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Modern slavery

By Alexander Carpenter
On CBS’ The Early Show, Not For Sale campaign‘s David Batstone talks about the religion-based abolition movement’s efforts to stop modern slavery.

According to a relatively long article in Sunday’s WaPo, the abolition movement achieves highly levels of bi-partisan support in Congress.
Throughout the 1990s, evangelicals and other Christians grew increasingly concerned about international human rights, fueled by religious persecution in Sudan and other countries. They were also rediscovering a tradition of social reform dating to when Christians fought the slave trade of an earlier era.

And although the numbers are very difficult to get and confirm, experts report a sharp increase in trafficking activity in the 90s, due in part to globalization. The article notes that much of the money appropriated to combat modern slavery has been squandered on PR-firms and ineffective faith-based awareness raising — that said, the problem persists and provides a platform for diverse activists to make common cause. For example,
“feminist groups and other organizations also seized on trafficking, and a 1999 meeting at the Capitol, organized by former Nixon White House aide Charles W. Colson, helped seal a coalition. The session in the office of then-House Majority Leader Richard K. Armey (R-Tex.) brought together the Southern Baptist Convention, conservative William Bennett and Rabbi David Saperstein, a prominent Reform Jewish activist.”

For more on modern slavery, check out last night’s Daily Show interview with John Bowe on his new book, Nobodies, about what lies behind those everyday low prices.

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