Human Trafficking: A Modern Day Slavery
Slavery may have been abolished more than 100 years ago, but it still exists all around the world. Slavery defined is the subjection of a person to another person; being forced into work. Through the years, countless of battles have been fought and many lives lost to eliminate slavery, yet it still exists in the form of human trafficking. Human trafficking is the trade of humans, most commonly for the purpose of sexual slavery, forced labor or for the extraction of organs or tissues, including surrogacy. Nearly every country in the world is affected by human trafficking. According to the United Nations, over 130 countries are origin, transit or destination countries for human trafficking. The Havocscope, the Global Black Market Information, says that human trafficking has a value of thirty-two billion dollars. The people who are traded are paid about one percent of that or nothing at all. They are forced to work in extreme conditions and endless hours for pretty much nothing. Human trafficking is morally wrong because it is a form of modern slavery, it demeans people and makes them feel less than human, and the after effects of it can be devastating. In the novel Girl in Translation, Kimberly Chang experiences working in an arduous environment that is extremely dusty. The sweatshop that she works in is time consuming and tough. They work her to the bone and she is paid next to nothing. Her working conditions were similar to the people who are trafficked. At first, she is not paid until she works off the debt that she and her mom incurred from coming to America. Many if not all people who are trafficked are unaware of their debt that they “must work off”. Her aunt Paula kept saying they were family, and she would do anything for them. However, they did not know that she was charging them for everything. “We are grateful you brought us over anyway,” Ma finally said, breaking the tension. “But we cannot be a burden to you. I must work.” Aunt Paula’s posture relaxed, as if she’d stepped into a new role. “You are my family!” She laughed. “Did you not think I could provide for you?” She stood up, walked over to me and wrapped an arm around my shoulders. “I’ve gone to great lengths and gotten you a job at the clothing factory. I even fired the old worker to make space for you. You see? Your older sister will take care of you. The job is picking up a dead chicken, you’ll see.” Aunt Paula was saying that she’d gotten Ma a sweet deal, like a free chicken dinner. (29-30) Sweatshops can be found anywhere. Sweatshops are factories or workshops, especially in the clothing industry, where manual workers are employed at very low wages for long hours and under poor conditions. Sweatshops employ all types of people from children to teens to adults. Employees are required to work long hours for little or no money. Some sweatshops can be extremely dangerous for their employees because they could be exposed to toxic fumes or heavy machinery without enough protection. In Girl in Translation, Kim had to work in an extremely dusty place. “After less than an hour in the factory, my pores were clotted with fabric dust. A net of red strands spread themselves across my arms so that when I tried to sweep myself clean with my hand, I created rolls of grime that tugged against the fine hairs on my skin. Ma constantly wiped off the table where she was working, but within a few minutes, a layer would descend, thick enough for me to draw stick figures in if I’d had the time. Even the ground was slick with dust, and whenever I walked, the motion displaced rolls of filth that tumbled and floated by my feet, lost”. (58) In Girl in Translation, Aunt Paula exploited her little sister and niece for personal gain. Human trafficking is similar to modern day slavery because people profit from the control and exploitation of others. As defined under U.S. federal law, victims of human...
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