Dear Future President,
Some may think that slavery ended a long time ago. However around the world, an estimated 45.8 million people are enslaved one way or another, according to the 2016 Global Slavery Index. Slavery strips you of humanity and isolates you from society. Many victims have recalled the feeling of being trapped in a deep, black hole. Debt bondage, sex slaves, kidnapped laborers and false promises of work are some examples of modern slavery. Serious measures need to be taken to give back millions of stolen lives of those enslaved right here in America and all around the world.
Debt bondage is an act that can be pulled off legally. A family stuck in poverty may borrow money from a landowner or wealthy person and then spend all their life working that debt off. It takes a very long time to pay this owed money because rent and food are made extremely expensive and keeps adding to the debt. Sadly, kids are burdened with the debt after death of the parents. This cycle goes on for generations with no escape. Before the debt is finally paid off by luck.
Another form of slavery that is illegal is the kidnapping of young men and woman to be forced into labor at factories all around the world with no pay. Siddharth Kara, director of the program on human trafficking at Harvard's school of government explains, “the products made by slaves and bonded laborers touch almost every aspect of the global economy.” Almost everything we own is slave made. Laws are not enough, we need to have drastic follow up actions. For instance a group could be created through the UN to track where slave goods are transported. Not only do traffickers force victims into labor, but they also are bound into prostitution.
Thousands of young women, girls and some boys have been taken or tricked out of their homes by human traffickers with false promises. They think a job with a good salary is waiting, instead many are raped constantly and unwillingly made a prostitute. Most of the victims who are forced into prostitution from a young age are desensitized to the horrors of rape and abuse. Guddi, a girl who came to Mumbai hoping to be a domestic at age 11 was instead enslaved. “I was brutally raped and beaten by a brothel owner and held in a windowless cage.” states Guddi. She was let out only to eat and service customers.
Guddi is one of millions of women and young girls who are trafficked all around the world and abused. Even in America, many are suffering the same nightmare. The worst part is that the few escapees have no knowledge of how to take care of themselves in the real world and their families are too ashamed to take them back. Therefore they turn back to prostitution.
Madam Secretary, put yourself in the shoes of those robbed of all human rights. Every aspect of freedom ripped away along with your home and family, then working in constant fear of harsh beatings. Slavery is a real, modern problem that's happening all around us in plain sight.
P.S. How would you feel if you lost a loved one to harsh labor and torture?