Modern day slavery - does it exist?

  TOPCAT® 14:15 01 Apr 2007
Locked

Well I'm afraid it does. In the early hours of today I listened to the programme "From our own correspondent" on the BBC World Service. It went on to highlight one of the many harrowing cases of debt slavery that, though illegal there, still exists in many parts of India.

The desperate grandmother of the young boy in question took $25 from this employer for food. He in turn took her then nine year old grandson to work for him until the debt was paid off, but of course there was no hope of this ever happening.

The boy was set to work on the silk looms for a miserly $1 a day, and works from seven am to eight in the evening with one day off a month. Older now and at a wage of $2 a day, the boy is producing on this hand loom silk products that sell for more than $2,000 in the US.

Just two hundred metres away from this factory sit the officials that are supposed to monitor and eradicate this debt slavery. The BBC correspondent concerned approached them and finally got them to reluctantly act as the law
intended. How many more youngsters, I wonder, will not be so fortunate as this boy was in the end.

Should you wish to listen to this dreadful tale then select News and Current Affairs on the BBC World Service and then the programme mentioned above. TC.

  Jak_1 14:20 01 Apr 2007

It exists here in the UK. Young girls smuggled into the country and forced to be sex slaves unfortunately.

  TOPCAT® 14:55 01 Apr 2007

That it does, Jak_1, and it's a despicable thing to be happening in this country. It's to be hoped they can and will stamp it out for good one day.

"Older now and at a wage of $2 a day" should read "a week" TC.

  Jak_1 15:08 01 Apr 2007

Pitifull wages.

  Forum Editor 15:14 01 Apr 2007

working silk looms in Thailand.They work long hours at treadle looms for pitiful wages, and the resulting silk is sold in the form of cushion covers and scarves etc. in the hotels in Bangkok. It's not exactly slavery I suppose, as the boys do the work voluntarily, but it takes a heavy toll - by the time they're in their late teens they're myopic, and have joint degeneration in their knees and hips from working the loom.

  Ho-Lin-Sok 15:30 01 Apr 2007

Does in our house

  interzone55 15:42 01 Apr 2007

I've seen the conditions at the brick works that line the roads outside Lahore in Pakistan.

Children working for $30 a month to pay off debts that are generations old.

The really unfortunate fact is that because the work is done in the open, rain stops play (you can't mold bricks out of sloppy mud) so the workers don't get paid, therefore the debt rises because they still have to eat and pay the rent, and due to the conditions in the works, people rarely live past their 30th birthday, so have absolutely no hope of paying the debts.

Bonded Labour is the euphemism, slavery is the true name

  MichelleC 18:27 01 Apr 2007

happens in vertually every country. It's just the very definition or interpretation of the word changes according to one's viewpoint.

Of course it's horrifying that slavery even exists.

Now the black slave trade is at the forefront of political and media exposure, the media has exposed the latest results of other forms of slavery. But it's been going on in this country for years. You don't think most prostitutes work just for themselves, do you?

In third world countries like Kenya the kids supposedly get free education. But reality is a different thing. Most families are so poor the kids have to work. In Asia kids work for a pittence to make sports trainers.

Modern day slavery is alive and thriving.

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