Modern Slavery – but is it an evil for everybody?

A dreadful byproduct of globalization and mass migration, human trafficking is on the increase. But has the problem created a business opportunity for the philanthropists?

Pam Barker | Director of the TLB Europe Reloaded Project

Graham Vanbergen’s excellent piece titled A Decade of Evidence Demonstrates The Dramatic Failure Of Globalisation explains the major ways in which life for many of the world’s citizens has gone into appreciable decline over the last 10 or so years under the globlization agenda.

Levels of freedom and democracy have diminished, including observance of the rule of law; a massive displacement of people has been taking place under wars and persecution that have devastated many countries, which is ironic when you consider that many of the big US-led wars currently going on are being fought to quash tyrants and promote democracy. So they would have us believe.

Trade liberalization under the so-called ‘free trade’ agreements such as NAFTA historically, and TPP, TTIP, CETA and TiSA currently, is spreading the tentacles of the transnational corporations around the globe, overriding national laws, destroying local production, employing fewer and fewer people for lower wages under abusive working conditions while making vast profits that disappear offshore.  Neoliberalism has indeed triumphed.


Human slavery is one of the burgeoning features of this globalized world. Estimates given in the 2016 Global Slavery index put the current figure of slaves at almost 46 million worldwide, a sizable portion of whom reside in countries that provide the consumer goods to the west, notes Vanbergen.

However, massive displacement of people isn’t just a necessity born of military conflict in far-flung places; it’s the norm these days, a trend even, as governments and organizations have been virtually enticing people to uproot themselves for little more than having the misfortune to live in a poor economy. Migration to developed EU countries is where it’s at even if you’re from Poland or Ukraine, where there are no wars or persecution.

Thus the problem of slavery and the trafficking of people can actually be found much closer to home than we might imagine. In a radio interview given by Ruth Dearnley, CEO of the international organization Stop the Traffik to John Harrison of Brave New World, they focus on the rise in human trafficking within the European Union over the last 10 years. Dearnley interestingly explains why the trafficking of people is the ‘fastest-growing crime’ and is actually far more lucrative than trafficking in arms or drugs.


So, hidden under our very noses are highly vulnerable people trafficked in various work situations we’re all familiar with – shopwork, factory work, sex work or begging on the street corner. Humans are flexible in the ways they can be exploited, she says, and the best way to tackle the problem is for people in their local communities to identify instances where they feel somebody may be trafficked.  Communities, she notes, are the focus of her group’s strategy in dealing with the problem.  Her organization has even developed a free app people can download to report suspected cases of trafficking.

John Harrison notes how vulnerable and disorientated migrants must be during their passage into and through Europe to those who prey on them for profit, and reasonably wonders if the current EU migration situation isn’t actually worsening human trafficking. He also questions how effective the EU is being in clamping down on this.

Dearnley, however, carefully avoids holding the EU or the current mass migration trend as being responsible for basically anything to do with the rise in trafficking, and simply praises the UK government for its response in instituting the Modern Slavery Act last year. She also rebuts the notion that ‘capitalism’ is responsible for this. The focus is the community, she repeats – that’s you and me, and the responsibility we have to keep our eyes open. (So are we responsible for this? It sort of felt like it as I listened to the interview.)


Photo: Dan Kitwood/GETTY

This makes me wonder who is actually bankrolling Stop the Traffik, which appears to refuse to point political fingers where many can be pointed. Mass migration has been a UK government-backed, EU-supported trend for many years, with the help of organizations like those sponsored by Mr. Globalist himself George Soros, which have been shown to be directly assisting migrants.  The migration phenomenon, troubling on many levels, has surely created jobs for a great many people, including the CEO of Stop the Traffik herself. Indeed, Soros recently announced in the Wall Street Journal how he will invest in helping migrants using large amounts of private capital – US$500 million no less.  Soros, as we well know, is not a man to gamble big and lose. I highly recommend Sam Gerran’s analysis of Soros’ investment plan.


George Soros

It’s also noteworthy that Stop the Traffik is being funded by IBM according to Dearnley.

This politically rather slick, say-nothing-controversial, corporate-sponsored approach makes me wonder cynically about their sincerity, where the very ‘problem’ itself provides employment and investment opportunities to create the ‘solution’. It’s as if mass migration is simply a given that we are expected to accept without question.

The interview is nonetheless interesting, especially as a way in to the topic of how modern slavery is happening so close to home.

Enjoy this 15-minute interview and partial transcript from Sputnik News titled Human Trafficking on the Increase.


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