We’re seeing more of a focus these days on “Fair Trade” items, which is great because it shows the awareness for modern slavery and gives consumers a chance to make a conscious decision to buy items they know were not produced through slavery or sweatshop conditions. Certainly, slavery in any form is a terrible injustice and must be stopped.
Now, I’m not sure why this is a debate, but in my reading and web surfing I have found that some people are actually angry that, in some cases, the flesh trade, or sex trafficking, often gets more attention than slavery which forces manual labor. First of all, I don’t know that this is true. I think more people know about the evils of sweatshops and the like than actually realize that people’s bodies are being sold for sex, not by their own choices. But even with that aside, I personally feel there are more layers of terror to sex trafficking; it peels away the soul, one john at a time. There is even more of a loss of self-worth and dignity in the chasm that is the flesh trade. There’s a vulnerability in sex, and these are people who are forced to do it several times a day and night, for little to no money at all. And for many, it starts when they are still children, sought out to be tricked and kidnapped into this vile life. Innocence is lost.
But why would people fighting for human rights even worry about getting caught up in which type of slavery is worse? Owning human beings is wrong, no matter what they are used for. It all needs to stop. There is a 1:9 ratio of the sex trafficked to those forced into manual labor, so I suppose it seems the percentage of those caught in the flesh trade is small in the grand scheme of human trafficking, but it is all wrong. Here’s a link to an interesting fact sheet from the Polaris Project to help put it into perspective.
Don’t just fight for one type of slave versus the other. Fight for all the estimated 27 million people who have been robbed of their freedom.