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Slavery

Reader comment on item: Civil War in Iraq?
in response to reader comment: The Koran and Democracy

Submitted by BaderS (Saudi Arabia), Mar 8, 2006 at 08:10

"I would suggest you not bring up slavery in this discussion. The West put an end to that practice in our civilization 150 years ago. It is still going on in the Muslim world."

Well according to this the report "Hidden Slaves: Forced Labor in the United States," , it is still going on in the US.

I quote:

"The most shocking aspect of this report is that modern-day slavery still exists," said Laurel Fletcher, a researcher at the Human Rights Center and professor at UC Berkeley's law school. "Slavery is a problem the public thinks we solved long ago, but, in fact, it's alive and well. It has simply taken on a new form."

Cases documented in the report include a Berkeley, Calif., businessman who enslaved young girls and women for sex and to work in his restaurant; a Florida employer who threatened violence to force hundreds of Mexican and Guatemalan workers to harvest fruit; and two couples in Washington, D.C., who brought Cameroonian teenagers to the United States with the promise of a better education and then forced them to work 14 hours a day as domestic servants, without pay and under the threat of deportation.

Among the report's major findings:
* While forced labor exists across the United States, reported cases are concentrated in states with large immigrant communities, including California, Florida, New York and Texas.

* Victims of forced labor are trafficked into the United States from at least 38 different countries, with China, Mexico and Vietnam topping the list. Some are born in the United States and later held captive.

* Forced labor occurs in poorly regulated industries with a high demand for cheap labor - sweatshops, restaurants and hotels, in addition to agriculture and domestic work. A lack of official monitoring in these areas means unscrupulous employers and criminal networks can gain complete control over workers.

* Forty-six percent of those trapped in forced labor in America are found in prostitution and sex services, the study estimates. Another 27 percent are domestic workers, and one in 10 works in agriculture. These victims are spread across the economy - sweatshop/factory work makes up 5 percent; restaurant and hotel work makes up 4 percent. Sexual exploitation of children represents 3 percent.

(http://www.berkeley.edu/news/media/releases/2004/09/23_16691.shtml)
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