Written by: Professor Ip Hon Ho Alex (Assistant Professor, Divinity School of Chung Chi College, The Chinese University of Hong Kong)
The economy of the Roman Empire was founded upon oppression and exploitation. In the early period, one third of the Empire’s population were slaves; while another third were freed slaves. There were also many people who owned no land and served no masters. These people were often employed as casual workers or day labourers. To put it simply, the relatively high economic growth during the early period of the Roman Empire was a result of exploiting manual labourers who did not have much power to fight for their own interests.
Slavery is often thought of as an archived piece in the history of humanity existed only in the poorest corners of the earth full of conflicts and incivilities. The sad fact is that the total number of slaves is at a historic high today, spanning across the globe.
[ePrayer – Pray for victims of human trafficking in Nepal]
Human trafficking affects over 20 million people worldwide. Women are particularly vulnerable. 80% of those trafficked domestically and internationally for labour and sexual exploitation are women and girls, and 98% of sex slaves are female.
Nepal is a high-risk country for trafficking. Female make up 86% of the total number of trafficking victims (12,000 annually) from Nepal. This is because they are especially vulnerable due to limited economic opportunities, illiteracy or low education, and low socioeconomic and cultural status. Nepali girls face dangers of being sold and transported across borders to neighboring countries like India, where there is high demand for cheap girls for sexual slavery.
On the other hand, girls also face dangers in their own communities. Within Nepal, there exists a culture of bonded (or indentured) servitude for lower-class families. Since access to currency is low, families will exchange labour for room and board, creating a bonded servitude arrangement. A family who is indebted to their landlord will often bond their daughter to him for labour. Bonded girls, some of whom are very young, often work in harsh conditions and are commonly abused physically and sexually. [UNODC, IRIN News, childreach, SIS]
Pray for victims of human trafficking in Nepal:
May the values of human life be reconstructed in all countries, families and communities , and the dignity of human be restored.
May all victims be set free and experience God’s love.
May more disciples, churches and organisations partner with local disciples or NGOs, to provide the appropriate needs, and save more victims or avoid being victimized.