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Slavery: Does it still exist?

April 12, 2012
Slavery could seem like something from the past, but taking a good look at the reality of the world today we find that there are 27 million slaves. That is more than in any other period in human history.
The Universal Declaration of the Human Rights says: “No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.” Yet, every year 14,500 slaves are trafficked to North America.
The world is not free from slavery although it seems like something that doesn’t make sense nowadays. But greed, the obsession with profit and no regard for the way workers are treated makes slavery more real than we ever imagine
Slavery is not a reality in just poor countries like the cases denounced in Mauritania and other African countries. Every year thousands of people are brought to North America to work as modern-day slaves in the sex industry, in the fields, restaurants and many other places.
In South America where there are almost a million and a half slaves, the Brazilian government took the step to fight against this reality and in recent years freed more than 6000 slaves.
Can you imagine that people are paying to buy another human being? The average cost of a slave around world is 90 dollars. Is this fair? Every one of us is born free and nobody has the right to take away that freedom.
What can we do to fight against this? How can we pressure governments to look to what is happening in the countries they lead? What we can do to help free the modern-days slaves? The whole world needs to stand up together to end this exploitation of human beings.
To help us answer these questions and explain who the modern-day slaves are, Pedro invited Br. Xavier Plassat, OP, coordinator of the Brazilian Pastoral Land Commission Campaign against Slave work. He gives us a new perspective on slavery in the world and points out some ways to stand up against this horrible reality.
Join us for this discussion, Friday on Perspectives: The Weekly Edition at 7 and 11pm ET / 8pm PT. In the meantime, take part in the discussion on Facebook.
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