The Slave Next Door

Today’s post is dedicated to all those people, persons, who are living in conditions of slavery. They do exist and their lives are beyond the imaginable.

Im Mauretania were Slavery was officially abolished in 2008, it de facto still exists. But if anybody says that or tries to change that, he or she might very likely end up in jail. It is what happened to Bulkhair Ould Cheikh Dieng. The activist of the Mauretanian organisation IRA who fights to put and end to slavery has been sentenced to three months in jail for denouncing the state not acting upon a girl being hold as a slave. But that is just a story of so many, let us have a look around the world:

In Africa:In Niger, slavery was only criminalised in 2003 – and the local human rights organisation Timidria estimates 870,000 people are still held in bondage there.”Similarly there are about 90,000 black Africans which are held as slaves in Sudan and children are sold as slaves in many more African countries.

In America: Whereas the estimates for Haiti are that up to 20,000 children live as restavecs, a condition which is often comparable to slavery. Meaning: little food and clothing, no education, overly high workloads for children ect ect. On the other side of the island, in the Dominican Republic, slaves are held to work on the Sugar Cane plantations. In Brazil agricultural workers are often held as slaves until they pay back a loan. Similarly to what you can find in Asia.

In Asia: The type of slavery most common in South Asia is called bonded labour. It is today “the most widely used method of enslaving people. A person becomes a bonded labourer when their labour is demanded as a means of repayment for a loan.The person is then tricked or trapped into working for very little or no pay, often for seven days a week.” In the Asia-Pacific area an estimate of 9 milion people are forced into labour in debt bondage in countries like India, Pakistan or Nepal.

In Europe: “tens of thousands of women are trafficked there every year as sex workers and forced labourers.” Trafficking obviously does not only affect Europe but the west has become the major market for the trade of human beings.

I would like to finish with words of the BBC: Even if classical slave-trade is of the past, “it continues in different forms in almost every country in the world”. How many of the products you use are produced in slave-like conditions? Well, but that’s another story, isn’t it.

3 thoughts on “The Slave Next Door

  1. More about sugar cane plantations in the Dominican Republic in the docu The Price of Sugar, by Bill Haney, 2007.

    • Oh yeah, good one, thanks for the tip! I will talk about slave products in another post soon so keep visiting Kosmos 9!

  2. I start to have strong sympathy for these people working in conditions of slavery when I was a little child. I still remember the shoe cleaner in the street in some cities in China. When customers sat there, more higher than the shoe cleaner, they seemed to enjoy kind of exploiting happiness.

    I never let them clean my shoes and advised other people not to exploit them. But sometimes I will think that if nobody ask for their services, they even can not support their lives!

    Hope the world will give these poor people more warm and love!

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