Modern Slavery: Animal Slavery

This is the third and final article in the series about modern slavery, here are the previous two posts

End Modern Slavery      Modern Day Slavery: Wage Slaves

“One day the absurdity of the almost universal human belief in the slavery of other animals will be palpable. We shall then have discovered our souls and become worthier of sharing this planet with them.”
Martin Luther King, Jr

‘The reasons for legal intervention in favour of children apply not less strongly to the case of those unfortunate slaves and victims of the most brutal part of mankind – the animals.’ (In discussing the need for child labor laws)
John Stuart Mill (1806-1873) (British philosopher, a founder of utilitarianism)

If you don’t have time to read the article below please at least take the following action to help elephants

BREAKING: Handler Seen Hitting Elephant’s Head 15 Times
https://campaigns.peta2.com/kings-cup-elephant-polo-abuse/?

When reading the article below consider the above petition which is an obvious example of animal slavery which is on-going right now.

Can animals be considered the victims of modern day slavery.

Here is a definition of slavery:

From the English Oxford Living Dictionaries: “Slave (especially in the past) a person who is the legal property of another and is forced to obey “

Note the “especially in the past” phrase in brackets which is in fact not true as “There Are More Slaves Today Than at Any Time in Human History   – 27 million to be exact. Yes the word slave brings to mind the exploitation of the past but slavery was never abolished as many people think.

The number of humans enslaved in the modern world is perhaps beyond our ability to comprehend. Likewise with animals, no doubt the numbers have increased, though there are no statistics it is a forgone conclusion as the rise in population would be accompanied of course by an increase in the use of animals for labour, entertainment and other exploitation.

“When I look at animals held captive by circuses, I think of slavery. Animals in circuses represent the domination and oppression we have fought against for so long. They wear the same chains and shackles.”
Dick Gregory

In the video below Activist Robbyne Kaamil reveals how the atrocities of slavery still exist today in the form of animal captivity.

It is suggested by many that there is no comparison, but consider for example the elephant in chains who provides rides in places like Thailand or who is forced to labour such as logging or the elephant consigned to spend all the days of his life until too old to perform in a circus, such as this poor baby being trained/tortured to perform. He has no choice does he, he would rather spend his days within his family group wandering the plains of Africa or Asian jungles not forced to perform silly ticks.

Elephants used in these ways fulfill the definition of slavery, in the example below this baby elephant is the legal property of the circus and is made to obey, in this case by means of so called training. He is not free to live his life according to his nature, his needs, his wants.

Consider also the animals used in warfare including the elephant who was exploited for war from 1100 years BC right up until World War II  when Japanese troops used elephants to cross the rugged terrain of Burma. We are all familiar with Hannibal’scrossing of the Alps in 218 BC with an estimated 40 elephants, one of the most celebrated achievements of any military force in ancient warfare.  In more recent times a number of animals were and are used in warfare including dolphins, when in 1967 the US Navy Marine Mammal Program developed a major project. The program, which is still ongoing, began training dolphins for mine-hunting and force-protection.  In addition dogs and even pigs have been used in our insane violent confrontations. In ancient times pigs where used to frighten War elephants who were reportedly terrified of the squealing and charging of pigs, so both the Romans and Alexander the Great made use of them in campaigns against enemies that fielded elephants.  

Read more about the animals used in warfare, including cats, bears, even bats “Developed by the US for use against Japan during World War II, the bat bomb was literally that. Each bomb would contain 26 trays that each held 40 hibernating bats. Each bat was meant to be outfitted with an individual incendiary device that was set to detonate after a specified amount of time.”
http://uk.businessinsider.com/unbelievable-instances-of-animals-in-military-2015-12/#bat-bombs-5

Did these animals have any real choice in the matter? All where property of humans, like human slaves, animals are bought and sold, all are forced to obey, all are slaves.

Surely animals imprisoned in factory farms exploited for their meat, skin and commodities such as milk and eggs are slaves, owned and exploited against their will with no say in the matter.

Look at these cows tethered in some shed in a factory farm, they are not able to roam freely in the sunshine, not able to live their lives has nature intended. Thinking feeling sentient beings, these animals suffer pain and fear, with keen maternal instinct like any animal including humans, they cry when their babies are taken from them.

