Submitted by Terance Blackett
“To forgive is to assume a larger identity than the person who was first hurt…” – philosopher David Whyte
Epictetus, Roman Stoic philosopher, mathematician and rationalist was born a slave around 55 AD. He earned his freedom as a young man and began the study of Stoic philosophy during those teenage years, gaining in prominence in Rome, where he eventually taught. Then in 89 AD, Emperor Domitian banished all the philosophers from the Italian region. Epictetus fled to Greece, where he set up his own school at Nicopolis on the Adriatic coast, lecturing there until his death in 135 AD. He is recognized as the “voice” of Stoic philosophy believing that slavery wasn’t about a legal status of a person, but it was rather a moral question.
Though born a slave, Epictetus saw slavery as contrary to moral reason given that both “masters and slaves place too much value on externals, such as the master’s desire for luxury and slaves’ fear of punishment or bodily harm.” He also believed slavery was diametrically “opposed to nature because all humans share in the same kinship and rationality and because slavery requires the use of force and violence, which goes against nature” – thus there can be no moral equivalent.
We are living in an age of created chaos, where a struggle ensues to find the arc of human kindness, given Franz Fanon’s episteme of what ‘the wretched of the earth’ continues to experience, having survived the ‘mechanics of human misery’ based on the African Slave Trade and after 183 years since Abolition, we find for example, in the UK (of all places), government estimates that there are some 13,000 people who are enslaved in Britain today.
Statistics cited conservatively, that there are around some 27 million adults and 13 million children around the world, who are victims of human trafficking. The countries at the apex of this nefarious trade in the ‘souls of men’ are Belarus, Moldova, Russia, Ukraine, Albania, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Romania, China, Thailand & Nigeria. While other countries like Belgium, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Japan, Holland, Thailand, Turkey & U.S.A are all ranked very high as ‘destination countries’ for these trafficked victims (Skinner E. B. 2008)
However, modern slavery is not confined to the above-mentioned countries. Almost every country in the world has been touched with this menacing evil. Even small nation states like Barbados were accused by the United States in a 2015 Human Trafficking Report that our country is a “source country for children subjected to sex trafficking and a destination country for men, women, and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor. Authorities and NGOs report, foreign women have been forced into prostitution in Barbados. Foreigners are subjected to forced labor in Barbados, most notably in domestic service, agriculture, and construction. Legal and undocumented immigrants from Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, and Guyana are especially vulnerable to trafficking. Child sex trafficking occurs in Barbados. Authorities and NGOs also report parents or caregivers subject local and foreign children of both sexes to commercial sex.”
What was equally damning about the report was the fact that “the Government of Barbados does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government acceded to the 2000 UN TIP Protocol in October 2014, drafted amendments to its Anti-Trafficking Law to prohibit all forms of human trafficking, and began developing a government-wide anti-trafficking manual. The government did not identify any new trafficking victims, but assisted previously identified trafficking victims during the reporting period. The government did not convict any traffickers; however, police investigated a government official for alleged complicity in sex trafficking crimes.”
In a ‘Barbados Today’ piece by Randy Bennett entitled “Government Official Accused of Sex Trafficking” pinpoints the scurrilous nature of this age-old trade in human flesh and the morally opaque nature of a crime against human kind that still does not seem to warrant enough blatant moral outrage. For just as sex, economic and domestic slavery in Britain is treated as an underground economy, where Elitist individuals in the society are completely complicit and involved in the subjugation of other human beings – the same thing happens in Barbados (aptly called ‘Little England’).
In the Randy Bennett piece in ‘Barbados Today’, it is alleged that a prominent individual on the island was involved in what is clearly a crime but there was no “naming & shaming” and it is doubtful whether judicial materialization have brought about any meaningful end-result in the matter.
There are women in Barbados who have been living in prominent homes in the “Heights & Terraces” – owned and occupied by rich Elites, poLIEticians and others – subjugated to a life of servitude, where they live, work and their domestication is worse than that of a pet dog or cat. And they have no redress because their slave masters have got their passports and other relevant documents.
