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Oh, God. Another "modern slavery" story. Yes it is. Read it.

Nigel Morris-Co...

There are things that biased media push down our throats as they pretend independence but run a subversive agenda, from politics to social change. But there are some things that transcend the self-interest of media outlets, where the generally left-leaning press and politicians have got it absolutely right.

The exploitation of human beings for economic gain has been termed "modern slavery." It's a buzzword that some of the world's population thinks has power but many shrug off as yet another bleeding-hearts' attempt to create a guilt complex. So, ignore the brand name, the catchy title, the infantile attempt to make you think it's your fault. Why? Because, in one way or another, it is and, far from being a peripheral issue, it a major scourge in the world today. It's bigger than a fisherman's "it was THIS big" claim. And it's time you at least knew what realities lie behind the fluffy language, even though, in many cases, it's not "slavery" as most of us would use the word but it is still horrible abuse of the vulnerable.

Let's define slavery: historically, it had a narrow and quite precise definition. It was the ownership of one person by another. By operation of law, one person is the chattel, or property, of another. To my way of thinking, the most important part of that sentence is "by operation of law." In short, not only is slavery permitted by law, the law actively facilitates it. It is not only national laws that have included such provisions: even today, some religions declare that wives are the chattels of their husbands, his to do with as he thinks fit including beating for disobedience; some religious sects even expressly state that a wife must obey her husband as her God. So let's be clear, the concept of slavery did not start with the kidnapping and shipping of people from Africa to be sold in the Caribbean and the Americas. In fact, it pre-dates all the current religions: slavery is suspected of being the labour that built the pyramids. The use of slaves for all kinds of projects is, literally, biblical.

We should not diminish the importance of that definition by terming a variety of forms of exploitation as "slavery" even when it is qualified with the term "modern."

But equally, we should not underestimate the scale of the problem that is bundled under that buzzword.

Let's be clear about something else: no one seems to be able to come up with a definitive answer as to how big the problem is. Nick Cook, Director of the Innovation Division at the UK's Financial Conduct Authority, the financial sector regulator, said recently "Every year, more than 800,000 people are trafficked into slavery, while around 40 million people are estimated to live under a form of modern slavery, including forced labour and prostitution." He did not produce any source or evidence for that statement but it is widely repeated, often without attribution.

The International Labour Organisation sounds like it belongs in the kind of socialist environment where they sing "The Red Flag" whenever they get the chance and there is an element of truth in it. Formed in 1919 in a decade when a World War and communist and socialist revolutions were gripping large parts of the world, it is unique in the UN in that it operates as a coalition of employers and "workers" (its heritage is clear from that expression alone) and governments - in all 187 states are represented. Its origins are in the Treaty of Versailles which was the "settlement agreement" for WW1. And its credentials are clear: on its front page, it says that it's aim is "to set labour standards, develop policies and devise programmes promoting decent work for all women and men."

Actually, it means to say "decent working conditions" not "decent work" and the reversal of the usual expression "men and women" is irritating and undermines the credibility of the organisation by being petty when there is so much important work to do. If it wants universal support, it can't afford to alienate those who look at that and decide that they can't be bothered with such juvenile attempts at reform. After all, if they wanted to avoid "men and women," they could have done so by saying "everyone" and that would have included child labour and no one would have criticised that.

At any given time in 2016, an estimated 40.3 million people are in modern slavery, including 24.9 million in forced labour and 15.4 million in forced marriage.

It means there are 5.4 victims of modern slavery for every 1,000 people in the world.
1 in 4 victims of modern slavery are children.

Out of the 24.9 million people trapped in forced labour, 16 million people are exploited in the private sector such as domestic work, construction or agriculture; 4.8 million persons in forced sexual exploitation, and 4 million persons in forced labour imposed by state authorities.

Women and girls are disproportionately affected by forced labour, accounting for 99% of victims in the commercial sex industry and 58% in other sectors



---------------- Charities providing direct aid ----------------

Preda Foundation, Manila - rescuing victims of forced child prostitution https://www.preda.org (Father Shay Cullen)

Snehalaya, Maharashtra , India - rescuing at risk children of sex workers and others https://www.snehalaya.org/reha...

Restored Hope Ministries, Dallas, USA - rescuing female prostitutes, trafficked women and their children from all over the USA. http://www.restoredhopeministr...