 

Consider pigs in farrowing crates not able to move let alone stand, not able to interact with their babies. Highly intelligent creatures who go insane, trapped and imprisoned, surely these beings are slaves.

Look at this hideous contraption what kind of inhumane person devised such awful confinement, imprisoning sentient highly intelligent  beings – is this not slavery at its worse incorporating hideous abuse.

Here is the petition concerning this cruelty:
https://www.change.org/p/all-governments-ban-pig-cages?

Is this animal free?

Source of photo: https://emptyallcages.com/tag/torture/

Animals imprisoned and tortured (vivisection) are not only abused they are enslaved against their will and the misery of slavery is here again compounded by violent abuse by humans usually in the cause of profit.

You cannot say that a lab animal tortured everyday is not a slave, used and abused for the needs of humans, his life taken from him.

Are not these animals enslaved:
http://www.animalslavery.net/

Doesn’t this cattle auction remind you of the slavery of humans in times past

Pets as Slaves?

According to two Rutgers University professors it could even be considered that pets are animal slaves.

Rutgers law professors say pets are ‘animal slaves,’ argue domestication is form of torture

“Despite living with six rescue dogs, professors Gary Francione and Anna Charlton describe their pets as “non-human refugees,” according to an article they published on Aeon.co this month.

“Although we love them very much, we strongly believe that they should not have existed in the first place,” the couple wrote. “We oppose domestication and pet ownership because these violate the fundamental rights of animals.

“When we talk about animal rights, we are talking primarily about one right: the right not to be property,” they continued. “We all reject human chattel slavery. That is not to say that it doesn’t still exist. It does. But no one defends it.”

The professors argued that the way animals for food are treated would be considered torture if people endured the same treatment.”

Read More:
https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/sep/22/rutgers-law-professors-say-pets-are-animal-slaves-/

If an animal is considered someones property and their freedom and their life is taken from them against their will for the purpose of using them to produce such  products as meat, milk, eggs, wool or fur, it fits the definition of slavery.  Their enforced confinement and the exploitation of their lives and premature deaths is surely not of their choosing. An animal is enslaved when he or she is at the mercy of experimenters, his life is not his own, its obvious right. Also animals trained for military purposes or law enforcement often hailed as hero’s yet often killed rather than retired.  Yet despite the obvious comparisons it is by no means easy to get people to consider this treatment of helpless unwilling animals seriously for what it is, namely slavery.

Even less acceptable to many is the consideration of a much loved pet as an enslaved animal, but your companion, be he a cat, dog or rabbit  does not live a natural life, his will over ridden by human need, often confined even if it is for his own good – after all your pet rabbit or even your dog would soon come to grief if allowed to roam at will. Most certainly a bird in a cage, a fish or reptile in a tank is imprisoned and lives an even less satisfactory life than your cat or dog. This is a difficult area for most of us and it is now not possible to simply liberate pets but at the least effort should be made not to increase the problem. Do not buy from pet shops or breeders, instead buying from shelters rescued unwanted animals.  However no matter what we call this whether it’s rescue or sanctuary it is still a form of slavery – think about it your dog cannot even relieve himself until you his owner takes him for a walk. We prefer to ourselves as guardians rather than owners but in reality it is simply a play on words. I like to think I gave the best life I could to my three rabbits – see I automatically referred to them as my rabbits – but in reality they had little free will. I recall my rabbit Sooty sitting by the gate peering underneath, she knew there was more out there and she wanted her freedom. But we have to live in the real world and this is not an easy problem to rectify, as I say domestic animals can’t be liberated, but there are many abandoned animals who need good homes and we need to allow them as natural a life as is possible.

Some animal rights proponents believe that humans do not have the right to own or consider animals as property under any circumstance including as pets. Ideally many animal rights advocates would like an end to our keeping animals as pets. However in the main animal rights supporters consider that sharing our lives with our pets/companion animals is an entrenched and established practice at the present time and do not advocate the releasing of pets into the wild, but advise against certain companion animals, such as caged animals and recommend that dogs and cats be given as natural a life as is possible and are acquired from a pound or shelter rather than from a puppy mill or pet shop.

