Last Sunday the Guardian posted an online editorial: “Slavery is a violent and cruel trade that the world must finally stamp out” based on the Oscars nomination which was awarded later that night for best picture category: 12 Years a Slave, the true story of Solomon Northrup who was kidnapped and sold into slavery. Click on the title link for article, here is an excerpt;
“Modern slavery is every bit as cruel, dehumanising and violent as the portrait painted in 12 Years A Slave. But with greater mobility, transparency and international institutions who could work in unison, it is unforgivable that it remains a crime largely hidden from view. At this rate, it might well be another 150 years before the scale of the horrors visited on so many to force them into labour is properly apparent.” ….
The UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), what is Human Trafficking?
Article 3, paragraph (a) of the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons defines Trafficking in Persons as the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs. (Source: https://www.unodc.org, United Nations on Drugs and Crime)
Trafficking is the Act, Means and Purpose, these are the elements of criminalization and UNODC marked a milestone in international efforts to stop the trade in people with The adoption in 2000 by the United Nations General Assembly of the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking In Persons, Especially Women and Children. Translating the protocol into reality remains problematic. Very few criminals are convicted and most victims are probably never identified or assisted.
Maids silent slave exploitation
This Facebook post was brought to our attention through our social media connections titled; “Who pays, not the maid, please!” published in the Online Citizen and know that similar stories from Philippine maids occur in the Middle East as well living in abusive employments. Click on the title link to read the post, here is an excerpt: “And now when someone asks `Who pays?’ I presume that they want the maid to bear the burden. They already do. And most of them have to work for 10 years or more to get themselves out of the debt they’re in. These stories in the New Paper, they ask for more protection for the employees against the already defenceless maids. And all this time the Singapore government is collecting half the amount of money a Singaporean has to spend on a maid, they call it a LEVY. They’re the biggest fat greedy agent, every maid in Singapore they collect their toll of the maid’s blood and the employer’s blood. And still, with all the money they collect they don’t protect the maids properly, they make ineffective laws (they weekly day off rule is a bloody stupid joke, nobody cares about it and the idiot who made the law doesn’t care too!).
And so when somebody asks `Who pays?’, after laughing, I hope that everybody realises one of the axiomatic answers should definitely be `Not the maid, please!’
A very well written true account, not a movie, a cry to be heard. The article was written as a response to an on-line article titled: “When maids want out, who pays?” with the closing line; “In Ground Zero, the heartlands ponder why there is not more protection for employers too.” The content is short and not significant but your reaction changes when you read the local posted Facebook reactions and other comments.
Just wonder when services in a market with supply and demand have turned into war zones in domestic households, with injured parties on both sides. However workers are more often than not defenceless wilfully “neglected” by employers, officials and the public. Reading through the articles and comments on both sides one can not help but notice that local government could have done a better job towards both parties beside pocketing on both sides, instead of aiding better regulations and work conditions. Around the world immigrant workers have been for centuries easy marks, now called modern slaves is actually disgusting when governments fail to protect by not implementing and applying protocols with right actions. Far gone are the sugar plantations, instead, it has moved literally back in the modern household “maid slave exploitation” version 1.0 running up to 5.0 and higher?!
In The Guardian, a previous article published last January 2014 titled; “When is a slave a slave?” refers to the debate about definitions and what it is we seek to change. Click on the title link for a full read, here is an excerpt:
“Certainly, to call something slavery helps to raise attention and to galvanise action. But will it help end the misery of poor and distressed people the world over? No. Ending slavery or forced labour requires targeted action to change laws, to bring offenders to justice, to protect victims and to empower those at risk. While some measures of prevention, such as eliminating abusive recruitment and wage payment systems or enabling children to attend school, can go a long way in addressing systemic problems of injustice, much more is needed to eradicate child labour and to ensure decent work for all. Hence, definitions help to narrow down a problem and to target our action.
Clear definitions are also necessary for measuring change. Only by quantifying a problem are we able to understand whether it decreases or increases over time and whether we are on the right path solving it. Some problems are easier to measure than others and everyone would agree that measuring slavery poses many challenges. The hidden nature of the problem, political sensitivities and ethical considerations make it very difficult to implement national surveys on the basis of which reliable global data can be generated.”…
Modern slavery exploitation it still exists, it must be stopped, period.