Modern-Day Slavery

by Jessica Balko

In December of 1865, the United States of America abolished slavery with the addition of the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. In 2007, Mauritania made slavery illegal. Free the Slaves provides an overview of slavery in history dating back to 6800BC. To date, slavery is illegal in every country; however, practices similar to slavery still exist today including domestic servants, sex trafficking, forced labor, bonded labor, and child labor. According to End Slavery Now, it is estimated that 28 million people are experiencing a modern-day form of slavery.

While first addressing this issue, I was easily able to write myself off as innocent because there are no workers in my home and I am not asking anyone to slave away to care for my needs; however, the Slavery Footprint website forced me to acknowledge otherwise. Based on the activities I participate in, the food I eat, and the materials I own, I am also contributing to modern-day slavery. The website also makes suggestions on ways to improve your lifestyle for positive social change.

In 1948 the United Nation General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The rights are based on a general consensus of human needs and ethics as voted on by the United Nation General Assembly. Article 4 specifically prohibits all forms of slavery, including modern-day slavery. Article 23, 24, and 25 declare the human rights that prevent modern-day slavery. If the formal illegalization was not enough to end all forms of slavery, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights covers the remaining grounds specifically addressing issues of modern day slavery.

Free the Slaves is an organization that has developed a plan to attack the root of the problem and to “liberate slaves around the world” by changing the systems that allow for slavery to exist today. Funds raised are used for work on the ground, research, and creating awareness.  Free the slaves is also involved in changing governmental policy.  Their website publishes the distribution of funds.  Free the Slaves provides a fundraising guide on their website.  This fundraising guide gives detail on how to plan a fundraiser that also promotes awareness to this issue and involves donors.  This layout is practical and applicable to the project.


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