Call to Action Human Slavery- ethics over comfort
Call to Action Human Slavery
Community College of Denver
Currently, any work being put towards abolishing modern day human slavery, has been reserved for the “big guys”, (for lack of a better word). These ‘big guys’ include organizations such as non-profits, religiously affiliated organizations, NGO’s, government involvement, and so on. When people hear that slavery has remained prevalent throughout history, they are shocked and disturbed. Immediately, people look towards large, powerful organizations to uncover and cease the operations of these horrible, ugly slave owners. However, these should not be the authority the entire world ought rely on to achieve abolition. Rather, we need to look inwards. We need to look at all of the ways we are allowing and endorsing modern day human slavery to not only exist, but thrive. The means we as a civilization are relying on in order for modern day slavery to be abolished, are deceiving and incompetent. Moreover, these means are allowing slavery to be continuously and increasingly endorsed by greater and greater numbers of people.
Each organization involved in abolition work is unique in its definitions, policies, approaches, goals, beliefs, and so on. They are evolved, established, and distinguished to best suit the organization utilizing them (Androff, 2011). Originally, this may not appear to be a very alarming issue. In fact, it’s potential that this scenario would allow the possibility of harmonization between the organizations, and consequently enhanced approaches to abolish slavery. Unfortunately, this is not what has taken place in the world or any generation. Rather, these unique factors each organization holds to, have overlapped and contradicted one another (Chuang, 2018). The overlapping and contradicting definitions have not allowed the goal of abolishing slavery to reached. More importantly, they have played a significant role in and reason for the endorsement of it. They have forced the issue of modern day slavery into a position that makes it exceedingly difficult to discover, investigate, research, bring justice or empowerment to, etc. There are an endless number of examples of this happening (Kujawa, 2013 and Janicello, 2015).
This image accurately portrays the epidemic slaves in America are facing. Compared to other countries (where slavery is unfortunately much more prevalent), America is supposedly a land of justice, freedom, rights, possibilities, money, and more. This first world country has a desirable outer appearance, much like the wood of this building and brightness of the photo. Like majority of countries, America pursues to mend problems it encounters. In other words, any gaping holes in the law system, like a hole in a building, are covered up, like this building’s hole reinforced with extra material. When the U.S. government addressed the issue of modern day human slavery, they implemented procedures and theories into the legal system, that would most effectively produce the desired outcome of abolition. Officials’ perception and understanding of the issue of slavery and how to best fix it, can be seen in the building’s attempt to have its hole fixed. They covered it by hammering in more laws they believed would eliminate slavery. However, the materials they utilized, and laws they initiated, were weak and partial. Eventually, bits and pieces of the hole, and the problem of slavery, began to resurface and become visible. Although there is evidence that the hole had attempted to be reinforced at one point, it is still obviously there. Moreover, the failure to legitimately solve the entire issue of the hole, leads to it becoming increasingly apparent and increasingly problematic to the remainder of the building. This photo clearly represents the reality of modern day slavery in America. It may appear bright, clean, welcoming, and have all issues solved, but there is a significant, unmistakable hole.
When people hear that slavery has remained prevalent throughout history, they turn towards large, powerful organizations to uncover and cease the operations of these horrible, ugly slave owners. While this is something that should continue to be done, it allows for an extremely important factor of the issue to be overlooked.
When we hear ‘slave’, we immediately conclude that some person is being unjustly taken advantage of by an evil, violent, and powerful person or persons. One reason for this is that this is the image that has been historically seen, represented, and educated by. It allows people to be lead to assume that whatever idea of slavery that is in their head, is how it actually looks in reality. Therefore, people assume that this is something that should be solved by the government or other organizations. Unfortunately, the appearance of slavery, especially in modern day America, is not obvious whatsoever. It’s an extremely unfortunate, hidden issue that presides in every city. In fact, the people at fault for the continuation and endorsement of slavery are next to you. Nearly every single person you see, walk by, eat with, etc. has been a contributing cause to the forty million people enslaved today. More importantly, you- yes you- have allowed slavery to preside in the world.
This second image is a really beneficial way to understand these two sides. The first side I presented- the one where all responsibility to abolish slavery resides and remains on the ‘big guys’ is just like this sinking boat. In the same way that the men will never stop this boat from sinking without fixing the thing that’s causing it, slavery will never be able to be abolished without addressing or focusing on the actual cause of it- you and I. The leak, us, is going to continue to force the boat to sink more and more. Although the government and other ‘big guys’ are making more advance and more different types of buckets to get the water out, it will never successfully and sustainably float (Kent, 2019).