Barbados, like Britain, have mastered the ability of “denial-phobia” – a self-actuated, deterministic fallacy, endemic within both societies, due in part, to a refusal to see what is in plain sight. We know that “imported foreign women” are being exploited and sold on as “sex-slaves”, to rich men who come to Barbados as part of the “SEX TOURISM” mystique that has enshrouded our nation since Independence – while on the other hand, the counter-narrative posits Black men as mere “SEXUAL TOOLS” for sex-starved and nymphomaniacial Europhile women who yearn for intense, whole-body gratification, in some far-flung idyllic paradise where “Beauty & Beast” can collapse into a torrent of violent, volcanic sexual activity.
For decades, Nelson Street has been a haven for prostitution, where Guyanese women and others from neighbouring Caribbean nations, have been part of the elaborate fiscal SCAM of sexual exploitation and traffic. In 2016, the situation has reached uninhibited proportions, as imported human traffic in Barbados has gone from low end prostitution and human trafficking to high end call girls & prostitutes who flow in and out of the country pimped by demand & supply of rich sugar daddies, adult movie producers & local Arabs who trade in “FLESH” right under the noses of those who are the custodians of law & order, who simply turn a blind eye. All the while, it would appear, as if law enforcement is reticently complicit, as well as the bourgeois Elites, who back this trade for their own pleasure & moral desuetude and to make vast sums of money off the slouching backs of willing & unwilling participants.
In France, in the place where the media calls the “Jungle” – 1000’s of immigrants have ‘set up shop’ and to date; 100’s of children have gone missing or are believed to have been trafficked. Some as young as 10 years old!
As far back as 2006, The Sunday Telegraph in the U.K. reported that 100’s of children as young as 6 years old were being brought to the U.K. as slaves each year.
What a travesty!
UNICEF estimates that 300,000 children younger than 18 are currently trafficked to serve in armed conflicts worldwide according to a 2009 Washington Times article. The FBI also estimates that over 100,000 children and young women are trafficked in the US. They range in age from 9 to 19, with the average age around 11. Many victims are not just runaways or abandoned, but are from “good” families who are coerced by clever traffickers.
Millions of souls are bought & sold around the world like stocks & shares, based on a form of “Satanic Evil” that the world has never known before. Nearly 7,000 Nepali girls as young as 9 years old are sold every year into India’s red-light district – or some 200,000 in the last decade. 10,000 children between the ages of 6 and 14 work on their backs in Sri Lankan brothels. According to Louise Shelley, Brazil and Thailand are generally considered to have the worst child sex trafficking records – yet the UNITED NATIONS seems impotent or have also turned a blind eye to the suffering of our most vulnerable.
Africa continues to have its own share of misery where we saw Boko Haram abduct 100’s of Nigerian girls – many still at large; either sold or dead (with only a few returned). The AIDS epidemic in Africa has left many children orphaned, making them especially vulnerable to human trafficking according to Benjamin Skinner. Today, many of these children are washing up on the shores of the Mediterranean because of people smugglers & human trafficking – as European gov’ts are powerful to stem the tide of what some call “MIGRATION” and others, human trafficking!
One of the largest human trafficking cases in recent U.S. history occurred in Hawaii in 2010. Global Horizons Manpower, Inc., a labor-recruiting company, bought 400 immigrants in 2004 from Thailand to work on farms in Hawaii. They were lured with false promises of high-paying farm work, but instead their passports were taken away and they were held in forced servitude until they were rescued in 2010. The same thing happens across Asia, where flows of Chinese, N. Korean & others are trafficked into sweat shops, illegal industries & especially into sex shops. Japan is considered the largest market for Asian women trafficked for sexual exploitation.
In an October 2013 Brief for the International Crimes Database, “THE PHENOMENON OF “BABY FACTORIES” IN NIGERIA AS A NEW TREND IN HUMAN TRAFFICKING” was produced which looked at this most egregious of issues for which we face as a people. The document cites that “there is little research on this type of human trafficking…” It also reported that According to the United Nations Organisation for Education, Science and Culture (UNESCO), Nigeria is one of the leaders in human trafficking among African countries. In Nigeria, persons are usually trafficked for the purposes of prostitution, begging, domestic servitude and other types of underpaid and exploited forced labour.”
