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Human Trafficking

The Opening Words of the Book:

Two hundred years after the abolition of the trans-Atlantic slave trade and almost sixty years after the General Assembly of the United Nations proclaimed that “slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms,” human beings are living in slavery. In Mauritania — despite the country’s third official abolition of slavery in 1980 — up to 20% of the country’s population is born into an inherited slavery that began in ancient times with their ancestors. In India, it is possible for children to be born into a debt bondage enslavement that began generations, or even centuries, before they were born. Most currently enslaved people, however, were born into freedom. These victims of human trafficking, as modern-day slavery is officially termed, lose their freedom when they are trafficked across or within their countries’ borders. If they possess passports or other official documents when they are trafficked to another region or country, these papers are often taken from them, leaving them without proof of identity or the ability to travel. Human trafficking’s victims are then held in conditions similar to those imposed on enslaved people in earlier centuries: they are given no choice as to what work they will perform, paid little or nothing for that work, and confined under threat of violence or
even death . . . .

A Personal Note:

As some of you may know, a non-fiction book is usually sold on the basis of a proposal that outlines the project and goes so far as to say what will be covered in each chapter. This takes a fair amount of research; whenever I've finished writing a proposal, I've felt I understood where the writing of the actual book would take me. I thought I understood where this book would take me, too, but I was wrong. With every additional day of research and writing, I found yet another sub-basement of hell. Those who are enslaved in these places -- including in the United States, which is one of the top ten importers of modern slaves -- need our help.

Global Issues: Human Trafficking examines the scope of human trafficking and the lives of its victims. It examines the historical, cultural, and legal conditions that make human trafficking possible. It also, I am happy to say, discusses the good work being done to free and assist trafficking victims and to end modern-day slavery -- work that anyone may contribute to, in ways small or large.

With thanks for your time and consideration,
Kathryn Cullen-DuPont