Common Ground and Claim
The ways in which you seek luxury and comfort in every day life are the reasons why people are abused and suffer. We are all responsible for slavery and have to acknowledge that, and choose to value ethics of comfort. Industries like fast fashion and porn have endorsed and increased modern day human slavery. I don’t believe it’s fair to assume that everybody, let alone majority of our population buys a sweater and grovels at the fact that somebody was taken advantage of in order for it to be created and produced. Rather, we all love comfort. Especially in the United States, it seems to be one of our most valued ideals. In turn, sacrificing comfort and luxuries like fast fashion seem scary, unwanted, and burdensome. Even still, none of us want to (or ought to want to) live in world where people suffer terribly so we can be more comfortable. This places us in an unfortunate predicament.
Proof of this is beyond abundant, with a heavy amount of statistics and facts that are easy to find. In fact, one of the instances of this occurring took place in 2016. Public attention was drawn to the fact and highlighted that Syrian refugees in Turkey are the ones responsible for supplying Europe with its latest fashion and fashion trends (The Guardian, 2016). This is also inherently true for America. The clothes you and I are wearing today have come from fast fashion, and consequently, have been produced in a corrupt, abusive environment. Fortunately, there are things being done in order for fashion to become ethical. There is a whole movement of fashion that cares for the producer, the environment, and the consumer (Woodyard, 2017).
Androff, D. K. (2011). The problem of contemporary slavery: An international human rights challenge for social work. International Social Work, 54(2), 209–222. doi:10.1177/0020872810368395
Brysk, A., & Choi-Fitzpatrick, A. (2012). From human trafficking to human rights: Reframing contemporary slavery (1st ed.). Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.
Chuang, J. (2018). The challenges and perils of reframing trafficking as ‘Modern-day slavery’. Anti-Trafficking Review, (5), 146. doi:10.14197/atr.20121559
Hidden child labour: How syrian refugees in turkey are supplying europe with fast fashion; thousands of syrian refugees are working illegally in the turkish garment industry where child labour, low wages and poor conditions are common. (2016). The Guardian (London, England)
Janicello, N. A. (2015). ‘modern-day slavery’ authorities seek more resources to address growing human trafficking problem. Times — News
Kent, I. (n.d.). [Leaky Boat Inevitably Sinking]. May April 1, 2019, from https://www.itsupport.co.uk/support-like-leaky-boat/
Kujawa, S. (2013). Modern-day slavery: Human trafficking in oklahoma. Oklahoma City University Law Review, 38(1), 105.
TED. (2017, March 8). Patrcik Woodyard: Fast Fashion’s Effect on People, The Planet, and You [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mPM9lhackHw
The price of fast fashion. (2018). Nature Climate Change, 8(1), 1–1. doi:10.1038/s41558–017–0058–9
Turker, D., & Altuntas, C. (2014). Sustainable supply chain management in the fast fashion industry: An analysis of corporate reports. European Management Journal, 32(5), 837–849. doi:10.1016/j.emj.2014.02.001
Warren, J. (n.d.). [Child Trafficking in Malaysia]. Retrieved April 28, 2019, from https://www.worldvision.org/child-protection-news-stories/matthew-25-protecting-children-prayer
In 2011, David K. Androff published an article entitled, The Problem of Contemporary Slavery: An international Human Rights Challenge for Social Work. This article is part of one volume embedded within a larger journal, that focuses on aspects of international social work. Within Androff’s article, he provides a plethora of background information in order to understand contemporary slavery. He provides thorough information about the various definitions of slavery. Included within this, he highlights the differences between scholarly definitions and policy definitions. Similarly, Androff also goes into detail, and explains each of the many forms of contemporary slavery. Another aspect of Androff’s piece is reserved for the responses and approaches being taken, as well as his personal recommendations. By including in-depth explanations of these many elements, Androff is successfully helping his readers understand the entire problem of modern slavery.
Using David K. Androff’s article was beneficial and necessary to this argument of fact essay. His work provided a source which elucidated the entire scope of contemporary slavery. It was enormously helpful to have all of slavery’s definitions, types, and responses displayed in one piece. Moreover, it was beneficial that this was not just a list, but instead, a detailed and complete explanation of each. Because Androff’s article was such, it was specifically useful in constructing the background of my paper. Without it, the fact I was arguing would not have been understandable or sensible.
