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Oppression Through The Ages Essay

1928 words - 8 pages

As a people who were born free, futures ripe with opportunities and choices, it’s hard for most in American society to truly imagine slavery. It’s a horrific concept that is ingrained into childrens heads and then thought of as only an idea in a history class, but sadly, the past doesn’t seem to always stay in the past. Many forms of slavery that share a plethora of traits with slavery found back in the times of the civil war, are still very prevalent in the world today, domestic work and exploitation being a very huge problem in several countries.
In the now advanced world, slavery should be an issue of the past, however there are several causes that allows slavery to still be a problem. One main cause of modern day slavery is that “[in many countries] domestic work is not only accepted socially and culturally, but is also regarded in a positive light” ("Domestic work." International Labour Organization). Cultural beliefs of gender roles and the benefit that comes from domestic work makes it a very popular career in several countries, such as Indonesia and China. Other causes of this widespread travesty include “poverty and its feminization, social exclusion, lack of education, gender and ethnic discrimination, violence suffered by children in their own homes, displacement, rural-urban migration and the loss of parents due to conflict and/or disease” and also debt bondage ("Domestic work." International Labour Organization). Another main issue is that those who are victims of domestic exploitation are being tricked into servitude by their employers. After being told to sign a document in a foreign language, they are then told that the document stated that if they wish to leave they would have to pay the employers a large sum of money.
The simple fact is that slavery was never completely eradicated. It “existed as an economic system for thousands of years before the conquest of America” (Selfa), and has continued to plague the earth up until present day, even after abolitionist movements and laws were passed, slavery has continued. The problem is just pushed out of the minds of those no longer affected. Domestic slavery has had several laws passed and ratified giving workers more rights, the most recent law being the C189 ( also called the Domestic Workers Convention). It was passed by the International Labour Organization “at the International Labour Conference on the 16th June 2011” and went into effect on the 5th of September this year (“Home Alone”). Most countries have ratified this convention, but some have not. China and Indonesia are currently the main countries lately to be under public scrutiny after an Amnesty International “study found that Hong Kong's 148,000 Indonesian domestic helpers work in "slave-like" conditions” (Siu). London is also brought to the attention of the world because even though it has ratified the 2011 convention, recently it had a situation where “three women [were] held in slavery in South London” for 30 years...

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