Here is PETA’s position on the matter:

https://www.peta.org/about-peta/why-peta/pets/

I conclude with another quote from Gary Francione and Anna Charlton

In a just world

“there would be no pets at all, no fields full of sheep, and no barns full of pigs, cows and egg-laying hens. There would be no aquaria and no zoos.”

“If animals matter morally, we must recalibrate all aspects of our relationship with them. The issue we must confront is not whether our exploitation of them is ‘humane’ — with all of the concomitant tinkering with the practices of animal-use industries — but rather whether we can justify using them at all,”

A controversial subject maybe and many people object to the comparison. In my opinion there are many similarities between human and animal slavery and why anyone should feel that such a comparison demeans the atrocities of enslaving human beings I cannot imagine as animals suffer in much the same way we do. An injustice such as the deprivation of life and liberty is a crime regardless of the species, intellect, gender or any other consideration. Animals like us experience pain and fear, they like us wish to live and just like us they desire their freedom. No creature should be deprived of their life under any circumstances. There are some differences as of course billions of human slaves were not slaughtered as animals are , yet for all intents and purposes millions of people lost their lives, lost the right to live as they so pleased – estimates vary from a few million to 100,000,000 people taken by European slave traders from Africa alone. 

Whether or not our use of animals amounts to slavery the fact remains causing suffering, pain and death to any sentient being is wrong in any civilized society regardless of species or any other consideration. Life is precious to all animals, human and nonhuman.

Albert Schweitzer once said:

“True philosophy must start from the most immediate and comprehensive fact of consciousness, and this may be formulated as follows: ‘I am life which wills to live, and I exist in the midst of life which wills to live’ ”

“Just as in my own will-to-live there is a yearning for more life, and for that mysterious exaltation of the will-to-live which is called pleasure, and terror in face of annihilation and that injury to the will-to-live which is called pain; so the same obtains in all the will-to-live around me, equally whether it can express itself to my comprehension or whether it remains unvoiced.

Ethics thus consists in this, that I experience the necessity of practising the same reverence for life toward all will-to-live, as toward my own. Therein I have already the needed fundamental principle of morality. It is good to maintain and cherish life; it is evil to destroy and to check life.

A man is really ethical only when he obeys the constraint laid on him to help all life which he is able to succour, and when he goes out of his way to avoid injuring anything living.”

The Ethic of Reverence for Life
by Albert Schweitzer

Albert Schweitzer developed a philosophy which he called a “Reverence for Life”, for which he received the 1952 Nobel Peace Prize. Basically Schweitzer considered that all creatures possess what he called “a will to live ” for which we should empathize, and that this will to live should be respected in all animals without exception, and a person wishing to live in accordance with such an ethic should avoid whenever possible harming another creature. To take the life of any being human or non human whether in the literal sense or by enslavement is a grave injustice which should now no longer be a part of any modern society.

Actions to take

SPANA For the working animals of the world

https://spana.org/about-us/our-work/ourcorecountries/myanmar

Related Links

Slavery has been abolished … or has it? In a powerful new public service announcement (PSA), comedian, actor, advice columnist, and animal defender Robbyne Kaamil—whose great-great-grandmother was a slave—points out that for animals who are held captive in circuses, zoos, and marine parks, the slave trade is very much alive today. And if you buy a ticket to these places, you’re supporting it.
https://www.peta.org/blog/new-tv-ad-are-you-supporting-the-modern-day-slave-trade/

Animal Slavery and Other Comparisons: Who Should Be Offended?

https://freefromharm.org/animal-products-and-culture/animal-slavery-and-other-comparisons/

“Animal suffering similar to human slaves'” by UPC President Karen Davis is today’s featured letter in the 
Chicago Sun-Times
 :
https://www.upc-online.org/thinking/90605suntimes.htm

You can read more about Albert Schweitzer and his philosophy
http://think-differently-about-sheep.com/Animal_Rights_Albert_Schweitzer.htm

 

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Modern Day Slavery: Wage Slaves

This is part two of three posts about modern day slavery. Here is the first, End Modern Slavery: https://rantingsfromavirtualsoapbox.wordpress.com/2018/02/08/end-modern-slavery/

Unrecognised modern Slavery – “wage slaves.”

