In Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, (1831) Victor Frankenstein created a horrific monster, which was so ugly it hid from the public eye, and ended up taking many innocent lives. We have a monster even more horrific in our modern day world that also thrives in secrecy, stealing innocent lives. This monster is slavery. It is a common misconception that slavery no longer exists today, that we got rid of it in the 1800s, or that it exists still in some countries, but it isn’t nearly as bad as it was in the days of the transatlantic slave trade. Unfortunately, according to Ethan B. Kapstein, Arizona Centennial Professor of International Affairs, (2006) slavery has become more prevalent in our modern day world than ever before in history (Kapstein, 2006). This statement was affirmed, years later, by the International Labour Organization’s report, The Cost of Coercion (2009). These assertions were being made five to eight years ago, and the estimates of victims of modern day slavery are only getting larger, yet awareness of this social epidemic is still incredibly low.
The two main types of slavery today are labor exploitation and sexual exploitation. Most would agree that both of these forms of slavery are major issues, but it is hard to pin point which is the bigger problem today. According to the International Labour Organization, 78% of slavery victims are that of labor exploitation, and 22% are that of sexual exploitation (International Labour Organization [ILO], 2012). Looking at another U.N. report, as told by Washington Times’ Edith M. Lederer (2013), “trafficking for sexual exploitation accounts for 58 percent of all trafficking cases detected globally” (par. 3). Though the statistics of the matter remain fairly questionable, is is commonly agreed upon by sources and experts as a high priority problem.
According to the ILO, “forced or compulsory labour is all work or service which is exacted from any person under the threat of a penalty and for which the person has not offered himself or herself voluntarily” (ILO, 2012). No thoughtful human being would ever condone such circumstance, but when looking at research it is pretty safe to say almost all Americans support this unknowingly by consuming and purchasing goods made with the use of forced labor. A recent report required by the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2005 showed that at least 29 countries produce at least 50 household goods with the use of forced labor (US...