12.5 million people were transported from Africa to the Americas in between the years of 1500 to 1866. Today, there are between 20 and 30 million people enslaved through human trafficking.
Throughout history, we see slavery and human trafficking being very popular. While historians have seen slavery before the 1400’s, 1400-1600 marked the beginning of the European slave trade which included both slavery and human trafficking wrapped into one. Since the beginning of time we have seen humans being taken as property by other humans and this practice shows no sign of slowing down. Despite the type of slavery and the period of time these types are prevalent, there are similarities between slavery and human trafficking. When there was a need for workers that didn’t require a piece of promised land or monetary compensation, America, especially in the south on plantations, turned to slavery. Antebellum slavery, or slavery before the American Civil War, was built upon the idea of taking people from their home countries and putting them in a place where they didn’t know the language or culture and sending them to do free and hard labor. These slaves, normally black, were considered property and this idea was enforced through both suggested and acted violence.
This form of slavery does not have a universal definition, however. Some slaves and masters had good relationships while others had detrimental relationships, many slaves were sent to the fields while others were put up in homes to take care of children, clean, and cook. A portion of slaves came to America on boats while some were born into America. Antebellum slavery was combated from within and from the outside.
Many slaves would resist doing work or would run away through the underground railroad or lesser known passages out. On the outside, people were fired up through books written from the perspective of slaves and other tools and wanted to help free people. Eventually, the President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, got involved and issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which ended slavery.Slavery may have become illegal when the Emancipation Proclamation was signed in 1863, but human trafficking had only just begun. Human trafficking is a form of modern day slavery that involves the use of force, fraud, or persuasion to receive a form of labor or a sexual act. There are millions of people worldwide that are trafficked each year, including men, women, and children of all ages.
Human trafficking is the second most profitable form of illegal transnational crime, second only to drug trafficking, making billions of dollars a year. Traffickers take weak people, both emotionally and physically, and use force and fear to make these people do work or sexual deeds. People who are trafficked are taken from their homes and families and are normally kept in a form of captivity most of the time until they either die of age or illness or are killed. Resisting human trafficking isn’t an easy thing to do. With modern day technology, people who are trafficked may be under constant watch via cameras or under watch by people with weapons.
Escaping is almost impossible with the way they are imprisoned and normally without contact from other people. Knowledge of human trafficking is very slim. In addition, most people who know about it don’t know what to do about it. Criminals participate in human trafficking to make more money or to fulfill needs that they have. While slavery is illegal, human traffickers are hard to catch. There is little to no way to prove when and how they took a person and there is no way to find out if they even did it without contact with the missing person in question.
In order to end this, everyone needs to be educated on how to protect themselves from being targeted and contact the authorities with any suspicions of human trafficking. We are able to identify many similarities between antebellum slavery and current day human trafficking. In both situations, people, normally weak in some form, are taken from their home and shipped off to another place, whether it be another country or another street, where they are forced to do labor or sexual acts, most times against their will. We can see cases where some have more of a friendship versus ownership and violence versus peace. The cause of ending slavery and human trafficking gained a majority of support from churches and concerned citizens. Both required and will require strong minded people who have ideas to end it. Human trafficking and slavery possess the idea that people are property and keeping people naive and using violence will force them to remain in this mindset. While slavery and human trafficking are similar in many ways, they hold differences.
When slavery was going on in the 1800’s, there were no laws prohibiting the institution. Human trafficking is prohibited fully by The Victims of Trafficking and Violence Prevention Act as well as The Customs and Facilitations and Trade Enforcement Reauthorization Act of 2009. Both of these laws specifically state the definition of human trafficking and how it is illegal. Slavery was also an open affair. Many people could go by your house and see your slaves working in the fields or sweeping the porch.
People in the human trafficking chain are kept away from other people, creating the inability to get out. While the differences between antebellum slavery and current day human trafficking are easier to see, we have seen the similarities as well. Both of these issues have been or currently are a major conflict which require intervention from the outside and assistance from the government. In conclusion, dehumanization is a trend that has been visible in the world since the beginning of time and it’s a gruesome trend that needs to be ended. BIbliography”11 Facts About Human Trafficking.
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