Friday, 10 May 2013

Modern Slave Trade

Some times a story kind of tells itself .... I stumbled across this image on the Internet.

Malayan Flyer Selling Maids

And this unlocked a whole new story, that was apparently little reported outside of the South East Asian area. It appears that Indonesia is the main source for cheap female domestic servants (or 'slave labour', depending upon your point of view) in the greater region (with Filipinos being the other source). Of course this leads to much abuse, including imprisonments, beatings, rapes and murder, and the stories of their mistreatment by the Arab employers of Saudi Arabia are legion.

Indonesian Maid In Saudi Employers Car

However, when it was reported in Jakarta that the door flyer above was circulating in Malaya, there was much outrage. Demands that the Malayan government do something (probably the standard request to 'kill the perpetrators'), were legion, but then it turned out that this kind of indignity was common regionally. Reports came in from all over that adverts selling Indonesians as servants were common. 

Indonesian Maids in Singapore

The trade is openly advertised in Singapore, and in fact any country around that region where the standard of living was higher than in Indonesia ...... it just goes to show that slavery has survived. It is still being practised in North Africa and Arabia (where there were over 300,000 slaves in 1960 when it was abolished - but carried on because the law was never enforced), with recent reports alleging that a castrated black African slave was sold on a Facebook style advert last year.

Alleged Slave Sold in Saudi Arabia (Facebook) 2012
So it is still practised in the Muslim world, but just not in the traditional form. Debt Bond slavery has now disguised the trade, and allows slaves to be owned, bought and sold and moved around the globe in much the same way as before the West tried to abolish it in the 19th and 20th centuries.    

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