Human Trafficking, Slavery and Abolition in the Modern World (Gen Ed 1115)





Why do slavery, human trafficking and other forms of servitude thrive today globally, including the USA, and what can we do about it?


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Orlando Patterson

We often think of slavery as being a dark chapter in our past, but this is a tragic oversimplification. What defines slavery in the modern world, and what are the moral, political and social implications of its continued existence? As we explore its underpinnings, we discover that all of us may be in some way complicit in its survival. This course surveys the nature, types and extent of modern servitude such as transnational and domestic prostitution, forced marriage, labor trafficking and forced domestic labor, child soldiering and other forms of enslavement of children, organ trafficking and other health aspects of trafficking, debt-bondage, and the forced exploitation of other vulnerable groups such as refugees and stateless persons. Throughout the course, but especially in the final part, we examine anti-trafficking and anti-slavery measures and movements and ways in which you can increase awareness or become involved. You will, by the end of our exploration, be able to trace the moral and ethical arguments surrounding human slavery in its various forms, understand the ways in which this problem still affects so many people, and what can and should be done about it.   

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