Slavery in 2014

Impossible you say, slavery doesn’t exist; it’s a thing of the past that you read about in history books! Slavery doesn’t exist in today’s world. Unfortunately, this isn’t true – slavery today takes many forms and faces. In April of this year, the world learned that close to 200 teenage girls were stolen from a boarding school in Nigeria. These young girls were ordered from their beds by soldiers and taken. As of this time, they have not been returned to their homes. Threat hangs over their heads that they will be sold as “wives” to the soldiers or sold as slaves. They are also being used to barter for the release of “terrorists” held in jail in Nigeria. The price for their lives is about 12 US dollars.

Slavery doesn’t just exist outside of the United States. Did you know that Pennsylvania’s highways can be compared to the ancient “silk route” once used for transport of slaves? Our highways provide a perfect connecting route for moving illegal immigrants as well as girls, young women, and boys across our nation for the purpose of prostitution. Things are so evident that a group of truckers have organized to be a father’s eyes for young girls, boys, or women that “look out of place and are in the area where truckers park”. This is an indication that these children are being transported for prostitution. These truckers then watch and notify the police to be on the lookout for the truck carrying the teens.

Another facet of slavery in our country can be found when people are “hired” to work as domestics, in factories, in restaurants, and as farm laborers. If they have passports they are taken from them, forced to live in below standard housing, in cramped rooms. They have no recourse as they have no legal documentation. In essence, they are slaves.

What can we do to prevent this evil? Become knowledgeable about this problem. Stop being critical blaming the victims while ignoring the people using them. Support reform bills. Pray for an end to this injustice and evil.

“…I do not fear the social evils of our time. I know that the world is powerless to abolish them, whereas, the teaching, the life example, the grace of Christ is strong enough to help the world out of its straits and to dry all of its tears. I fear only godlessness, the lack of faith, and the unchristian spirit of our time.” Bishop Wilhelm Emmanuel von Ketteler, Founder of the Sisters of Divine Providence

Submitted by Sr. Paulita Kuzy CDP, Social Justice Committee of the Sisters of Divine Providence

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