Blog Issue No. 15 (part 1/2)
Written by Brey Fuhrmann and edited by Justice Fuegen for Sharktooth Intentional Living Co.
We hope you're a note taker because this blog could be a class called World Wide Slavery 101. We hope it moves you to feel deeply sad and profoundly, righteously angry...we hope it motivates you to hate the abuser and not the victim!
Let’s get right down to business:
Human Trafficking: The three most common types of human trafficking are the sex trade, forced labor, and domestic servitude, but let’s not forget about child labor, bonded labor, and forced marriage.
In the past months, many stories (true and false alike) have come to light about sex trafficking, making this a more commonly known topic now than ever before. We can thank last year's abundance of conspiracy theories and many media platforms for our crash course in this topic.
When it comes to talking about human trafficking, it’s important to know what is fact and what is fiction and to understand the significance and seriousness of each one of these issues. We believe in the importance of self-education and encourage you to look into each issue and incidence yourself rather than believing every headline.
As we said and you probably remember, sex trafficking has been very prevalent in the media within the last year. Things like pizzagate and Epstein’s island are just a couple of the huge stories that have come out. And while these are not new by any means, many of us are just now learning about them.
We’ll talk about that more later. For now, let’s define what sex trafficking so we can understand the difference between it and other forms of trafficking.
Like any form of human trafficking, sex trade is a form of modern day slavery.
“Sex trafficking is a crime when women, men and/or children are forcefully involved in commercial sex acts. In the United States, any minor under the age of 18 engaged in commercial sex acts is automatically considered a victim of sex trafficking under the law. Worldwide, it's estimated that there are 4.5 million victims of sex trafficking.” (End Slavery NOW sex trade)
Force labor is something Sharktooth has spoken out against many times. It is a large part of our origin story and continues to be an issue we are called to fight against. Living sustainably and embracing the world of recycled and upcycled products is a great beginning to rid our world of forced labor.
“Forced labour refers to situations in which persons are coerced to work through the use of violence or intimidation, or by more subtle means such as accumulated debt, retention of identity papers or threats of denunciation to immigration authorities.” (End Slavery NOW forced labor)
Another form of forced labor is domestic servitude.
“Domestic servitude is the seemingly normal practice of live-in help that is used as cover for the exploitation and control of someone, usually from another country. It is a form of forced labor, but it also warrants its own category of slavery because of the unique contexts and challenges it presents.” (End Slavery NOW domestic servitude)
Domestic servitude can look like live in nannies or house keepers but is far from an honest job. They are exploited in many ways and face a multitude of challenges such as isolation and bonded labor (working to payoff a debt that can never be repaid). Domestic servitude can sometimes even coincide to forced marriage.
“Forced marriage is a marriage without the consent of one or both parties, and the U.S. government considers forced marriage to be a violation of human rights. In the case of minors, it’s also a case of child enslavement.” (End Slavery NOW forced
It’s unbelievable that more than a fourth of the world's slaves are children; this includes all forms of human trafficking. Child labor is a growing issue as the demand for cheap and mass produced clothing rises. They are also being enslaved to work in the carpet factories in Afghanistan, the cocoa plantations in the Ivory Coast, and everywhere in between.
With all of this trafficking happening around us it can be overwhelming and worrisome at best. How do we spot this? How do we stop it if we do see it happening? How do we prevent it from happening to us or a loved one? Do your own research. If you have questions, seek out those answers!
Bringing awareness to yourself and those around you is the first step in stopping the ongoing problem of slavery in the world.