Thursday, February 26, 2004

Report: Slavery alive and well in Florida

This is not a uniquely American phenomenon - there's a growing problem worldwide of "human trafficking", exploiting (often illegal) immigrants into debt slavery, or simply forcing them to work at gunpoint for little pay (which is then extracted through a company store - one of the documented cases from Florida). Most of it occurs in eastern europe and south-east asia, though there's also a worrying trend in Israel. It is interesting to note, however, that out of all western nations, it is the US which seems to have the biggest problem (though whether this is due to the relentless drive for profit in hypercapitalist US society, or simply that slavers in Britain, France etc are better hidden is unclear).

People wanting more info on human trafficking, both in the US and worldwide, should hit a library and check out National Geographic's September 2003 article on "modern slavery". There's an online teaser here, but its incomplete.