Lisa Kristine’s images of slavery around the world break my heart. I look into the eyes of these people and can only wonder: why do we treat each other with such cruelty? Is it only about the 13 billion dollars of profit generated through the slave industry? If so, we should be ashamed of our collective humanity.
If one person in this world is enslaved, we are all held in bondage unable to set ourselves free. With millions held in slavery worldwide, everyone human is diminished.
Watch Lisa Kristine’s TED talk and see what wells up in you.
I thought her TED talk was powerful and emotional. Her passionate voice illustrates her commitment to change the world through her photography. Here are two things she said.
Slavery is about commerce.
It exists everywhere, but it is illegal everywhere
These two statements by Ms. Kristine are unbelievably horrific. To think that we do next to nothing about these problems worldwide. Even the United States, a country that supposedly values freedom and has a history tarnished by slavery, does little to try to change the world. In the United States, young women are enslaved in the sex trade industry and we do little to transform our modern culture so women of all ages are valued and appreciated.
Estimates by the US State Department suggest up to 17,500 slaves are brought into the US every year, with 50,000 of those working as prostitutes, farm workers or domestic servants. According to the CIA, more than 1,000,000 people are enslaved in the US today. Thousands of cases go undetected each year and many are difficult to take to court as it can be difficult to prove force or legal coercion. (Ten Shocking Facts About Slavery)
In the United States, we trade voraciously with India. Why? With millions of their people enslaved, we should not send $1 to their country until they change their ways. Of course, we aren’t much of a role model if we allow our citizens to be enslaved in the sex industry. Why don’t we have the courage to make bold steps? In our silence, we condone the enslavement of millions of Indian people. The same could be said for those enslaved in Ghana’s gold mines.
Free The Slaves estimates that there are in excess of 27 million people worldwide that are enslaved. There are more people enslaved today than at any other time in human history. Maybe our species has evolved technologically, but we have not evolved morally.
We need to educate our children, empowering them to change the world so that slavery is eradicated. This education includes changing our curriculum to reflect the reality that slavery did not end with the Emancipation Proclamation.