Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Forced Labor & Slaves: 12,300,000 People

Today's bloggence points to the larger picture of surplus exploitation at the black market level of organized crime where it oddly overlaps with the surplus exploitation at the "legitimate" level of business as usual (or: see yesterday's bloggence).

Forced labor –a global menace

"Anna, now 21 years old, was born in the Ukrainian town of Kamenets-Podolsky, then still a part of the Soviet Union. During her early childhood, she led a typical family life and her basic needs were met. She lived with her mother and father, who was an engineer.

"Her life began to change radically in 1991, when socialism in the USSR was dismantled. Her entire town was plunged into poverty as the town’s main employer shut down. Her family was left jobless, until her father went to work for lower wages as a mason. The transition proved too much a shock for him and he died.

"With her family life destroyed, Anna became desperate. She struggled on until someone she had met offered her a job working at a hotel in another country. Anna accepted the position in hopes of finding a better life.

"Her dreams were dashed, however. After being taken abroad, and after a trip across a desert on a pickup truck, she was locked inside an apartment. There was no hotel job waiting for her, nor was there a hotel. Instead, she was raped up to nine times a day by different men who paid her captors for the sex. Anna had unwittingly become trapped in sex slavery.

Anna eventually escaped, according to the Chasing the Dream Project (http://www.chasingdream.org), which published her story online. She was lucky. However, countless others around the world are not so lucky.

Forced labor is pervasive

At least 12.3 million people in the world today work in slave-like conditions — and, in many cases, in actual slavery — says a May 2005 report on forced labor by the International Labor Organization (ILO), a United Nations-affiliated group dedicated to labor rights around the world. . . ."

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