Friday, September 14, 2007

Cant change the past but can help shape the future - stop slavery today !

‘As regards the current debate on apologising for Bristol's role in the slave trade during the 17th and 18th centuries, a recently published book (50 Facts That Should Change The World) stated that there are 27 million slaves in the world today. Perhaps rather than focussing on the past and seeking an apology for it, we should actually learn from that horrendous episode and now focus our attentions on stopping slavery in the modern (enlightened?) age’, said Damian Wardingley from Eastville (‘Learn from the past – help today’s slaves', Bristol Evening Post, Open Lines, 13 Sept 2007).

This is a very good point. We cant change the past but can help shape the future so that there is no more slavery.

Slavers literally own and control people, giving them little or no rights or freedoms, little or no pay for work, and basic subsistence only. The 27 million figure probably means a definition involving these aspects – use only slightly broader thinking and definitions means there are many more.

For more on slavery today.


  1. Hi Glenn,
    Thanks for a great posting. That 27 million figure comes from my research. As an environmentalist I think you will be interested to know that in addition to being a terrible human rights abuse, slavery is a hidden environmental issue. All over the world environmental destruction is carried out using slave labour. The Amazon forests are being cut down with slave labour. Is it any surprise that a slaveholder, who is willing to crush human life, will use slaves to smash and grab from the environment? Plus, environmental destruction pushes indigenous people into situations of vulnerability and potentially enslavement. I am just now researching the vicious cycle of slavery and environmental destruction - more soon.

    Meanwhile, there is hope - we actually stand at a moment in history when slavery can be eradicated. Please check out my new book - Ending Slavery: How We Fee Today's Slaves.

    More power to your elbow!
    Kevin Bales

  2. Thanks Kevin - you make a very good point, connecting ecological and human justice issues.

    Keep in touch!


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