The report also said – “in recent years, traffickers in Nigeria have also started exploiting their victims for “baby harvesting.” The first cases of “baby harvesting” were reported in 2006 by UNESCO in its policy paper “Human trafficking in Nigeria”… teenage girls and young women are brought by traffickers to the so-called “baby factories” with false promises of jobs or safe abortions. As a result, they are confined and forced to give birth. Some of the victims are trafficked while being pregnant; others are later impregnated by men specially hired for such purposes. Allegedly, their babies are sold for international or domestic adoption, rituals, slave labour or sexual exploitation…”
So as more and more pregnant women are trafficked for their new-born babies which are then sold on the open ‘Black Market’, where the profit is divided between the traffickers, doctors, lawyers, border officials, and others – the mother is usually “ripped off”, as the slave masters take back a cut for travel cost and for creating bogus documents. As a result, the mother might receive as little as a few hundred dollars for her baby, while the bounty on that child’s head can range from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands.
Human trafficking earns some $9 billion to $31.6 billion globally! Half of these profits are made in industrialized nations. So the question must be asked: ‘Who is profiting from this illicit trade in human cargo?’ And if according to the U.S. State Department, human trafficking is one of the greatest human rights challenges of this century, both in the United States and around the world – why has it been so difficult to crush these organizations?.
Journalist Victor Malarek in his book entitled “Inside the Global Sex Trade” reports that it is primarily men who are driving human trafficking, specifically trafficking for sex. He believes that human trafficking is estimated to surpass the drug trade in less than five years (that was in 2003). Also in the same year (2003) a study in the Netherlands found that, on average, a single sex slave can earn her pimp at least $250,000 a year. No wonder Europe is now swamped with over 3 million migrants!
Yet a more sinister evil exist!
In the aftermath of the Haiti Earthquake and now a devastating hurricane, Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive believe that the 1000’s of children left orphaned as a result of losing their parents were targeted for organ harvesting. Much of the mainstream media in the Caribbean were however silent on the issue! Billions of dollars stolen from impoverished children still sit in the bank vaults of “THE CLINTON FOUNDATION”. And although 75-80% of human trafficking is primarily for sexual exploitation – the issue of “Organ Harvesting” looms large over this despicably “EVIL TRADE”.
In a 2015, United Nation Office On Drugs & Crime (UNODC) document on the “Trafficking In Persons For The Purpose Of Organ Removal” – it states that even anecdotal evidence is only the “tip of a much larger iceberg” with concise empirical data difficult to ascertain as to the broad reach of this sociobiological cannibalistic practice.
Also, in a 2015 Daily Mail Online article, the piece cited how China probably leads the world in this practice where in “2006 state-run hospitals were killing prisoners of conscience to sell their organs.” Some estimates suggest that the trade in human organs could be worth a staggering $20 billion annually given that other than China, the Arabs are the amongst the next in line as organ harvesters with a practice pervasive across poor regions of the Philippines, Africa and other poor 3rd World countries.
As far back as 2010, Barbados Underground reported on this issue of organ harvesting and a prominent EU official cited in that expose had someone accost the narrator with the possibility of retracting what was written.
The greatest threat today is not from climate change as some deluded fanatics would have you believe but it is the prospects of a world, where our children have been so inundated with EVIL that the quotation by the prophet Malachi in chapter 4, verse 5 & 6 will have to take on new significance and relevance: “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.”
The United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner states unequivocally “children as young as 3 years old (working) in mines and quarries qualify as modern day slaves, due to the combined elements of coercion, fear, restriction on freedom of movement and complete dependence on the employer.” For if the UN can see “No Future For Enslaved Children…” – then what hope does our world really have going forward?
‘The Telegraph’ cites that “hundreds of thousands of child soldiers are forced to fight at gunpoint by the Taliban in Afghanistan, Congo warlord Bosco Ntaganda, the Shebab in Somalia, Ansar Dine in Mali and other terror groups and private armies around the world.” This aspect of modern slavery will also have lasting repercussion for all of us in the long run.
The question now remains – if the UN seems powerless to do much of anything to change the trajectory of nations and governments, unilaterally waging senseless wars of attrition – what then will be the “CONSUMMATION” of all things given what we are facing in our world today?
Again, may GOD help us all…