“whoever gives his labor for money sells himself and puts himself in the rank of slaves.”
Cicero

The capitalists owned everything in the world, and everyone else was their slave. They owned all the land, all the houses, all the factories, and all the money. If anyone disobeyed them they could throw them into prison, or they could take his job away and starve him to death.
Nineteen Eighty-four, by George Orwell

“In the same way that we today think that the slave trade and colonial exploitation were inhuman and inconceivably bestial ways of acquiring riches, there is no doubt that coming generations will think that our form of world trade and distribution of the world’s benefits were just as inconceivable and inhuman.” 
Erik Dammann

Is working for a wage a modern form of slavery

Though not quite in the same league as the examples of slavery in the first article there are many similarities, most people are in fact enslaved to some degree. The need for shelter, food and clothing, basic needs for every human being comes at a price – your freedom and autonomy. The reality is all employees are faced with the starkest choice and that is to work for an employer or face poverty or starvation. 

For low wages the vast majority of us slave away our precious existence for the sole purpose of making huge profits for big corporations, often having two or more jobs just to pay our rent or mortgage, to put food on the table and to provide warmth and clothing, all vital for our existence. In the modern world most of us hate our jobs, we have few rights at work, long hours with constant pressure to produce or achieve more, low wages and so on, all of which we have to accept in order to try and keep a roof over our heads and food in our stomachs.  We accept this exploitation, which is in my opinion a form of slavery not much different from that of a medieval surf, with the exception that while the serf/slave would literally be dragged back if he escaped and may even pay with his life. In many ways, more subtle maybe but almost as binding, similar slavery of the majority continues in modern times. Okay we may have more luxuries compared with the serfs of times past but don’t let this fool you, in reality most of us own very little even after working our entire life. You may be considered an home owner, but your home is not yours until you have paid your mortgage, that car you may have on credit likewise is not yours, nor any of the gizmos and gadgets, the latest furniture, your fitted kitchen or bathroom and the endless embellishments we deem vital to our quality of life, if these have been paid for by credit. In reality most people are but one pay cheque away from homelessness, poverty and destitution.  Even when you home is your own,  if you are lucky enough to keep a job with a decent wage throughout  the twenty to thirty years you make repayments, when you are too old or too ill to work you may not be able to maintain your property on the puny pension or benefits doled out by the state – if you are of course fortunate to receive such as governments both here and in the US do their utmost to destroy social security  – and you end your life sinking deeper and deeper into poverty or debt and your home can be taken from you if you do not pay.

Did you know that many people do not have savings over £100 even after working all their lives, 17 million UK citizens to be exact. Faced with an unexpected bill these people are likely to be forced into debt and further deprivation if they are not able to pay their debt, such as the loss of their home which they may have struggled to pay for their entire working lives or an inability to pay rent. We are all nowadays just one pay check from homelessness.

One in three families are a month’s pay from losing homes, says study

https://www.theguardian.com/money/2016/aug/09/england-one-in-three-families-one-months-pay-losing-homes-shelter-study

We therefore cannot walk off from our jobs even if our lives are made a misery, and we are overworked and underpaid and barely subsisting for we would lose what little we have. Those of us with families would not wish to abandon our children to homelessness and abject poverty would we. So we continue to slave away for big corporations who profit from our labour giving the minimum required in return.

It may be argued that people who work for a wage are not slaves because they have the legal right to leave a particular employer, though in reality this is often not an option in these times of job scarcity as the fear of  quitting your job and not finding another is prohibitive. So many workers would be extremely reluctant to exercise this right even when they are paid low wages and working long hours with few if any rights in the workplace.

