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The Hidden Horrors

October 2, 2012

Although slavery is illegal throughout the world, it is not uncommon for countries to participate in this outrageous practice. The capturing of human beings is not an issue of the past; rather, it is an issue hidden away from the public eye. Unfortunately, an estimated 27 million human beings still live as slaves throughout the world.

When I initially began conducting my research on modern day slavery, I assumed slaves only lived in other parts of the world. However, I was amazed to find that there are slaves everywhere, with many of them living in close proximity to every day Americans. Every waking moment of the day, slaves are in America, blending in with the average citizen. A slave is not an African American picking cotton back in the 1800s. Even though lots of Americans picture slaves as the hard workers on the field, slaves today are hard workers in common jobs. Many of them don’t look like a “typical” slave. By definition from The Trafficking Victims Protection Act, a slave is a person who is compelled into service by another

Under U.S. law, the term slave has the same definition as a trafficked person or trafficking victim. A person who works for no pay can also be defined as a slave. There are many others who work in factories, mines, or single-family homes without any pay. A slave can be born, sold, tricked, coerced, or beaten into his or her position. I thought the ratification of the 13th amendment in 1865 supposedly ended slavery in America, but I was incredibly mistaken. While the average person is living comfortably in America, many innocent human beings are being enslaved and forced to live in their capturer’s quarters, which usually, is filthy and not suitable to live in. Regardless of the cruelty that results from the issue of slavery in America, the average citizen doesn’t even stop to think about it.

As sad and heartbreaking as it is, slaves don’t have any way to escape and Americans are not there to help. A slave is forced to work, threatened with violence if he or she tries to leave, and is not given any compensation beyond the food and clothes they need to survive and continue to work. Today, slavery is rarely state-sponsored, meaning; states do not want to get involved with the issue. Human trafficking often involves organized crime groups who make tons of money at the expense of trafficking victims. It doesn’t register with a typical American citizen that a slave could be someone who is overworked at home, having to do physical labor from sun rise to sun set.

There have not been many efforts to end modern day slavery from people in authority. President Bush said, “America will not pretend that the jailed dissidents prefer their chains, or that women welcome humiliation and servitude, or that any human being aspires to live at the mercy of bullies”. Yet, for millions of people entrapped each year in vicious schemes of labor and sex trafficking, freedom is denied. These trafficking victims are deprived of their most basic human rights and fall into modern-day slavery. There are only 30 to 40 slavery specialists in American law enforcement yet there are 17,000 both murdered and trafficked into the US every year. To emphasize, slavery is something still happening today, in our country. Traffickers may assert psychological control and dependence through fear, acts of violence, confiscate identification or travel documents, cut off a victim’s contact with family and friends, or may threaten a slave with deportation. The government and US citizens need to become more aware of their surroundings and the influence slavery still has on people today. Right now, thousands are feeling trapped with nowhere to escape. We need to become more informed and alert about slavery. To join the fight against slavery, visit . Slavery is thriving in America and it’s an issue that should not be avoided.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. October 8, 2012 8:32 am

    The hidden horrors title just made me really want to read this blog and find out what these hidden horrors were. The pictures were also really good in going along with this and the topic of slavery today just made me want to read more. I think that all the information was there and very organized. This topic kept me reading till the end because I wanted to find out if there was a way I could help. I could not believe that a slave could be anyone in the United States and I did not that there was that many slaves in the world today. I really think that the government should do more to stop this act of cruelty to people and I hope that one day it will be stopped. I really did like your blog it was really good and it was a really good issue to do your blog on and great research.

  2. October 8, 2012 8:58 am

    When I first saw your title, I was a little confused and then after seeing the video I wanted to read more. I had no idea that slavery was such a big issue in Today’s world. I remember learning about the slaves in my history class but I thought after the ratification of the 13th amendment slavery was over. Your blog enlightened me on the huge issue in America today. I wish that more people knew about this problem so can find a way to stop this horrible act.

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