My thoughts on the world around me

Slavery in the 21st Century

New York Times op-ed columnist, Nicholas Kristof, traveled to Cambodia to report on the sex trafficking of girls into brothels.

Reading the article, I was reminded of a feature documentary film that will be coming out — “Call + Response.”

Here’s a fact: In 2007, slave traders made more money than Google, Nike and Starbucks combined.

Toward the end of Mr. Kristof’s article, he notes that President-Elect Obama will have a new tool to combat traffickers: the Wilbeforce Act. Just passed by Congress, the Act strengthens sanctions on countries that allow sex slavery to take place within their borders. For details on the Wilbeforce Act, please see this detailed summary.

As Mr. Kristof’s article states, Mr. Obama, an African-American, ought to be at the forefront of this abolitionist movement toward ending all 21st century forms of slavery. In doing so, he truly would become a transformative figure, a modern day Frederick Douglas.

“Never forget, justice is what love looks like in public.” — Dr. Cornel West


January 4, 2009 - Posted by | Art, Film, Law, Media, Politics, Protests, Travel | , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. There is a lot to say about how governments turn their eyes to the other side; in some cases, part of their GDP is tied to some sort of slavery. The interesting thing is, in this precise moment when the Muslim world is being questioned, that these type of abuses are not present in all societies.

    It is not easy to make a true impact without being relevant (i.e. famous), being able to influence people with political power, or mobilize the public opinion; in other words, it is tough to make a difference without power or visibility.

    Ricky Martin Foundation has been fighting for the right of abused children. This is what Mr. Martin’s website claims as a mission:

    To further uphold our principle of social justice, in 2004 the Foundation launched People for Children, a global initiative to educate, denunciate, and support the international framework for the elimination of human trafficking, especially minors. This unscrupulous market annually generates $10 billion dollars, and it’s only preceded by the trafficking of drugs and arms. UNICEF estimates that 1.2 million children are victims of this global nightmare every year.

    More info at

    Comment by GR | January 4, 2009 | Reply

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