The only right that a wage worker has is that he or she is not the slave of any particular employer, but he or she is still a slave of the capitalist system. You have the right to leave one employer but you have to soon find another and no matter how  awful your job is – long hours and low wages, pressure, even harassment in the workplace – with so few jobs and the likelihood of not getting employment benefits because you have made yourself unemployed few hesitate to change jobs. As you lack any means of sustaining your life you are bound to an employer and these days you have little freedom to pick and choose. In the past when jobs were plentiful employers did not have the power they have now and it was easier to change jobs and secure better wages and conditions, for example in the sixties or seventies you could walk out of a job one morning and find another by the afternoon, though of course this is still wage slavery people back than had more say about where they worked and the conditions they worked under.

Furthermore employers often conspire together to keep wages low, and in recent decades with the decline of trade union influence employers have the upper hand in conflicts between workers and themselves.

“…the elite maintain wage slavery by dividing the working class through their influence over the media and entertainment industry,]educational institutions, unjust laws, nationalist and corporate propaganda, pressures and incentives to internalize values serviceable to the power structure, state violence, fear of unemployment and a historical legacy of exploitation and profit accumulation/transfer under prior systems, which shaped the development of economic theory”:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wage_slavery

Yes in the rest of your life you have a certain amount of freedom but your time is very limited these days, work demands most of your waking life and the time you do have off you are probably too weary and tired both physically and emotionally to appreciate it. Moreover if on a low wage you may not have the freedom to participate fully in society, to enjoy entertainment, hobbies and other pass times, you may not even earn enough to eat or pay your rent or mortgage. Most people who use food banks are wage earners.

We are therefore slaves exploited for our labour.

I am profoundly shocked concerning the exploitations of vulnerable people, such grave social injustice has no place in any ethical progressive society. I fail to understand the mindset of those who exploit others in the name of personal gain, or in other words rampant greed. Life is precious to all of us and should be lived as much as possible in the way we wish to live. While work of course has to be done it should be fairly distributed, necessary and compensated with a wage that allows not only the necessities of life, but to allow for a quality of life. It should be a basic human right to have the opportunities to fulfill our hopes and dreams, not forced into wasting our precious existence slaving away for some greedy corporation, our lives taken to make another person rich.

Look at what you do. For Many of us our lives and the world’s resources are wasted producing useless luxuries or we produce goods that are deliberately wasted to keep prices high – Have you ever considered what becomes of unsold clothing in stores at the end of the season. Most of it ends up in landfill,11.9 million tons of unwanted clothing a year     This is the labour of so many people, mostly in sweatshops in so called developing countries, wasted for profit. Even if some of it is recycled as required by the EU it is nonetheless wasteful to destroy perfectly good clothing which so many people need and all for the sake of profit for the few. Sadly for many your job has one purpose and that is to make your boss rich. The waste of resources to continue to produce huge accumulations of pointless items wastes our lives. Such is produced to make a small minority rich – ask yourself do we need an entire supermarket shelf just so we can have a huge choice of shampoo such as for greasy hair, dry hair, normal hair, dandruff, for bleached hair, colored hair, for thickening hair, for babies, shampoos with hints of tints. And there will be several brands of the same.  A shop in my town is filled with ridiculous plastic trinkets, hair ornaments, junk jewelry, endless handbags, shopping bags all shapes and sizes, each year the young and fashion conscious persuaded they need the latest bag, shoes, jewelry and endless junk produced at the expense of the worlds dwindling resources simply to increase profits.

“Capitalism is slavery in so many ways. Consumers become enslaved by so many choices, and by becoming the victims of corporate America, who have ingrained people to believe they need things they don’t need. Capitalism is a sad commentary on human nature, and only serves to entrench the have-nots for their entire lives.”

“Any educated person would agree…Yes, it is.
Understanding the difference between capitalism, socialism, and communism is a wise place to start. Capitalism operates as a guise under freedom by promising those that are less fortunate too have the possibility of becoming a capitalist themselves, however they will spend their entire lives toiling to never reach that promised ending.”

Comments included in an online debate
http://www.debate.org/opinions/is-capitalism-slavery

The second comment addresses the reason that despite all the misery that capitalism has caused since forever – but most particularly in recent times –  is the implied promise that one day workers may also be capitalists themselves, the fact that this is just a pipe dream and logically could never happen seems to elude most people.

