The organisation, exodus cry, whose anti-LGBTQ past has been brought into the news again recently, following actress Melissa McCarthy’s erroneous donation, also have their name associated with the exodus cry documentary, which promotes something none of us wants to think is still happening – the slave trade.
Slavery, although illegal, still exists in modern society. Being a slave means being sold, trafficked abroad, held against your will, forced to work long hours for little pay, and made to do things that you would only contemplate out of survival. There are individuals and international groups that today are trafficking and selling humans into the sex trade. This article will explore the issue and the documentary that was made to highlight the scale of the problem.
History of Slavery
Slavery was in operation in the first civilizations in Sumer, Mesopotamia in 3500 BC. It then features in the Code of Hammurabi (c 1860 BCE), where it is referred to as an established institution.
A transatlantic slave trade began in the 15th century when Portugal, followed by other European countries, were able to expand their activities overseas and reach Africa. The Portuguese would then literally kidnap people from Africa’s west coast, enslave them in groups, and transport them back to Europe. Cheap labour was the thinking at the time.
The Slavery Abolition Act of 1833 saw the abolishment of slavery in most British colonies. It freed an incredible 800,000 enslaved Africans. Slavery and involuntary servitude were subsequently abolished in the US in 1865.
The slave trade still exists today but illegally.
In 2011, Nefaroius: Merchant of Souls was released. It is a documentary which explores the sex trade in relation to modern-day slavery. Even from its first scene, it goes in-depth to explore the whole human trafficking industry that exists. Hidden to many but existing for those who are involved in it. The documentary shows slaves from poorer countries being sold on to immoral individuals in developed and rich countries. They are then used as cheaper labour and as sex workers. The documentary shows some of the places that they are put to work and how confined they are in their accommodation. They are being fed just enough to keep them alive in many cases. The footage has been shot in nineteen counties in all and is viewed through the eyes of both those enslaved and their traffickers.
With the viewer exposed to both viewpoints, it is possible to gain a real insight into the nightmare of the sex slave trade, which is being experienced by not hundreds but hundreds of thousands every day. The documentary is ground-breaking in that it also provides, in addition, expert analysis that is provided by international humanitarian leaders. It captures the heartfelt testimonies of those that have survived the ordeal. Much hope can be gained from these true stories which are told by the real survivors.
Charity, exodus cry, campaign today against sex trafficking, which has become a more modern branch of slavery. It is a lucrative business for its organisers, and as unacceptable as ivory poaching, yet continues as an organised and large-scale business under the noses of many law enforcers. A large part of the problem is the commercialization of the sex industry whose fuel is in part those sold into trafficking.
Other anti-slavery charities include Africans Unite Against Child Abuse (AFRUCA), Anti-Slavery International, Barnardo’s, Helen Bamber Foundation, Hope for Justice, Stop the Traffik, and the Unseen UK.
There is an article available to read online which tackles the issues of modern-day slavery.
So, with documentaries having been made to highlight the issue, and charities fighting the cause, one would think that the illegal trade of slavery is soon to be abolished. Not so, this trade sadly continues.