Something that has been in the forefront of my mind especially in recent weeks is modern-day slavery and human trafficking. It is a serious problem in our world today with estimates of over 27 million people stuck in slavery of all different forms – sex slavery, debt bondage, forced labor, and chattel slavery – but it is almost impossible to get an accurate count because slaves are kept hidden from our view. The fact is nobody wants to believe that slavery still exists – even governments are afraid to admit it.
Not in the US though – the US abolished slavery with Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation back in the 1860’s, right? True, but unfortunately it is estimated that 50,000 people are trafficked into the US each year to be slaves. That’s right, there are slaves here in our own backyard, right here in Denver, Colorado.
Most of us don’t want to believe it, so we turn our heads the other way. It’s easier for us to ignore it and act as if it doesn’t exist. That way we don’t have to feel bad, we don’t feel guilty, because once we feel guilty we can no longer ignore it. We feel compelled to take action, and action takes work that is far from easy. We’ve gotta get dirty because the world of slavery is ugly beast.
Over the past 3 weeks I have read 5 books on this subject. When I read the story of a young girl who has been sold into sex slavery and is raped, beaten, and starved 24 hours a day for years, it breaks my heart. I can no longer turn a blind eye to the reality that slavery exists and people are put through so much pain by others. Their human dignity is stripped away and they are looked at as less than human, with no rights or freedom, and many lose all hope of ever getting out. This is not right and we need to do more to eradicate slavery in our world.
Here are some of the books I’ve read recently and I highly recommend reading:
Slave Hunter: One Man’s Global Quest to Free Victims of Human Trafficking by Aaron Cohen with Christine BuckleyDescription: Aaron Cohen is a man who travels all over the world posing as a sex tourist attempting to free women as young as 8 years old from bondage and forced prostitution. From Southeast Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East, Aaron describes the often dangerous situations and young victims he encounters. Sometimes he’s able to actually free one or a few of the young girls, however more often than not he has no other choice but to leave them in slavery hoping that one day they will be free.
For a more in-depth description and review see: Slave Hunter: Aaron Cohen, 21st Century Emancipator Aaron Cohen’s Website: The Abolish Slavery Coalition ——————————– Description: Somaly Mam recounts her heartbreaking and powerful experience of being sold into sex slavery as a young girl in Cambodia and, after fighting her way out, how she now helps other girls in sex slavery find hope in such misery. Somaly Mam Foundation – Home
A Crime So Monstrous: Face-To-Face with Modern-Day Slaveryby E. Benjamin Skinner Description: See A Crime So Monstrous