Action to end modern day slavery

“We know all too well that many workers in Asia endure forced labor to bring us the garments, foods, electronics and other goods we enjoy.

The good news is Australia is taking steps towards creating new modern slavery laws that could improve protections for vulnerable workers worldwide and we need your help to make it happen.”

Read More and sign the petition:
https://www.freedomunited.org/advocate/urge-australia-help-end-slavery/

This petition concerns more conventional modern slavery and not slavery in the context discussed in the above article. The petition is worth signing as bringing about such changes globally will improve the lives of millions of exploited people worldwide.

Please also add your name to a letter to urge UK fashion brands to protect women who make our clothes.

ABUSE ISN’T IN ANY WOMAN’S JOB DESCRIPTION
https://act.careinternational.org.uk/node/238?utm_source=twshare&utm_campaign=GBVletter

Many people the world over suffer abuse at work in silence afraid that they will loose their livelihood, become homeless, destitute and poverty stricken. This is surely a form of slavery.

Related Links

Working: No More Than A Wage Slave
https://www.iww.org/history/library/AJMiller/Working_Wage_Slave

America’s Favorite Anarchist Thinks Most US Workers Are Wage Slaves
http://www.businessinsider.com/most-american-workers-are-slaves-2014-4?IR=T

Wage slavery
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wage_slavery

 

End Modern Slavery

“Slavery was abolished 150 years ago, right? While it is true that slavery is illegal almost everywhere on earth, the fact is there are more slaves today than there ever were…”
Robert Alan Silverstein

Millions of our fellow human beings continue to live as contemporary slaves, victims of abominable practices like human trafficking, forced labour and sexual exploitation. Countless children are forced to become soldiers, work in sweat shops or are sold by desperate families. Women are brutalized and traded like commodities. Entire households and villages labour under debt bondage.
Ban Ki-moon

We all tend to think that slavery is a thing of the past, a grave social injustice consigned to history. Unfortunately slavery still thrives ruining the lives of those exploited for their labour.  Worldwide it  is estimated that there are 40.3 million people used as slave Labour including 10 million children – and not just overseas either, but right here in the UK , USA and other western countries.

In nearly every country worldwide millions of vulnerable people are forced into working for little or no pay, coerced to do so as a result of threats, debt, and violence.

Slavery in the modern world has many guises:

Agriculture, domestic work, factories and women forced into prostitution. Many of the goods we buy are produced by child slaves in  sweatshops.  15.4 million people are enslaved by forced marriage. Vulnerable people include the poverty stricken and people discriminated by race or gender. As you will read further down, slavery presents in prisons, particularly in the US where mostly non whites are exploited as slave or cheap labour.

You can read more about modern Slavery here:

What is modern day slavery?
https://www.antislavery.org/slavery-today/modern-slavery/  
      Click the take action button to support a number of campaigns to end slavery globally:
https://www.antislavery.org/take-action/

End Modern Day Slavery
https://www.freedomunited.org/

Please help support Freedom United’s campaigns such as the one below.

Help to stop slavery in prison?

What is most sickening about it is that under Trump as usual the unjust  situation is set to get worse as Increases of prisons and detainment centers by upwards of 450%, are planned perpetuating and embedding a system that exploits mostly non whites for private benefit.

It has come to light that the immigrants detained in a private facility, CoreCivic, are being coerced into forced labour, threatened with solitary confinement or restricted visitation rights if they do not comply. While some detainees are paid a very low wage of just $1.50 per day many get no pay at all for working a variety of jobs that really should be undertaken by an employee for a fair living wage, for example kitchen staff, janitors, barbers and various other positions. It is real profit spinner of course for this private facility who save a huge amount on its employee bill .

Housing 25 percent of the world’s prison population the USA has the largest prison system globally upon which it spends a huge $80 billion per year. During the past four decades the prison population has risen by 700 percent, however crime has decreased. Sixty percent of prisoners are non white with black men six times more likely to be imprisoned than whites.

Basically detainees are being exploited through forced labor in prisons and detention centers for corporate gain.

Please add your name to the following petition:

HELP STOP FORCED LABOR IN U.S. DETENTION

https://www.freedomunited.org/advocate/forced-labor-detention/?

