Modern day slavery... By Masood
22 October, 2013
Who says that slavery is a thing of the past and that the world has moved forward by eliminating this ugly menace, which was acceptable throughout human history until recent times? It is still here in full force, working in modern forms of exploitation by enslaving new victims and not just those who are born into hereditary slavery.
A survey report released by Walk Free, an Australia-based rights group, should not be surprising for many. We are all aware of new forms of slavery. Who can deny the presence of debt bondage on those working in brick-making kilns and quarries in India and Pakistan, small children working in carpet factories, the cotton industry, toys and sports goods manufacturing, domestic labour, sex trafficking, bride trafficking, child marriages and organ harvesting? Yes, we can say that the world has moved forward from the old days of slaves working on agricultural farms.
It is shameful that more than half of the world's 30 million slaves are found in South Asia where both India and Pakistan are competing with each other for third and fourth position on the slavery index. None of the governments on the index and human rights groups working in these countries can claim that they are not aware of the exploitation of weak sections of society. It is high time to run a campaign to name and shame the governments, businesses, industries, traders, landlords and individuals who are openly violating the charter of a slave-free world.
Perhaps we should boycott the branded products that are manufactured across the globe by exploiting cheap labour, while ignoring their working conditions. The garment factory fires in Dhaka and Karachi highlight the issue. If this issue is given a cold shoulder and the survey report is shelved to gather dust, then this state of modern day slavery will continue to engulf more innocent victims while the exploiters will be encouraged to expand their traps.
Jubail, Saudi Arabia