There are many Americans who believe that all these entities are necessary. Almost like they believe that without this army of security services they could not survive. This provides the federal government with a society that relies on the government for their very lives, like they would not be able to live without it..
The husband in the home would rape me. I did not want to be in that home.”Nirmala’s situation is representative of a typical South Asian debt bondage arrangement: food and shelter as credit in exchange for slave like labor exploitation.The upper classes of Nepal see this arrangement as completely justified because the alternative for a low caste girl such as Nirmala would be worse: destitution in her village or trafficking to India for forced prostitution.My new book, “Bonded Labor: Tackling the System of Slavery in South Asia” provides the first comprehensive overview of the unconscionable system of bonded labor in South Asia.In a series of articles for the CNN Freedom Project, I will describe the system in more detail and outline how we can best tackle this brutish mode of servile labor exploitation.The issue of bonded labor may receive marginal attention globally, but bonded labor is the most extensive form of slavery in the world today.There were approximately 18 to 20.5 million bonded laborers in the world at the end of 2011, almost 90% of whom were in South Asia.This means that approximately half of the slaves in the world are bonded laborers in South Asia.More importantly, the products made by bonded laborers touch almost every aspect of the global economy, including frozen shrimp and fish, tea, coffee, rice, wheat, diamonds, cubic zirconia, glassware, hand woven carpets, limestone, salt, cigarettes, apparel, fireworks, sporting goods, and many more products.Virtually everyone’s life, everywhere in the world, is touched by bonded labor in South Asia.Bonded labor basically involves the exploitative interlinking of labor and credit agreements between parties.On one side, a party possessing an abundance of capital and power provides credit, food, or tenancy to the other party, who, because he lacks almost any assets or capital, pledges his labor to work off the loan.Given the vast power imbalances between the parties, the laborer is often severely exploited. Bonded labor occurs when the exploitation descends to the level of slave like abuse.The borrower is often forced to work at pathetic wage levels to repay the debt.
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