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Modern Slavery: A Documentary and Reference Guide
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xiii PREFACE The problem of slavery goes back to the beginning of civilization. Today, modern-day slavery takes many forms, but no matter the name or manner of exploitation—sex traffi cking, forced labor, bonded labor, debt bondage, involuntary servitude, forced child labor, child soldiers, child sex traffi cking, organ traffi cking—they all describe a terrible abuse of some humans over others. This book covers centuries of campaigns by brave men and women, but it is mainly about the development of the modern-day antislavery movement in the United States. It tells the story through a series of documents, speeches, pam- phlets, treaties, laws, and articles spanning more than 300 years, but focused mainly on the last 50 years, and tracks a rising consciousness about the forms modern-day slavery takes and the rising movement against it. The book’s main thesis is that even in the 18th and 19th centuries, there was no single antislavery movement, but rather actors and advocates who can be roughly grouped into four traditions: religious, abolitionist, feminist, and human rights . The foundation of today’s antislavery work was laid in the early efforts from these four traditions, each of which had developed antislavery arguments based on the tradi- tion in which they are rooted. They protested, wrote, spoke, and persevered until their cries were heard. In the United States, it was, and is still, a movement rooted in the understanding that all men and women are created equal and no person has the right to exploit any other. Unfortunately, those who profi t from slavery become powerful and fi ght fi ercely and unrelentingly to keep their profi ts and dominance. Thus, the battles to stop slavery are long and arduous and require a heroic vision of what is right and a long view toward the future. Looking back, it is easy to laud the heroic efforts of the few early prophetic voices, but as we approach the end of the second decade of the 21st century, the fi eld is crowded with modern-day abolitionists, and here the task of documenting new vision and best practices is more challenging. The voices competing for at- tention, resources, and followers are so numerous and diverse that it is sometimes diffi cult to decide who has the right answers. Examining the early antecedents of