ACTION AGAINST THE NEW SLAVERY
Currently more than 27 million people are enslaved.
Slavery may be illegal today in every country, but it
exists and is actually growing rapidly throughout the world. But unlike
the slaves of the past, the new slaves are not seen as long-term
investments. Instead, slaveholders view them as cheap, requiring little
care, and in the end, disposable. But one thing remains the same:
violence. People are still taken by force and held against their will
through fear. Take a look at the economic and social forces that
sustain slavery, from the corruption of local governments to the
complicity of multinational corporations. See just who benefits from
the incredible profits of the new slavery -- and how we all lose, in the
end. See how the lives of these slaves are bound by our own through
our purchase of slave-made products or mutual funds that invest in
companies using slave labor. Learn how individuals and governments can
combat slavery; take on successful antislavery actions encouraged by
international and local organizations. Have mercy: Do something.We WILL be next, Coppertop.
This piece is excerpted from Kevin Bales' new book, Disposable
People: New Slavery in the Global Economy Berkeley: University of
California Press, 1999. I sincerely urge you to do much more than read
it: share these ideas with others and take concrete action through the
conscious choices you make.
Five Things You Can Do to Stop Slavery
- Join Anti-Slavery International. All around the world
ASI is working to end slavery, through local organizations, by
investigating and exposing slaveholders, by lobbying national
governments, and by pressuring the UN. Join with ASI in fighting
slavery. You can write to it in the United States at:
Massachusetts Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20036-2102
For the latest information about slavery worldwide, you can
also visit the Anti-Slavery International website at
The main office of ASI
Thomas Clarkson House
- Read Disposable People: New Slavery in the Global
Economy Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999. Don't
put it on the shelf. Give it to someone else to read. Ignorance
about slavery is one of the main reasons why it still grows. ALL
royalties from this book go back to the fight against slavery;
that's why Kevin doesn't feel shy about urging you to buy another copy
for a friend. Take it to your club or church group where books are
borrowed and discussed.
- Ask hard questions of charities. If you currently support
any organizations or charities that work in the developing world, be it
child sponsorship, missionary work, or medical relief, ask them: What
are you doing to stop slavery? What agencies are you supporting locally
in the struggle against slavery? And if none, why?
- Ask hard questions of politicians. One of the most
powerful weapons against slavery is the threat of economic sanctions by
the big economies. A law passed in the U.S. Congress all but stopped
child slavery in Dominican sugar fields overnight. When politicians
want your vote, ask them what they are doing to stop slavery.
- Ask hard questions of your pension fund and your investments.
Can your pension fund or mutual fund assure you that it is not
investing in companies that are linked to slave labor? What criteria
besides profit guide its choice of investment? If it can't or won't
give you a straight answer, MOVE YOUR MONEY. There are ethical
funds that can ensure you don't have to profit from slavery.
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