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Cassandra Clifford
Executive Director and Founder of BTFF

Friday, September 7, 2012

FACT: Slaves today are seen as disposable commodities

How does Historical Slavery Compare to Modern Slavery? Today the life of a slave is often equated to that of mere dollars. Today people are comparatively cheaper than they were in the 1600-1800s. Prices for modern-day slaves are at an all time low, while profits remain high. Now ownership tends to last only a few months to a few years, making slaves cheaper to purchase and more easily disposable. In 1850 the purchase price of a slave in the southern US averaged the equivalent of $40,000 today. According to Free the Slaves, a slave today costs an average of $90. People have become a disposable commodity, cheap and easy labor one can just toss out when no longer needed. Globalization and the post-World War II population boom have increased access to, and lowered the cost of, transportation, which has in turn contributed to the increased levels of global slavery. Victims are often driven into slavery by severe poverty or acute need for economic gain. Additionally, the ethnicity of today’s slave is rarely important, however age and gender all too often are and thus women and children make up the majority of modern slavery victims.

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