Help get more signatures on this petition,  we need to speak out and end slavery in all its guises wherever it is found.

Click the following link for more Freedom United campaigns and actions you can take.
https://www.freedomunited.org/advocate/

Slavery UK

Firstly please sign this petition urging the UK government to support UK slavery victims:
https://www.freedomunited.org/advocate/uk-victim-support-bill/?

Even though most people think that slavery only exists overseas, modern slavery in the UK is thriving. The British Government estimates that tens of thousands of people are in exploited in modern slavery in the UK today.

10 things you didn’t know about slavery in the UK

  1. The UK Government estimates there are tens of thousands people in slavery in Britain today

  2. Only 1% of enslaved people in the UK have the chance of seeing their exploiter brought to justice

  3. In 2015, over 3,000 people, including nearly 1,000 children, were referred to British authorities as potential victims of slavery

  4. But nearly 40% of them were still awaiting a decision about their victim status at the end of the year

  5. From those who have received a final decision, only less than half were recognised as victims

  6. Victims of slavery are four times less likely to be acknowledged as victims if they are non-European

  7. Up to 34% of victims of slavery are estimated to be re-trafficked

  8. Children are often deliberately targeted for their vulnerability

  9. One in four victims of slavery in the UK is a child

  10. 2016 saw the first conviction and sentencing of a British businessman for human trafficking

Read more about the hidden crime of slavery right here in the UK
https://www.antislavery.org/slavery-today/slavery-uk/

Please click this link and take as many of the actions as you can.
https://www.antislavery.org/take-action/

More petitions to sign and share:

STOP MODERN DAY SLAVERY!

“Libyan’s are keeping black Africans captive and using them for human trafficking, this completely goes against any human rights. We are one race, the human race. Those involved with the dealing of people need to be scrutinised and stopped. First world countries need to intervene as soon as possible it is an URGENT AND SERIOUS ISSUE!!!! ”
https://www.change.org/p/uk-parliament-stop-modern-day-slavery

Slavery Libya

End Modern Slavery in Libya

“Earlier this year, the International Criminal Court (ICC) expressed interest in investigating crimes against immigrants in Libya, after the International Organization for Migration (IOM) warned about people being sold at slave markets in the country.

Slave markets are springing up across Libya trading impoverished African migrants who have arrived on the Mediterranean coast dreaming of a new life in Europe. A new investigation has revealed people are being sold as modern-day slaves for as little as £300 ($400).”

https://www.change.org/p/african-union-end-modern-slavery-in-libya

I am profoundly shocked concerning the exploitation of vulnerable people, such grave social injustice has no place in any ethical progressive society. I fail to understand the mindset of those who exploit others in the name of personal gain, or in other words rampant greed. Life is short, it is precious to all of us and should be lived as much as possible in the way we wish to live. No one should have the right to enslave another, an anachronism of a bygone age many assume which unfortunately is thriving.

“Slavery is a weed that grows on every soil.”
Edmund Burke

Like all weeds it must be uprooted.

 

 

 

Help Free Child Prisoner Ahed Tamimi

These days there is just so much injustice that it is overwhelming and you wonder if anything will ever change.People lives ruined by the greedy and powerful, by fanatics trying to shape the world the way they want it for their own advantage in total disregard for the rights and the lives of others, even those whose lives have barely begun such a Palestinian children arrested and incarcerated by the Israeli military.

Please sign and share the following petition concerning Ahed Tamimi age only 16 who could face up to 10 years in prison. Please act quickly Ahed case goes to court February 6th

Free Ahed Tamimi

Please Sign the letter to world leaders:

“We demand the release of Ahed and all Palestinian children wrongly held in military prisons.

The international community must put an end to the detention and ill-treatment of children in these prisons. Enough is enough.

To Ahed and all the children in Israeli military jails: We stand by your side, and are holding you in our hearts. We will not give up until you are free. You are not alone. ”

More information:

Days ago soldiers stormed my house in the dead of night and dragged my 16 year old daughter to prison. Now my little girl is in a cold cell.

