Modern day slavery aka Human Trafficking

I've wanted to write this post for a while. Many of us BDSM readers love and enjoy the capture/kidnapping slavery stories. It's a titillating fantasy which doesn't seem real to us and is more of a speculative fiction. Some deem it as futuristic because in the 21st Century, for most of us in 1st World countries, slavery does not exist.

Slavery does exist and it is a rising problem because the profit gained from it is quite high. I must reveal two personal things at this time. One, I was an economics major (abet a poor one). Two, I'm a member of SHRM which is the Society of HR management. In my day job, I need to be kept abreast of HR related information to better service my clients. I bring these two things up, so you can understand where I'm coming from and how I went about forming my thoughts. Whether you agree with my analysis or not, it is food for thought.

The reason why I bring this up is not to put a damper on our fantasy. I still enjoy our BDSM fantasy books. It is because it IS a fantasy. When it becomes a reality is when it is sad. I've been asked by members who are just getting into these books how real can this be. I've seen readers scoff at these exaggerated accounts of slavery in the modern age. I'm not telling anyone that these stories are wrong or bad. What I am saying, is that these do happen and that we must not confuse the two. For me, there are fantasies that should never become reality. This is one of them.

Why do people think slavery does not exist?

My simple answer is because we changed the name. It is no longer called slavery due to the negative connotations. Instead, we soften it by calling it HUMAN TRAFFICKING. This doesn't sound so bad, does it? We take the bite out of because now, it just sounds like we are directing humans in directions. The direction is something we don't mention. The direction dead ends into starvation, abuse, humiliation and most often, death.

There are sex slaves in the world? For real?

While there are sex slaves in the world, for real, not all of these human trafficking situations involve sex. I'm not sure what the percentage or ratio is for sexual versus non-sexual. This is the common misconception. Many think sex slaves immediately. When in fact, it's indentured servitude with no way out. These are the menial low paid jobs which can be back breaking labour.

But it doesn't happen in the States, right? We have laws against this.

We have laws against sexual crimes, murder, theft, drug usages. Do we have no crimes in these categories either?


But where are they getting these slaves?

Many of them are immigrants looking for a better life. They are tricked into a horrific slavery. Many are runaways. They escape from a home life they do not want only to end up in hell on earth. This is where my economics background comes in. We are in HIGH supply of the product. We have a population overload which means, we have plenty of supply for the demand. And when the slavers view humans as a commodity rather than a person with rights, all sorts of ethically behaviour is immediately tossed out the door.


Now, you might ask, where is my evidence? Where is my proof that this has occurred? You haven't seen it in the news.
I would have to agree that the mass media does not mention this at all. I have my own personal conspiracy theories as to why this happens. (I've been stewing on this for a while for a book that is not erotic or involving sex. Shock! I know.)

Let's start with the links!

Modern Day Slavery published in the SHRM magazine in May 2012.

Modern Day Slavery

Back in 2010 or 11, I read about the state of California writing into law about human trafficking prevention. Basically, California State has passed a law that large multinational companies need to have an action plan on how to ensure their supply chain isn’t used for human trafficking. California Law against human trafficking

When I did my first research into this in March, here were some recent news (now dated) on Human Trafficking.

All news articles within the last year.

Sex Traffickers prove harder to catch

Thailand Human Trafficking Problem continues to draw Scrutiny

Students araise awareness in human trafficking

Religious groups combats sex trafficking

Human Trafficking Prevention

Human trafficking coalition forms at Nebraska Capitol


Here’s an organization dedicated to bring awareness.

http://www.beautyfromashes.org/

Here is another organization speaking out

Truth-out Org - Notice this is from February of this year.

There facts are a bit dated since it is from 2008 and 2007, but here is data on human trafficking numbers.


Human Trafficking Numbers 

EDIT - ILO Global Estimate of Forced Labour

Now from personal accounts - one my book reading buddies works for the US government in the military capacity has mentioned her own personal experience of finding human trafficking while patrolling international waters.

One of my good friend's husband was talking about his yearly seminar on how to identify human trafficking. We were talking about sensitivity training for work and sexual harassment classes. He mentioned how he looks forward to those because it beats the human trafficking identification lectures. When he mentioned this, there was a bit of a pregnant pause. I blinked several times and asked him for more details. He wouldn't provide me of too many details of how to identify it. He did say that they reviewed action plans from companies like Walmart.

I wondered for a while what my friend's husband did for a job. I thought, WTF? She never says what he does. So one day, I asked. He said, DOD. He wouldn't say anything more. I thought, DOD? D. O. D - OMG?! Department of Defense! Oh dear, and here I went on and on about how profitable it would be to sell humans if I was completely amoral and a sociopath. In addition, I explained how there would be different levels of selling in order to be a high demand supplier. There would be the low hanging fruit slaves. Then the medium ones with some resale value. Then the highest ones are the highly skilled slaves who were stolen and broken into slavery. I hope I haven't been put on a watch list!

All kidding aside, this is a serious and growing problem. So when authors write stories with this theme, don't think they are horrible or crazy for coming up with these topics. I bet you some of them have done research and try to write it in a way to raise awareness, in a subtle fashion.

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