Modern Slavery

Writing about web page http://www.antislavery.org/homepage/antislavery/modern.htm

I was talking to my sister the other day about her work, she’s a
graphic designer, and she mentioned a project that she was working on
for Anti-Slavery International.

Her company is doing the design work for free as a kind of a CSR gesture.

Frankly I was nonplussed – it wasn’t something that I thought of as a current issue.

But, looking at the site:

At
least 12 million people live and work in contemporary forms of slavery
which have been defined and prohibited in international conventions.

In
1807 slavery was abolished in British colonies, so Anti-Slavery
International are using the 200th anniversary to highlight the huge
problems with contempirary forms of slavery:

  • Bonded labour
  • Early and forced marriage
  • Forced labour
  • Slavery by descent
  • Trafficking
  • Child labour

This rang a bell because only that afternoon I’d heard a
piece on Radio 4 about East European girls being trafficked to the UK
and being forced to work as prostitutes. The piece connected this
phenomenen with the Chinese cockle-pickers in Morecombe Bay and the
concept of gang masters.

Obviously I felt stupid for not
connecting this with the idea of slavery – and for not realising that
it is something which is alive and well in the UK today.

I thought I’d share my road to Damascus moment with you.

(By the way – the site linked to above has not yet had my sister’s graphic design genius unleashed upon it.)

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