21st Century Slaves

“Gangsters Smuggle Kids into Glasgow.”

How can that be? This was a news item here in Scotland only last week.

The article continued, “Organized gangs are smuggling children as young as nine to sell them as prostitutes or slaves or, increasingly, forcing them to work in cannabis factories.”

In 2009 six children were taken in by Glasgow City council social services. All were “brought to Glasgow against their will and without parent or guardian.”

I think it’s safe to say they didn’t have travel documents or passports.

It is feared that these six represent the tip of the iceberg.

Children are apparently smuggled in because they are “easier to control.” Two-thirds of them are girls who are forced into prostitution, while the boys are made to work in restaurants or cannabis factories or in street crime.

Is this Oliver Twist for the modern world?

These children are taken from China, Afghanistan, Vietnam, Nigeria, Romania and Bangladesh, and other impoverished points of the globe, and terrorized from the moment of their abduction.

Action of Churches Together in Scotland is working to address the problem, as are a number of other organizations both secular and religious.

In a recent pamphlet Churches Together quotes a girl named Maria from Lithuania. “I signed a contract with an agency promising me a good job. My dreams turned to dust. I was raped and abused by hundreds of men in every imaginable way.”

Her story is not an isolated one, but is repeated over and over.

The trouble is that it is so lucrative. £1 billion a year is generated from sex trafficking alone. People make money, lots of money every day, from buying and selling human beings. It has always been so.

Slavery was banned in Britain in 1807, but as late as 1817, 30% of the slaves in Jamaica were owned by Scots. Much of the cityscape we know today in Scotland was built by those who made their fortunes growing sugar in the Caribbean, and by “tobacco lords” who dealt firsthand with slave owners in the Southern US.

It is impossible to know just how much our lifestyle depends upon the involuntary servitude of others. Maybe you’re not hiring prostitutes or buying dope, but who is paying for your cheap clothing and manufactured goods? When it says, “Made in India,” or China or Taiwan, who is making it and how much of the profit ends up in their pockets?

Texans, ask yourself what happens to all the Mexicans smuggled across the Rio Grande. Do they all end up with good jobs and a Social Security number? How do they pay the “coyotes” who arrange for their illegal transport? Does the slavery of poverty in Mexico become slavery in fact in America?

Only God knows.

Slavery isn’t yesterday’s problem. It is real today as it was then, perhaps not as brazen but certainly no less appalling and sinister. We mustn’t turn a blind eye as we did then.

Just Google “human trafficking” and see what comes up.

source: http://iamthelife.blogspot.com/2010/01/21st-century-slaves.html

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