m gonna have a hard life because of the super rich if people dont start making a change

    • http://yahoo.com Jmart

      cameron emery…that is a great thought…but a world without money would make us into a third world country. All of the benifits that you have, are becuase of the super rich and the system that is. Small changes, yes, but drastic changes will only make us weak. You want to trade, go ahead, you can do that in this society and that is the great part about it. But I don’t think that an army of 100,000 soldiers would protect all of us for a basket of tomatoes and some bananas. They need money and what your talking about is a hippy world that will never exist.

  • Alexis

    “Bit over the top this story. The human condition has never been this good in the history of mankind. This is the time for mass migration, but to compare it to slavery simple had no merits.

    Let me guess : another propaganda story, to trick white people into feeling guilty and donate money. Thus making this post, and the free-the-slaves thingy the moral highground in today’s world?

    Go get a job, better yet : be more realistic, and positive. The guild periods are over. Now is the time for new mankind.” -Jasper

    Yeah things are pretty good in the United States but the “human condition” worldwide is not that great. Have you even been out of the country? Many people do not even have running water. Living standards are not as widespread as you think. It’s easy to forget about the rest of the world living in a well off country but the facts are that bad things are happening and some people live horrible lives.

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  • gabriela

    i cant beleive this is happening u now its bad treating an colored person or white people like that but sometimes dont you think its really mean doing that to a person just because he is not the same like u and one more thing!!! if you wher on of the people that are treating people like that bake it off because you dont want people to do it to u so then back off just because he or she is a diffrent color but on the outside we dont look the same but maybe on the inside we have a heart a nice one so dont stop slavery know ok undrestand that!!!!!

  • mini_millz

    yes, i toatally agree. slavery is horrible and i think it should be banned everywhere! no-one has the right to treat other human being’s that way, i hate it

  • http://www.youtube.com jennifer

    why did they even have slaves. its prity stupid how whould they like it if they were the ouner was slaves they wouldent like it so they shoudent do it

  • http://something Nicole

    isnt there less slavery today?

    • Sora

      · There are more individuals in in
      slavery today than at the height of the trans-Atlantic slave trade

  • http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/reference Jaye Panama

    I trust you would not have reservations if I placed a part of this on my univeristy blog?

    • Julie Schwietert

      We would ask that you give credit to the original author and provide a citation that the original article, titled 10 Shocking Facts About Global Slavery in 2008, was published on http://www.matadorchange.com

  • Kendra

    i dont get it. on the 3rd part, it says “17,500 slaves are brought into the US every year, with 50,000 of those working as prostitutes, farm workers or domestic servants.”
    so, 17,500 slaves r brought into the us every year, and 50,000 out of 17,500 are prostitutes, etc??
    50,000 OUT OF 17,500?????????

    • No one

      yeah i didnt get that either,, o_O

    • Guest

      Because not all 50,000 came to the US this year.

    • Daniel

       17.500 a year x 20 years is 350, 000, ….grow a brain, or risk having a slave take over your menial job

  • maria

    umm im shock becuase ii neva new thut mexican,chinese , and not really black ii do feel bad about them thoughh

  • Hannah Benedict

    I cant belive this! Im doing my school project and I find this information. This is just horrible! No one should have to be a slave ever, I hope that Free The Slaves are right and that all slaves can be freed with in 25 years

  • regi

    actually. did u guys know that americas slave owners bring in over 6 billion dollars alone just in the united states? the education system educates our country only on what they want to hear and what makes us look good. the U.S. does not participate in open slavery but we still participate. also, institutional racism and capitalism still exist, if u know what that is you would know how our system is set up to have particular races succeed and some fail. it is the easiest way to legally control different races. that is why our schools are funded off of property taxes. rich people, get rich educations, poor people get poor educations. the majority of poor people are who? minorities. modern slavery today runs off of those most vulnerable. which again are minorities. so No, white people are not supposed to feel guilty. thats not what is being asked. but white people are the majority of this country. so the majority of this country and leaders are the only ones who can really change the laws, making everything legal. educate yourselves on these particular topics. dnt be ignorant. education is the only key to making any changes : )

  • Caroline Nye

    For all those who would like to learn more about the realities of modern day slavery, I highly recommend reading ‘Disposable People: New Slavery in the Global Economy’, by Kevin Bales. It provides a fascinating insight into the various types of slavery that exist in the world today, and will answer many of the questions bought up in the above debate. If you are moved enough to want to take futher action, why not join one of the ‘Free the Slaves and/or ‘Anti Slavery International’ groups on Facebook and be contacted directly with news of what you can do to help end this human rights atrocity.

