21st Century Asian Slaves

Dear Friends for Life:  The crisis of health of trafficking victims in Southeast Asia deepens as a recent study finds victims badly abused. The research discovered that people caught in trafficking suffer beatings, neglect and severe health problems no matter where they end up working.

Researchers interviewed more than 1,100 men, women and children in Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand, who had been trafficked into at least 15 sectors – including factory work, domestic labour, sex work and fishing.

Kay Chernush, Slave Labor,4 ©_0Daniel Rosenthal, Bitter Chocolate,6©_0An estimated 56% of forced labourers live in the Asia and Pacific region, especially in the Greater Mekong subregion, which has more than 13 million migrant workers, 13% are trafficked Vietnamese migrants, and 17% of 596 Thai fisherman reported that they were working against their will or under threat of penalties.

A few examples here show the horrors discovered only touch the tip of the problem and do not reveal isolated cases.

1. Women trafficked for factory work and domestic work suffered worse mental health problems than those trafficked into sex work. They suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and high levels of anxiety.

2. Men trafficked as fishermen worked for the longest periods, about 19 hours a day seven days a week, spending on average 16 months at sea with no means of escape. Captains pushing injured fishermen overboard has been witnessed on a number of occasions.

3. Domestic workers were some of the worst affected, because they were extremely isolated, often did not speak the language of the family, and were kept indoors working long hours for months or years at a time.

4. The worst violence was reported by women trafficked as brides.

5. About half those interviewed had been physically or sexually abused. Many had experienced extreme violence – they had been attacked with knives or dogs, burnt or strangled.

And the list continues. This report “Health of men, women, and children in post-trafficking services in Cambodia, Thailand, and Vietnam: an observational cross-sectional study“, was published in The Lancet medical journal. A “must read” report.

Kay Chernush, Sex Exploitation,1 ©_0Sad to say, the 21st Century Asian Slaves are only a part of a larger slippery slope which continues expanding at an alarming rate on the international scene. Shocking statistics place 30 million people as slaves. Although slavery is technically outlawed by most countries, it occurs in places least expected. Large portions of the marijuana crop grown in the UK use child labor, and child sexual slavery in the United States in on the rise as criminal street gangs find the practice even more lucrative than selling guns or drugs.

To get informed and inform others is very crucial to solving the problem. Pope Francis has asked Christians to move from solidarity to action. Let’s take that extra step to action. Human slavery is a crime against humanity and aggressive action must be taken.

Human Trafficking Videos

God Bless
Jerry Novotny, OMI


(The Difference is LIFE):   “Christianity taught men that love is worth more than intelligence.” – Jacques Maritain


Websites by Fr. Jerry


Fr. Jerry’s Blog  (in English)

Japan-lifeissues.net (in Japanese)

Fr. Jerry’s Blog  (in Japanese)

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