Throughout our government sponsored “education,” we are told that slavery is no longer a thing. That is a blatant falsehood. Not only does slavery still exist, it is a thriving, multi-billion dollar industry.
Each year, human traffickers make over 30 billion dollars in profits. The industry isn’t limited to the 3rd World, as human traffickers made over 15 billion dollars in developed nations. To put that into perspective, Nike, one of the largest companies in the world in 2014 made 7.8 billion dollars in revenue. It is the fastest growing illegal industry, as there is relatively little risk for traffickers and a very high reward. A slave can be sold multiple times during their time of enslavement.
Currently there are between 20 and 30 million slaves in over 160 countries. That is the largest ever in recorded history. Each year, between 500,000 and 1,000,000 people are forced into slavery across international borders. Of those people, over half are women and children. In the United States, anywhere from from 14,000 to 18,000 people are forced into slavery, an action that supposedly ended over 150 years ago, yet still occurs.
In the United States, the average age of a victim of sexual slavery is 13 years old. Most are girls who ran away from home because of physical and sexual abuse. In other places it is as young as 6 years old. In some extreme cases, even babies are sold into slavery. The profits end up being split between the traffickers, the parents, doctors, and government officials.
Today, most victims of trafficking are in the sex industry. However, forced labor, organ harvesting, as well as the use of child soldiers are also common forms of slavery.
According to Amnesty International, Western “Aid Workers,” as well as NATO and UN soldiers frequently take part in human trafficking in Kosovo.
Many people enjoy a chocolate bar. 70 percent of cocoa is produced in Western Africa where plantations will sell their product to giants such as as Nestle, Mars, and Hershey. Frequently, slave labor is used to grow and harvest the cocoa.
In resource rich countries like the Congo, slaves are used to mine valuable minerals. These minerals are then used in everything from jewelry to military hardware.
Every year, the government of Uzbekistan forces over 1 million people to work in the country’s cotton fields. In previous years children were the primary source of labor. Now, teenage slaves are the primary source of labor.
So, what can you do? Well for starters, be a smart consumer. If a company uses slave labor in the process of producing products, don’t buy their goods. In the end, all companies care about is making a profit. Second, speak out. Social media is a great way to share information on this horrendous practice. Now many “thin libertarians” will say boycotting sweatshops that at times use slave labor ends up harming the workers even more. However, there is a very good solution to this: agorism. While agorism benefits every single one of us, the most benefits are reaped by the most vulnerable. Instead of being forced into slavery, working low wage jobs, or begging to survive, the poor in the world can use agorism to lift themselves and those around them out the cycle of poverty and slavery.