Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Call It Slavery.


Because slavery is universally ­illegal—though ­it was banned in Saudi Arabia only in 1962 and in Mauritania in 1981—its existence is subterranean. There are no reliable estimates of the number of people held in bondage. The U.S. State Department and the International Labor Organization put the figure in the millions. The State Department estimates that as many as 17,500 slaves are brought into the United States every year, from many different countries, and it is likely that trafficking within the United States involves several times as many people. As is the case elsewhere in the world, most American slaves toil in brothels, massage parlors, and other sex businesses, or as domestic servants. A large proportion of those who come from abroad arrive by perfectly legal means, often in the company of “handlers” who help them obtain tourist or business visas.

It's the one of the greatest human rights issues of our time...and almost nobody talks about it. Even fewer try to do something about it. Shame on all of us.

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