30 March, 2007

Peace: only if and when Servitude and Slavery End

"No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms." That was the main and focal proclamation on December 10, 1948 by the General Assembly of the United Nations on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. One hundred and forty one years before that, on 25th March, 1807, Britain had passed the Abolition of the Slave Trade Act.
But the reality today, is far from that: slavery still, very much, exists. As I mentioned before: today, it is mainly poverty that drives people to be shackled and used - many times, in the most cruel and inhuman of ways. Millions of men, women and children around the world are forced to lead lives as slaves. Although this exploitation is often not called slavery, the conditions are the same. People are sold like objects, forced to work for little or no pay and are at the mercy of their 'employers'. And as the Ugandan New Vision states: "slavery is not dead, it has mutated into other forms of exploitation and domination in which we still remain bottom of the pile on most indices of human progress."

As it is, most of us these days are - economic slaves. Instead of being hunted, chained and be put in to slavery and servitude forcefully, many people voluntarily and knowingly - though not consciously - are in actual fact: slaves. Exploited, used and profited from. Who is/are mainly to blame for this? 'Leaders'. World 'leaders'. 'Leaders', mainly in the developing world - have done very little to improve the lives and conditions of people in their parts of the world. Most - of these 'leaders' - are only interested in fulfilling their own personal, selfish material goals and wishes.

It is only if WE, each and every one of us, are all free from: exploitation, servitude and slavery - that we, Mankind can truly, then, say 'we are at peace'. At peace with ourselves and at peace with each other. And only then can each and every one of us, truly claim to be happy.

Photo of Elmina slave Castle in Cape Coast, Ghana: Joe Bollinger's

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