According to the world’s oldest human rights organization “Anti-Slavery International,” there are around 20 million people in bondage. Public perception of slavery is often confused with low-wage jobs or inhumane working conditions, but in reality the modern-day slaves are actually held in bondage, such as shackles or at gun point. Many places modern day slaves are found as servants or concubines in Sudan, child “carpet slaves” in India, or cane cutters in Haiti and southern Pakistan.
Even in America there is still slavery, they are seemingly invisible people who are usually the most marginalized people in society. They are typically migrant workers who are ready to fall into a trap of a promise of opportunity and a free world. Sadly enough they can be found in cities of modern and industrialized nations where that promise of opportunity are empty and false statements.
Slave Trading on Africa’s West Coast
Even though slave trade was officially banned in the 1880s, forced labor still continues to be practiced in West and Central Africa today. An estimate from UNICEF estimates around 200,000 children to be sold into slavery each year. Many of these children are from Benin and Togo. They are sold into domestic, argicultural, and sex industriest of the wealthier neighboring countries, such as Nigeria and Gabon.
Chattel Slavery in Sudan
The enslavement of the Dinkas in southern Sudan may be the most “horrific and well known example of contemporary slavery.” According to 1993 U.S. State Department, estimated up to 90,000 blacks are owned by North African Arabs. Their price value? Only around $15 dollars a person. Tribes are often invaded by Arab militias from the North. Most of these invasions are killing the men and enslaving the women and children. According to this website it says that Arabs consider it a traditional right to enslave southerners.
Many of times physical “mutilation” is practiced on the slaves, to keep them from running and saldy but true to enforce the owners ideologies. A lot of times men’s Achillies tendons will be cut because the refuse to become muslim.
Slavery in Persia
During the time zone of Darius and Xerxes, a mass amount of slave and domesticated animals were needed for agriculture, military, and monumental construction. The king at the time would usually have a massive amount of slaves usually for plowmen, millers, cow herds, shepherds, winemakers and beer brewers, cooks, bakers, wine waiters and eunuchs. During this period slaves lived together as families but traveled depending on where they were transported to.
Slaves were most often gained through warfare, and if a woman was to have a child it would become a slave as well. Everyone from the most important nobles & down were considered ‘bandaka’ which is a slave to The Great King or “those who wear the belt of dependence.” Which resulted in them being taxed through money, precious metals, military service and labor.
< Persain Society In The Time of Darius and Xerxes >
Slavery in Ancient Greece
The Persian Empire has been portrayed in many ways of being evil, barbaric, and ruthless from movies to literature. Since the Persian Empire was one of the biggest enemies to Greece. Greece portrayed them to be wrong and mostly criticized them about their slavery. In reality, Ancient Greece was known to be brutal towards their slaves. In Ancient Greece slavery played a major role in society. There was a sufficient amount of slaves compared to ‘free people’. Slaves in Ancient Greece worked as factory workers, mine workers, and farm workers.
There were many ways in which a person could become a slave. They could be sold into slavery, born into slavery, kidnapped and sold into slavery, or slaves from warfare. Some families even sold their children into slavery usually women because men were needed for work. Healthy and hard working slaves could be sold for 10 minae which in today’s dollars would be $180.00.
There were many different roles as slaves. Usually being a slave in a household was a better situation than being a slave in the mines. Being a slave in a household you were assigned a name by your master. Usually wealthy households would have 10-20 slaves. Being a slave in the mines was a miserable & dangerous job. Many people who worked in the mines did not live very long. Slaves were also the police force of Greece.
< Slavery In Ancient Greece >
Slavery in Ancient Rome
In Ancient Rome people became slaves many of the same ways of those in Persia and Greece, through war, born into it, or sold into it. They were not treated much different either. Slaves had very minimal rights, but as time progressed, so did their rights. They were given ‘poor’ food and were often beaten or branded. Compared to most recent slavery in the US, it was not based upon race, religion, or beliefs.
If a slave tried to escape, there would be consequences if caught. Masters would put posters up and rewards if the slave was caught and brought back. Harboring of fugitive slaves was forbidden in Rome. If a slave was caught and brought back to its master it often would be branded on the forehead with an ‘F’ for fugitivus. Or many times often a slave will have a metal ring around their neck, stating who were and who’s their master and often offering a reward if returned. Slaves very familiar to Roman citizens. There once was a plan considered to make slaves wear certain clothing, but realizing that there were so many slaves they were afraid that if they all saw how many of themselves there were there would be an uprising.
One positive aspect of Roman slavery was manumission. It was a process of which a slave could be freed. If formally freed, they could become a citizen and have rights of their own except being able to hold office. If informally freed they would not be given the same rights as if they were formally freed. A child born to a freed slave would become a one hundred percent full citizen able to take office.
< Slaves & Freemen >