Monday, March 27, 2017

Modern Slavery

The legacy of slavery resounds down the ages, and the world has yet to overcome racism. The consequences of slavery had not ended with emancipation, but continued to this day. While some forms of slavery may have been abolished, others have emerged to blight the world, including human trafficking and forced and bonded labour. For over 400 years, more than 15 million men, women and children were the victims of the transatlantic slave trade, one of the darkest chapters in human history. Slavery is, nevertheless, far from being just a chapter of the past—it still there, with estimated 21 million victims of forced labour and extreme exploitation around the world–nearly the equivalent to of the combined population of Scandinavian countries. Trafficking can have numerous other forms including: victims compelled to act as beggars, forced into sham marriages, benefit fraud, pornography production, organ removal, among others. According to the UN, victims of trafficking are found in 106 of 193 countries. Many of these are in conflict areas, where the crimes are not prosecuted. Women and children are among the main victims. 79 per cent of all detected trafficking victims are women and children. In fact, millions of women and girls are sold for sexual exploitation and slavery.
Human Rights First informs that human trafficking earns profits of roughly 150 billion dollars a year for traffickers. The following is a breakdown of profits, by sector:
– 99 billion dollars from commercial sexual exploitation
– 34 billion dollars in construction, manufacturing, mining and utilities
– 9 billion dollars in agriculture, including forestry and fishing
– 8 billion dollars is saved annually by private households that employ domestic workers under conditions of forced labour
While only 22 per cent of victims are trafficked for sex, sexual exploitation earns 66 per cent of the global profits of human trafficking, reminds Human Rights First. The average annual profits generated by each woman in forced sexual servitude ($100,000) is estimated to be six times more than the average profits generated by each trafficking victim worldwide ($21,800). Sexual exploitation can yield a return on investment ranging from 100 per cent to 1,000 per cent, while an enslaved labourer can produce more than 50 per cent profit even in less profitable markets (e.g., agricultural labour in India).
However, the Socialist Party highlights another form of slavery and strives for the emancipation of wage-slaves. Under chattel-slavery the slave was bought and sold and became the property of the buyer. Under the system of wage-slavery, to which workers of all races in all capitalist countries are subjected at present, the labour-power of the individual worker is bought, a wage is paid to the worker by the employer, and the employer only takes an interest in the welfare of his workers in so far as it helps him to make profits out of them. Under chattel-slavery the slave was oppressed and exploited by the slave master and slave rebellions took place time and again led by the instinctive surge to freedom. The wage-slaves — workers of today — are exploited and oppressed by the capitalist employers. Under the system of wage-slavery workers are constantly struggling for better conditions and for the abolishment of capitalist slavery in all countries.  Under the old chattel slavery system, overseers lashed the slaves to their tasks. When wage slavery came into existence the slave master was still there, in the shape of the management's boss, but the lash had become an invisible one, the threat of the sack and the prospect of unemployment. We’re a new kind of slave. The bosses don’t own our bodies any more, they just own our jobs. The master class live off our sweat and toil.

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