ECONOMIC  SLAVERY is the second type of Human Trafficking in which individuals are forced to work long hours in sub-human conditions and for which they receive very little or no monetary compensation.  This type of slavery is very common in the "sweat shops"  that produce many of the goods that the average person in the wealthy countries of the west consider a bargain. Also, another area common to Economic Slavery is farm labor in planting and picking of produce for local stores.  This work is in many cases left to undocumented workers and thus they are at a disadvantage and can not complain about being forced to work for very low wages.  In many cases Economic Slavery workers are not captive in the physical sense but are slaves in the economic sense as they do not qualify for other employment options.  But in some areas of the world very young individuals are held in physical slavery and receive no wages for their work. All cases are examples of Economic Slavery.

The work against this type of slavery has its focus in two areas:  First, the labor laws and international agreements that such laws are enforced.  Second the actions of groups that identify the "sweat shops" and publicly raise the cry to stop the purchase of products produced by this Economic Slavery.   

Two areas of concern exist from our perspective regarding Economic Slavery. The first is the interrelationship between Economic Slavery and Sexual Slavery. In these situations the individuals that are bound (physically and psychology) and forced to work long hours in economic production are also taken after the full day of work to be Sexual Slaves for the remainder of the night.  This practice occurs in all countries of the world including the United States of America.  Read Example
The second area of concern regarding Economic Slavery is an approach being taken by some "concerned individuals" and organizations in their fight against Economic Slavery.  In some cases the focus of the fight is to "shut down" the industry that is employing people at wages and under conditions that do not meet the fair labor law standards.  While it is important to change the working conditions for these in Economic Slavery and for them to be paid a fair wage according to the laws of their country, it is also important to realize that the "shut down" results may be counter productive.  Individuals that lose their employment in the "sweat shop" industries may be re-trafficked into SEXUAL SLAVERY only to find their life worse than before.  This interrelationship between the two types of Human Trafficking is illustrated by the following example:   A group working against Human Trafficking had a goal to shut down the tomato production in Florida as many of the workers were being paid below the required minimum wage.  U.S. laws exist and can be utilized to force the companies to pay the required minimum wages and pay for overtime for long hours worked.  But if the goal to "shut down" the industry was achieved, the result would have been many young girls being swept into the more horrible conditions of SEXUAL SLAVERY.  Be careful how you work against one area, so as not to promote a worst condition as a byproduct of the solution you achieve.

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