Thursday, March 22, 2012

How to fight slavery,part 3

Talk about it!  (as I am doing right now)

Trafficking is the 21st century name for slavery.  I think the word slavery is clearer to most people. Also, think about the persons.  "Slaves" vs "traffickees?"  "trafficked persons?"  "Victims?"   I think the term slave is clearest and strongest.  "Victim" is accurate but not specific.  A victim can be many things besides a slave, sad to say.

I am still considering the fable of the starfish.  You know the one - the child throws the starfish back into the sea to save its life.  The old person points out it's impossible to save them all, so what's the point?  The child tosses one more into the sea and says, "it matters to that one."   Then the old person, and soon many others, join in and they do save all the starfish.

Which slave can I save, and how? 
Locally or far away?
Man (usually labor slavery), woman (domestics and sex slavery), or child (sex, military, and labor)? 

It distresses me to make these distinctions, to make a Sophie's Choice decision.  But there is no need to.  I save any slave I can.  If my words lead another to action, I'll never know which slave I helped.  I pray for this, BTW.   If I reject slave chocolate and lead others to as well, I am probaby helping African labor slaves.  Great!  If I give money to educate girls in Asia, perhaps I help keep a girl from becoming a sex slave. 

If I buy local and fair trade every chance I get, I can be much more confident my purchases are promoting justice and NOT supporting abusive practices, including slavery. 

Tonight a local service club that has taken up the anti-trafficking guantlet is showing a film called Sex+Money.  Doubtless when I go to bed tonight I will know more than I do right now, and will have something worthwhile to share in part 4.

Peace and justice, y'all


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