#OurWorld Anti-Slavery Day

Frankie Av

 

Back in 2010, the UK government created this day in order to raise awareness of modern day slavery and hopefully in doing so, help prevent it. Many people believe slavery is simply an evil of the past. Unfortunately this is not the case.

Slavery today takes many more forms than the often thought of black man forced to serve the white man. Of course, this still does occur, but there are also modern twists on slavery insidious enough as to become invisible to the eyes of the ignorant.  

It may surprise some to hear that human trafficking is, in fact, a form of slavery. Women and children and yes, sometimes even men, forced to work as sex toys in the seedy underground of society. It may also surprise you that fake marriages can be a form of slavery. As is domestic servitude, coerced criminal work, drug mules, and forced labour no matter how it is enforced. Often the people in these situations find themselves abused in many ways. Beaten into submission, psychologically tortured, threatened with death of themselves or loved ones, raped and abused; this list isn’t exhaustive.

When these facts are taken into consideration, it is estimated that up to 45 million people are held in modern slavery around the world, of which 14,000 reside in the UK alone. Many of these people have been forced from their homes and even their countries, whether by subterfuge or kidnapping or even facilitated through bribes and debts.

Earlier in the year, I read about two men who were kidnapped after sleeping rough then forced to work for a family for up to 26 years. Threatened with violence, these men suffered long and punishing working hours with little hope of escape. Poorly cared for and forced to live in squalid conditions, one man even developed osteoporosis as a result of malnutrition. These were vulnerable people living in the same area as their captors, so not all people living in slavery are from other countries. This happened in Wales, in the United Kingdom.  

I have often asked you to try to imagine being an animal trapped in a cage its entire life and what that must be like. Some people can not imagine this or even attempt to do so, as to them the suffering of an animal is of little or no consequence. But, if you can, try to imagine being a person–man, woman or child–waking each day into an abusive situation. Imagine being forced to work for no pay and little food. Forced to clean the house of your captors, launder their clothes and bedding. Your worldly possessions consist of only the unwashed old clothes on your body, and you sleep on their sofa or floor, not even afforded the luxury of privacy or even a room. Imagine being forced to have sex with multiple strangers who care not a jot for you, all for money you will never see. Imagine being poisoned by drugs and words, trapped in locked rooms and even cages. Imagine being threatened every day with death and beaten within an inch of your life.

If you can imagine such an existence and understand just how awful it would be, then you might understand what these 45 million people are going through every day. If this is the case, you can and should do something to prevent it or stop it.

There are signs to look out for of slavery and human trafficking. If you see any of the signs, or anything in any way suspicious, report it and you might save some poor tortured soul from a terrible life. You can report such things anonymously if you wish, but please do report it.

You can find more information on modern day slavery and ways to fight against it here on the Anti-Slavery Day website

F.R. Donaldson lives in scenic Scotland. She is the author of the psychological sci-fi MALEVOLENCE

 

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About oneofthedragons

Samantha K. Balk and F. R. Donaldson met on An Archive of Our Own, one of the many fanfiction sites online, when Sam asked Frankie to illustrate the fanfiction that would one day lead to Sam's first novel. They've been friends ever since! This blog was created as a way to share the oftentimes difficult journey any new author experiences on the uncomfortable quest of an introvert for attention to his or her most personal work. It is meant to remind you that authors don't just appear fully fledged like a George R. R. Martin, that all of us start out unsure and feeling inadequate. Feel free to ask us anything. Sam: sammykaye9@gmail.com Frankie: reluctant.fraggle@gmail.com

Posted on October 18, 2016, in #OurWorld, Frankeh Updates, Updates and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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