by Samantha Russell and MacKenzie MacDougall
When you think of slavery you typically think of early Americans enslaving African Americans for labor but it has become much more than that today. Slavery today is a multi-billion dollar industry that still continues to grow which consists of many types of slavery including sex trafficking, child labor, forced labor, arranged marriages, and many more. Slavery still continues because people enjoy that they can get paid thousands of dollars by doing little to no work.
Slavery in the United States began when African Americans were brought to the US in 1619 to Jamestown, Virginia. Europeans brought African Americans over as an inexpensive way to produce tobacco for the growing market. It is estimated that there were around 6-7 million slaves brought to the New World in the 18th century alone. Slavery became even larger of an industry throughout the colonies when people realized the cost and effectiveness of having slaves. Many slave owners were manipulative and banned slaves from doing many things like learning to read and write. They had made the slaves so self-reliant on their owners so they could not leave or revolt.
While many people enjoyed the benefits of slavery others saw it was wrong and wanted to fight to bring it to an end. That conflict caused the Civil War for which Abraham Lincoln began just to preserve the Union of states, but as the war went on he decided to make it a war to end slavery. He decided to bring an end to slavery but only after a decisive military victory in the war. On September 16th 1862, over 240 years after slavery of African Americans began in the United States, the Battle of Antietam occurred. This was a battle began when confederate troops attempted to invade the North. The battle of Antietam was known as the bloodiest day in American history with over 23,000 casualties. One week after the battle the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation was passed and would be effective on January 1, 1863. In 1865 the United States government officially ended slavery with the passage of the 13th Amendment.
But slavery has not completely gone away, today the U.S. government battles a new form of slavery known as sex trafficking. Currently it is very hard to regulate the sex trafficking industry because often people are given drugs, made unaware and then are taken to an unknown place or foreign countries to never been seen again. Each year, 1.2 million children are enslaved through forced labor and exploited in the sexual industry. There are also two major types of trafficking, labor and commercial sex trafficking. According to National Human Trafficking Hotline, 120 calls of potential human trafficking cases were reported in the state of
Colorado.This has become a growing concern, because as time goes on, the number of calls seem to be rising steadily. This shows that the Human Trafficking ring, has grown to be more of an issue
not only in California, but in other states all around America. In previous years, the National Human Trafficking Hotline was called 592 times, the majority of which came from the outskirts of interstates and cities, mainly coming from Denver, and its surrounding areas, including Colorado Springs. The growing numbers have concerned agencies around the globe, because while humans are being trafficked, there is also a wide spread of “pimps” that are creating these situations, and selling girls to make more money for themselves.
Of the 21 million victims of human trafficking worldwide, that was reported by the International Labor Organizations, about 68% are forced into labor trafficking. This means that the other 32% are being sex trafficked, and abused by the people who are keeping them hostage. According to statistics, 78% of modern day slaves are in the labor industry and 22% are in the sex industry. Now a days girls between the age of 12 and 14 are more likely to be taken for human trafficking. The humans that are taken, are most likely to be in foster care, or runaways because they have nowhere to go, and are looking for a place to sleep, and someone to give them food, so theses people may also willingly go with the pimp, thinking they will only prostitute for them, but then they are sex and labor trafficked and it turns into a big issue. In 2015, the National Human Trafficking Hotline received 24, 757 signals nation wide of human trafficking. That’s approximately 485 signals from each state in America. That’s 485 people who are being taken, or even more. The numbers are also growing as time passes, which is a concern because more and more people are being taken for human trafficking.
In 2015 alone, the National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline received 5,545 potential human trafficking cases in the U.S., 1,630 of those cases involved minors. That is 1,630 children who are taken for sex and labor trafficking. Human trafficking often
involves advance payment for travel and a job abroad,
using money often borrowed from traffickers. In order for traffickers today to be able to get the person that they bought, they have to make travel arrangements to be able to get that person to them. Traffickers now a days can be of any religion, any race, and any person. Traffickers can look like normal people in a normal society. Human traffickers almost always keep the people being trafficked because they build up debt with the traffickers that often let the traffickers control the victims and once the victims arrive, they can’t leave until they have finished paying debt off.
Human Trafficking relates to modern slavery because not only are the people being used for labor and sex, but they are also feared that if they don’t comply with what their master says, they can be beaten or killed and they both didn’t have any basic human rights, because they are being sold and owned by horrible people. Today in time, the people who are being sold and trafficked for sex and labor, can pay off their debt and hopefully be let go, however this isn’t the case for most people who are being trafficked. Slaves back then didn’t have any rights at all, and most believed that they would be used as slaves their whole entire life, without the chance of being set free. The slaves would be forced to start families, and then as soon as the children were old enough, the owners would either sell the children, or keep them without having to pay for another slave. Both slaves back in history and people who are being trafficked have no rights. The population of both of these groups gradually increased with time, and statistics show that as time went on, more and more people were being forced to work for sex, and also for labor. American’s haven’t been educated on how serious that this issue is, both back in history and in modern day. As time passes, there will be more girls, boys, men and women that will be forced into the sex trafficking and labor trafficking industry. If we do as much as share information on social media and raise awareness, we can make a difference in one of those human lives. We can help make a change in human and children’s lives who are being trafficked, by reaching out to our local government and making the issue aware.
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“Mexican Woman Lives as a Slave for 30 Years.” Google. Google. Web. 15 Sept. 2017.
“Modern Day Slavery Statistics.” The World Counts. Web. 15 Sept. 2017.
“Slavery Today | Different Types of Human Trafficking.” End Slavery Now. Web. 15