The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

Scots challenge modern-day slavery

February 19, 2016

Social Justice Club is geared toward teaching, learning, and discussing human rights injustices in the world, specifically human trafficking and modern-day slavery.”

— Senior Lana Dahu, president of Carlmont Social Justice club

Dehumanized and abused, treated as property and nothing more than chattel, slaves still exist today.

Over 30 million people are enslaved today, more than ever before. Modern-day slavery includes human trafficking, forced labor, bonded labor, sex trafficking, and child labor. According to a Social Justice Club flyer, 53 percent of human trafficking victims are sexually exploited, 40 percent are used in forced labor, and 7 percent suffer from organ removal.

Junior Naser Abdelrahman said, “Slavery exists today in the production of our clothes and food, especially chocolate. Many American companies like Apple, Starbucks, and Nestle outsource their products or [raw materials] from countries able to exploit their workers. Buying these products is appealing to us because of the cheap prices. We need to understand, though, that these prices are low because workers were forced to work in horrible conditions without pay.”

The 100 Postcard Challenge by International Justice Mission (IJM), the largest international anti-slavery organization, fights for “freedom from oppression. Freedom from slavery. Freedom from violence,” according to the Freedom Commons website. Here students can sign postcards as pledges against slavery. The postcards are then be sent our members of Congress in D.C.

Abdelrahman said, “We are telling our representatives that they cannot preach anti-slavery while continuing this disguised support of the practice.”

IJM sends 100 postcards to those who sign up for the challenge. Senior Lana Dahu, president of Carlmont’s Social Justice club, requested 500. From Wednesday, Feb. 17 to Friday, Feb. 19, the Scots Against Slavery campaign had a table set up in the quad for students to sign the abolition postcards.

Junior Ashley Herrero pledges against slavery. "I simply don't believe in slavery. It is cruel," she said.
Hanalei Pham
Junior Ashley Herrero pledges against slavery. “I simply don’t believe in slavery. It is cruel,” she said.

“Social Justice Club is geared toward teaching, learning, and discussing human rights injustices in the world, specifically human trafficking and modern-day slavery. We also explore the legal implications of social injustices,” said Dahu.

Students crowded around the stand, signing the pledges and learning about slavery in the world today. For many, Scots Against Slavery was an eye-opening initiative.

Freshman Katia Deynega said, “I think slavery is wrong and inhuman and that there is no reason for it to still exist. Scots Against Slavery is a great campaign because it raises awareness and inspires people to take actions to stop slavery.”

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