United States, World

Is Slavery Really Gone?

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.

Works​ ​Cited:
“10​ ​Facts:​ ​The​ ​Emancipation​ ​Proclamation.”​ ​​Civil​ ​War​ ​Trust​.​ ​Civil​ ​War​ ​Trust.​ ​Web.​ ​15​ ​  

          Sept.2017.

“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​ ​

         Sept.​ ​2017.

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