Welcome to the conversation!

Welcome to the conversation!

Harriet Beecher Stowe's (1811-1896) best-selling anti-slavery novel Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852), made her the most famous American woman of the 19th century and galvanized the abolition movement before the Civil War.

The Stowe Center is a 21st-century museum and program center using Stowe's story to inspire social justice and positive change.

The Salons at Stowe programs are a forum to connect the challenging issues (race, gender and class) that impelled Stowe to write and act with the contemporary face of those same issues. The Salon format is based on a robust level of audience participation, with the explicit goal of promoting civic engagement. Recent topics included: Teaching Acceptance; Is Prison the New Slavery; Traces of the Trade: A Story from the Deep North; Creativity and Change; Race, Gender and Politics Today; How to be an Advocate

This blog will expand the reach of these community conversations to the online audience. Add your posts and comments to keep the conversation going! Commit to action by clicking HERE to stay up to date on Salon and social justice news.

For updates on Stowe Center programs and events, sign up for our enews at http://harrietbeecherstowe.org/email.

Monday, August 4, 2014

#Slavery and #humantrafficking in Nigeria, Niger and around the world

“To be honest, because I had bought them, I strongly felt that they were slaves that I had paid for and that it was their duty to obey my orders under all circumstances. They are always visible because they are always busy, while my legal wives are housed at the back of my compound and are not accessible to just anyone, as our religion prescribes. No one is surprised by this, and everyone was happy with their situation.”
- Present-day slave owner interviewed by Timidria

Anti-Slavery International was founded 175 years ago
As the world awaits the hopeful release of hundreds of Nigerian school girls captured by Boko Haram, the discussion around modern-day slavery continues. In a recent Anti-Slavery International and Association Timidria report titled “WAHAYA: Domestic and sexual slavery in Niger,” Galy Kadir Abdelkader and Moussa Zangaou outline slavery and human rights, the "wahaya pratice," and 10 personal stories of modern-day slavery. The report defines wahaya as “girls and women bought and exploited as property by many dignitaries (mostly religious leaders or wealthy men who bear the title ‘Elhadji’). The women are used for free labour and for the sexual gratification of their masters, who assault them at will when they are not with their legitimate wives.” The quotation at the top of this post is from a slave owner interviewed by Timidria for this report, and hearkens back to the pro-slavery attitudes Harriet Beecher Stowe encountered during her time and in response to her publication of Uncle Tom's Cabin.

In “Two hundred girls for sale, millions already sold,” a blog post for OECD Insights, Patrick Love sheds light on the WAHAYA report and highlights several staggering statistics. He also points readers to the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, a piece of United Nations legislation ratified in 2000. The Protocol seeks to:

(a) To prevent and combat trafficking in persons, paying particular attention to women and children;
(b) To protect and assist the victims of such trafficking, with full respect for their human rights; and
(c) To promote cooperation among States Parties in order to meet those objectives.

It goes on to make recommendations to States Parties on how to combat trafficking, and offers means of taking action.

In your opinion, do resolutions or similar protocols effect action/change on trafficking efforts in national or state governments? Which of the courses of action can be implemented where you live? Which can you write to your legislators about? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

No comments: