Originally appeared on duclarion.com
By Phoebe Coburn
Published: Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, April 10, 2012 00:04
Illegal bondage of people brought to America is a growing problem, according to an expert on modern slavery.
Ron Soodalter, co-author of “The Slave Next Door: Human Trafficking and Slavery in America Today,” said slavery has evolved into a new dimension where people are brought over to the U.S. and forced to work either domestically, agriculturally or sexually at a speech last Tuesday at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies.
“Slavery in America today has evolved into a whole new beast that lives in the darkness among us,” said Soodalter at the event, which was part of Human Trafficking Awareness Week, April 2-6.
Approximately 45 students, staff and community members attended Soodalter’s lecture. The Human Trafficking Clinic, located in Korbel, which was created in 2008 by professors and students as a means to raise awareness and influence policy with regard to modern slavery, sponsored the event.
Soodalter said there are an estimated 12 million to 27 million modern slaves around the world today.
The approximation differs so much because “it’s hard to count what is hidden,” Soodalter said.
Soodalter also said 17,000 slaves immigrate to the U.S. every year, many by airplane, from an estimated 35 countries.
“The old slave ship has been replaced with the 747,” said Soodalter. “Coincidentally, there are 17,000 homicides every year. However, 70 percent of murders are solved, and only one percent of human trafficking criminals are prosecuted.”
According to Soodalter, the reason so few are prosecuted is that modern slavery can be hard to recognize.
“If you don’t see them, you are in good company,” said Soodalter. “Neither do our police and government officials.”
Soodalter said modern slavery falls into three categories: agricultural, domestic
and sexual. He said slavery occurs in all 50 states and can be commonly found in factories,
private homes, construction sites, farms, truck stops, massage parlors, hotels and
simply out on the street. Slaves are both U.S. citizens and foreigners.
Read the full article about the Josef Korbel School’s Human Trafficking Clinics event with Ron Soodalter.