- June 30, 2020
Accordingto historians, human trafficking transpired over a long period oftime with its peak being between the 1700s and 1800s (Adrenito168).This trade took place through well-established mechanisms thatinvolved international traders, local chiefs, African soldiers, andrulers. The principal route of transport was the transatlanticmainly because it linked West Africa to Europe and North America(170). With the help of African conspirators, British and Americanslave traders effortlessly took people from their homes (Mariottini).
Themain trigger of this inhumane treatment of human beings was anincrease in the demand for cheap labor in the European and Americanblocs owing to the progression of industrialization (Mariottini).America, for instance, was experiencing an increase in industrialactivities (Adrenito 172). Correspondingly, the pieces of land forcultivating sugar cane, cotton, and tobacco were swiftly gettingbigger in Europe (172). Since American and European natives could notprovide cheap labor, traders in these blocs saw the need to hunt forcheap labor from other jurisdictions (174). It is at this point thatthe Europeans and Americans resolved to getting human beings fromAfrica to drive their industrialization ambitions beginning theAfrican slave trade (175).
Asthe slave trade blossomed between the 1700s and 1800s, numerous moralprinciples of the apprehended human beings were violated. First, theslaves were regarded as property not human beings (Mariottini). Themasters had absolute control over the slaves. Hence, they could dowhatever he wanted with their captives. This lowered the humandignity of the slaves, damaging their self-esteem because theyliterally had no privileges as the human beings they were (Africans)(Mariottini). During transit, the slaves were chained like animals totheir holding cells (Mariottini).
What’smore, the slaves were forced to work for very long periods of timewithout sufficient food, water, or rest. Moreover, the African slaveswere seriously assaulted if they dared to repel orders sometimes todeath (Mariottini). This violated the slaves’ moral principle ofbeing treated like human beings. Another ethical violation can betraced to the fact that the slaves were unwillingly picked from theirhomesteads and permanently separated from their loved ones withouttheir consent (Mariottini). The slaves had no liberty to make thiscrucial decision because they were belongingsthat would be picked and taken to serve as cogs in the wheels ofindustries in alienated nations without deliberations whatsoever(Mariottini).
TheAfrican slave trade custom is still persisting in the 21stcentury, but under a new designation: human trafficking. Humantrafficking refers to the process of seizing, transporting, andselling of human beings for commercial purposes (West 2). In thebackdrop of the activities of numerous human rights organizations,the ugly business of human enslavement is still transpiring. You canconcur with the fact that more than once, you have heard or watchedsomething on television featuring Africans being mistreated in theMiddle East by their masters(employers). Recently, I watched a news feature on CNN about a Kenyanlady that had been trampled to death by her employer in the UAE. Thesaddest part is that her family was informed six months after herdeath! Indisputably, this does not happen to Kenyans alone. We haveall heard and read of numerous news storied involving individualsfrom other African countries like Somalia, Uganda, Nigeria, andBurundi (just to mention but a few).
Humanenslavement (through the custom of human trafficking) is alsoproliferating in the contemporary society because of the generalmoral decadence of the society giving birth to prostitution (5). Youcan corroborate that in the 21st century, impoverished women andchildren in impoverished countries are preyed upon by sex pestssimply because they have no source of livelihood. They are flown toforeign countries with the pretext of being granted greener pasturesonly to be turned into sex slaves. Once in the alien nations, theimpoverished women and children have their travel documents takenfrom them driving them into total desperation (West 8). These womenand children are forced into prostitution for the sole purpose ofmaking their mastersmoney. It even gets worse when some of them are forced into drugtrafficking as sacrificial lambs. We have seen, read, and heard ofimmigrants losing their lives after the drugs surgically insertedinto their body cavities rupture. Sadly so, these disturbing trendsare happening in countries far beyond Africa, implying that slavetrading is booming in the contemporary society albeit under a newdesignation.
Sowhat are the similarities between the African slave trade of the 18thand 19th centuries and the contemporary tradition of humantrafficking? First, it is important to note that the most conspicuoussimilarity is that they are both intended to serve the selfishobjectives of well-to-do individuals in the society. Second, bothtraditions perpetrate the defilement of elementary human values andprinciples because the victims are treated as lesser human beings. Inboth traditions, victims often lose their lives in the hands of theirunkind masters.Evidently, both customs lower human dignity by all aspects. Third,both customs are similar by virtue of the fact that it is theunderprivileged members of the society that are mainly targeted. Inthe past, Africans were targeted for the soft targets they were.Correspondingly, 21stcentury human traffickers target the destitute with assurances ofgiving to them, better prospects for the future only toinvoluntarily turn them into slaves.
Africanslave trade was the act of apprehending and transporting human beingsfrom their native homes in Africa to alien destinations like Europeand North America. This inhumane tradition started in the backdrop ofrapid industrialization in the blocs of American and Europe. Slavetrade officially started when American and European merchants went toAfrica in search of cheap labor to drive their industrialundertakings. The tradition can be traced to way before the 18thcentury, and can still be witnessed in the 21stcentury. As I have clarified in this paper, present-day humantrafficking is similar to the 18thcentury African slave trade because both traditions cold-heartedlytreat human beings. To say the least, this is a retrogressivetradition, especially with the modern age of enlightenment andillumination. We should all unite to prevent further exploitation andsuffering of fellow human beings through the obstinate tradition ofhuman trafficking.
Mariottini,Claude. "Slavery and the Dignity of Human Beings."Professorof Old Testament.N.p., 2014. Web. 29 Nov. 2016.
Aderinto."Our New Husbands Are Here: Households, Gender, and Politics ina West African State from the Slave Trade to Colonial Rule."Journalof West African History1.2 (2015): 164-77. Web. 29 Nov. 2016.
West,Amanda. " and Child Welfare." Journalof (2016): 1-11. Web. 29 Nov. 2016.