Most individuals see slavery as a thing from the past. It is learnt about in Social Studies and is read about in text books, but rarely is it discussed as a modern issue. Today, slavery is very much alive. In fact, there are roughly 40 million people living as slaves today. Each of the different types of slavery have the same purpose: to take away basic human rights from people and to sell them to those who are rich, essentially, turning people into commodities.

There are of course many different types of slavery; however, none that the mainstream media really focuses on. It could be child slavery: having underage children and teens being stripped away from their families to do the “dirty work” of adults. It could be labor slavery: big companies like Nestle and H&M have been accused of underpaying people to make their products. All the money spent on these products then goes to the companies instead of the people in poverty making the products. Other companies like Nike and Walmart have also been accused of doing the same. 

Recently, Libya has been going through a slave trade. One that not many seemed to know about. It began when a video of men each being sold for five hundred dollars surfaced the media. What was happening in Libya is the same thing that happened in the 17 century Africans were stripped away from their continent to become African American slaves. The only difference now is that there are cameras to show the rest of the world what’s really happening.  So why is it getting so little news coverage?

Many times, if a problem happens in a third world country, people in privileged countries don’t hear about it. It is common for people to care about something that has the chance of affecting them. For example, if there is a terrorist attack in their own country, or one like theirs, they are more likely to panic and to mourn for each person killed; however, in countries like Syria, these attacks happen more frequently, only they don’t receive as much attention. When not broadcasting these terrible attacks, much of the news consumed by people in first-world countries is about celebrity drama and technology advances. News that isn’t necessary for anyone to hear.

December is human rights month. It was created to spread awareness for those who have not been fortunate enough to have been born with these rights. In simply knowing what is going on in the world, many can spread awareness with their knowledge. When hearing about celebrity problems or even just those of our country, many become oblivious to what is going on. Everyone continues to wear their clothing in which they have no knowledge of where it comes from or who made it.  The world still has some shocking elements to it. To know what is going on though, gives the chance to pave the way to give this world the potential to have it become a better place.

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