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  • michael

    those of us who go to school and later start looking around for ‘jobs’ are looking for modern slavery

  • monica

    it’s so sad how our world is falling apart. were did all the trust go? it’s so disgusting and shamefull to know what we are doing now. i hope the world does end in 2012 so the world could start clean and fresh.

    • allura robertson

      hey i go with u it is sad to see what we have done it is crazy how long we have been doing that and we are not sure if it is still happing.

      Teh world did not come out as seemed the world is really wrong the whole point that it has gone on for long and we all want it to stop but things need to be made right and we all need to find out how not just one person all we can do something about this and we need to find that way

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  • ChickenBob

    what the heck is happening?

    • Ashleigh

      I’m 14 years old and i’m currently working on a project in my class about slavery. I was researching about slavery in the past, when I came across this page and, wow, I never knew. I think many more people should know about this. Many kids my age don’t know a damn thing about what is happening in the world.
       
      When I finished reading this, yeah I thought exactly the same thing…
      What the heck IS happening?
       
      I never would’ve thought that the world could be more twisted than it already is, but I guess I was wrong. Really Wrong.

  • Michael

    Good stuff…can you tell me where you found the stat by the CIA siting 1,000,000 slaves in the USA? I am unable to locate it

    • Liberalbasher1955

      I think the FBI stat is a very loose defining of slave. IE those that are a slave to debt one way or another. But I could be wrong !

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NKMJAGBZ7OF4JEDBXM5E3DKAC4 CJ

    A little surprised that there is this much slavery in the US.. But, I would not refute it outright.. I think that most of this is done by various ethnic groups who might not be legal citizens themselves.. bringing others to America with the promise of giving them ‘a better life’ – but they get here and are forced to work in factories or women forced into prostitution. The average American does not keep slaves and would not condone it.

  • http://wogan.me Wogan

    Well, this is the price that’s paid for all the conveniences we have in the “first world”. Don’t count on it holding out much longer, though – the systems that led to the consumption that led to that slavery are starting to collapse.

    The best thing anyone can do right now is start teaching those people how to be self-sufficient. Because one day, the demand for their labour will falter, and then they’ll be in an even worse position.

  • Timothy Scott

    interesting!

  • Ollie Mullin

    This helped massively, thanks what about a 2012 factfile that has updated figures?

  • Lisa Hood

    Not sure what to say….

  • Ariel Alvarado

    wow, idk what to say right now.

  • TOMMY

    how about u grow a brain

  • TOMMY

    helo nicole

  • TOMMY

    hi sallie

  • Liberalbasher1955

    Why do you think I support shutting down the southern border ! Where and how do you think these Slaves (If they do exist.) get into the country ? You’d think that if these stats are correct the liberals would be screaming to shut the border like an iron curtain. Silence from them and no action. But I think we have an inner secret here that liberals actually support the idea of sex slavery and forced labor. Remember it was the southern democrats that were pro-slavery before the civil war. You have more liberal millionaires in the democratic party than in the conservatives. Remember how LBJ got the Civil Rights Act passed it took Republican help as most democrats voted against it. Look who supports the liberals in national elections. Wall street ! Think about this ugly little truth about liberals.

    • Fayt Strife

      Votes, votes, and more votes. It’s too bad no one will actually do anything about the situation on the border. Even though the urban working class has been screaming for decades “the people are driving our wages down and we’re losing jobs to them.”

  • phil a buster

    all the chinese workers you see are slaves??hmm alot of the strippers are forced into the biz…fbi needs to end this,.

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