Allison Brsyk and Austin Choi-Fitzpatrick published, From Human Trafficking to Human Rights: Reframing Contemporary Slavery, in 2012. Within this essay however, the cited information solely comes from the introduction chapter. Brysk and Choi-Fitzpatrick begin the chapter by overviewing the issue of human trafficking. They quickly transition to categorize human trafficking into contemporary slavery, and overview the entire issue of human slavery in the remainder of the book. Their entire book is arguing that human trafficking, and therefore slavery, are being approached in an awry, misguided way. Many scholarly individuals contributed to Brsyk and Choi-Fitzpatrick’s work as well. In doing so, there are a wide variety of claims and recommendations provided.
Brsyk and Choi-Fitzpatrick’s volume was beneficial to this argument of fact essay for two major reasons. First, Brsyk and Choi-Fitzpatrick provided information about the different approaches taken to abolish slavery. Unlike David K. Androff’s article however, this volume divided all of the approaches into a handful of main categories. Following this, they investigated each category, and displayed real examples of what each involves. Finally, they revealed the various categories’ outcomes, and the effect they are producing. Hence, Brsyk and Choi-Fitzpatrick provided proof of why they are unsuccessful, by showing that all current approaches are contained within the same category. Second, they implemented these results into evidence for their own claims of what a successful approach would look like and entail. Both of these things administered this essay with real life examples and information, regarding current and desired approaches to abolition.
In 2013, one section of the journal, Oklahoma City University Law Review, was authored by Sarah Kujawa. Kujawa began her piece by explaining the background of human slavery in the United States. She then compared this to specifics of what human slavery has entailed within Oklahoma. After describing the United States’ laws around human trafficking, she deciphered various claims of reform Oklahoma ought to invest in. Kujawa included a plethora of (fairly) current statistics within all of these main topics, as well.
Sarah Kujawa’s journal provided many of the hard facts and statistics for this argument of fact essay. Compared to David K. Androff’s and Allison Brsyk and Austin Choi-Fitzpatrick’s pieces, Kujawa’s journal was the only on to prioritize logos. This is necessary to my essay because it appeals to people’s sense of logic. By placing the enormous issue of modern day slavery into hard, real life numbers, it can become more understandable. Furthermore, it can also help people recognize that this is a critical issue, as they can comprehend the number of people affected.
Janie Chuang’s anti-trafficking review entitled, The challenges and perils of reframing trafficking as ‘Modern-day slavery’, explores how the overlapping and competing definitions and classifications of modern day human slavery are affecting the United States’ legal system. It reviews the tangible circumstances and effects that are resulting from the way the law currently is. Specifically, Chuang provides claims and evidence that it is misdirecting the focus the government is taking, creates misassumptions and misunderstandings, legitimate claims for protection are frequently dismissed, fails to hold perpetrators accountable, and fails to offer assistance that the United States’ government has pledged to protect. Chuang’s published review was crucial and necessary to this paper. It provides thorough information, detailing every possible aspect. Within the review, there was information for my claim, the reasons, the warrant and backing, and evidence for it. The review was a terrific source for hard facts, detailed evidence, and expert opinions about the paper.
Natalie Allison Janicello’s Times-News article, ‘Modern-Day Slavery’ Authorities Seek More Resources to Address Growing Human Trafficking Problem, analyzes one of the many instances where the human slavery definition flaws in the U.S. law caused a major issue. Janicello recounts a specific instance of a human trafficking case not having enough qualifying conditions to be considered a human trafficking case. She interviewed the detective of that case and addressed the problems he faced at the time. Moreover, Janicello highlighted how the interviewed detective has seen these problems continue, while new and more ones are simultaneously forming. She also detailed how the government is handled this particular case, affected the police department, and shared possible aspects of slavery in the future. This article contains all of the four appeals, and was beneficial to providing evidence needed for this paper. With logos, it reveals actual evidence of one time this situation (reason for my claim) occurred. It gives a real life instance that allows readers to understand that it truly is having negative affects. Moreover, and with ethos, someone from inside the law enforcement and government system- a detective- is demanding change. Pathos is woven in because the need is suddenly real and obvious, and there is currently little being done by the government. Lastly, kairos is ensued with all of these, and it is apparent that a solution needs to be discovered as quickly as possible.
This photograph was displayed on World Vision’s website. World Vision is a global Christian humanitarian organization that tackles problems of poverty and injustice. Ironically, I was simply googling different words or phrases and happened to come across this image. Before I knew it was from this website, I had already decided to use it as my visual source. Immediately when I saw the photo, I realized that it really did explain and encompass the entirety of modern day slavery in the United States. From the hue of the photo, to the content, to the overall appearance, it exudes the unfortunate story and truth this country is facing today.