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Opinions Last Updated: Jan 5, 2018 - 12:02:50 AM

Modern Slavery
By Rochelle R. Dean
Jan 4, 2018 - 12:57:07 PM

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MODERN SLAVERY!! The world is in uproar after shocking revelations of modern slavery were reported by CNN news last month. A man was videotaped selling African migrants at the cost of $400.00 for farm work.

Many people have begun to petition and to speak out against what is going on in Libya however, I have been more concerned with the fact that this isn't some regress back to the days of old.

There are more than 29 million slaves in the world today. India is the country most marked by slaves and while the Libyan slaves were male there is an influx of females who are also sold or born into modern slavery.

U.N. Secretary - General António Guterres spoke openly and clearly that, “Slavery has no place in our world, and these actions are among the most egr egious abuses of human rights and may amount to crimes against humanity.”

And while I support his sentiment I must say that I am not over emotional about what is going on. This subject is not new and it certainly hasn't disappeared.

Profiting from human misery is one of oldest means of economics and is now referenced as modern slavery, which is simply the re - establishing of the old while we resort to new forms of the same acts.

So, I ask myself where are we willing to go to feed our economic thirsts? And it makes me think about how we are lucky not to be subject to human trafficking but how we too are simply just modern slaves.

Signing onto the Commercial Enterprises Bill may be considered a new form of slavery while many of us consider this to be business as usual. Many Bahamians see this as our regression to the days of the old when we were subject to foreign rule. While others decipher through whether or not we are being empowered to take reign to our own ideals of freedom. Kentucky Fried Chicken was one of the most successful franchises in the Bahamas and it was led by foreign interests with the clear view that Bahamians would maintain operational and managerial control, before becoming fully Bahamian owned in 1985. At the time this was smart economics. Protect your interest while promoting economic empowerment.

Of course, Bahamians have become smarter and perhaps ownership is what we all desire but have we removed the remnants of slavery by being more commerce centric or are we more focused on hi gh profile jobs that the financial and corporate service providers bill protects, as we remain enslaved in our own minds.

And this could be why so many people seem appalled by the new Commercial Enterprises Bill just as they are with the recent trading o f Libyan African migrants.

But slavery has always existed just as the Bahamas has always made enormous provisions to accommodate investors and their entourages conveniently called expatriates.

Why are we surprised by the Libyans and this modern slavery that exists, with the facilitation of girls for commercial sex that has been going on and still is today.

Why are we enraged or even surprised by the facilitation of the commercial enterprises act, when foreign has always been accommodated and considered better.

It's all modern slavery that we have left unchecked and yet we remain enslaved economically and in our minds because we refuse to acknowledge that the application of our sensibility is our freedom from the many forms of slavery that keep us shackled.

We can feel outraged about human beings being sold for $400.00 dollars all day, yet we cannot pay our business license fees or other taxes that will bring about our freedom. As we engage the rest of the world for this brief second because o f a video, that has highlighted the most despicable thing that a human being can endure, yet, we remain disillusioned with our own practice of it. And so, our outrage for the Commercial Enterprises Bill is just like the Libyan slave auction - What's trending. Solomon the wisest man said it best - there is no new nothing under the sun.

Rochelle R. Dean

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are solely those of the author in his/her private capacity and do not in any way represent the views of TheBahamasWeekly.com

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