My name is Basim Tamimi. I have dedicated my life to civil resistance. That’s why the army is holding my baby — they want to crush my spirit. But I have been a member of Avaaz for eight years — I have seen the power of this community if we all stand together against injustice.

My little girl’s case goes to court on February 6 — but Israel’s military courts convict 99% of Palestinians, even if they are kids. Please join my urgent call — we’ll deliver it directly to global leaders.”

Please sign and continue reading:
https://secure.avaaz.org/campaign/en/free_ahed_global_loc/?wMsmGdb    This is a quick sign petition which I hope you will share widely.

Here are some little known facts concerning the Palestinian conflict regarding children held as Prisoners by Israel

During the last five decades 45,000 Palestinian children have been detained by the military

“Since 2000, an estimated 12,000 Palestinian children have been
detained by Israeli forces from the occupied West Bank and held in the Israeli military detention
system — many of them are as young as 12 years old. In some cases, even 6 and 7 year olds
have been detained by the military as well. Israel prosecutes between 500 and 700 Palestinian
children in military courts each year, and hundreds more are arrested and released later without
prosecution.

An average of 200-300 children are held in Israeli detention on a monthly basis.”
More information
https://avaazpress.s3.amazonaws.com/Child+Detention+Fact+Sheet.pdf

Regardless of our stance on this conflict I am sure most of us will be appalled at this grave mistreatment of children.

More information and further action from Amnesty international.

“16-year-old Palestinian activist Ahed Tamimi could face up to ten years in prison over an altercation with Israeli soldiers in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT).

Ahed, charged with aggravated assault of soldiers and incitement, will also remain in custody until the end of her trial.”

According to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, to which Israel is a state party, the arrest, detention or imprisonment of children must be used only as a measure of last resort and for the shortest appropriate period of time.

Ahed’s detention does not meet this criteria. In fact, nothing the teen has done can justify her continued detention – it is outrageously excessive for such a comparatively small crime and entirely inappropriate for a child. The Israeli authorities must acknowledge this and release her immediately.

“Ahed’s lawyer says she has faced several long and aggressive interrogation sessions, sometimes during the night, and that interrogators have threatened the safety of her family.

Her family says she has also endured several physically-exhausting transfers from prison to court alongside other child detainees, without access to a toilet.

Continue reading and please take the suggested action
https://www.amnesty.org.uk/israel-release-ahed-tamimi

Military prisons are not the place for children under any circumstances.

 

 

 

 

Please Act Now to Prevent the Execution of 14 men in Saudi Arabia.

 

Please act now to prevent the execution of 14 men in Saudi Arabia.
All that stands between these 14 men and their death is King Salman’s signature. Please click the link below for more information and to email Saudi Arabia.  Join Amnesty International in urging the Saudi authorities to stop the executions now.

STOP 14 MEN BEING EXECUTED IN SAUDI ARABIA

https://www.amnesty.org.uk/actions/stop-14-men-being-executed-saudi-arabia#.WmWjiU2XdxM.twitter

If you do not have the time to read further please at least click the above link and take action.Please send only a polite message.

More information

Saudi execution

“On 1 June 2016, the Specialized Criminal Court (SCC) in Riyadh sentenced 14 men to death by beheading. They are:

  • Hussein al-Rab’i
  • Abdullah al-Tureif
  • Hussein al-Mosallem
  • Mohamed al-Naser
  • Mustafa al-Darwish
  • Fadel Labbad
  • Sa’id al-Sakafi
  • Salman al-Qureish
  • Mujtaba al-Suweyket
  • Munir al-Adam
  • Abdullah al-Asreeh
  • Ahmad al-Darwish
  • Abdulaziz al-Sahwi
  • Ahmad al-Rab’i

The men were accused of spying for Iran. They endured a grossly unfair mass trial based on ‘confessions’ they told the court were obtained under torture. They were eventually charged with a series of offences including ‘high treason’ with some facing several other charges which are not recognised criminal offences under international law, such as ‘supporting protests’ and ‘spreading the Shi’a faith’.

Crushing dissent

Put simply, they are victims of the Saudi commitment to use the death penalty as a weapon to crush dissent and neutralise political opponents.”

Please click the link below to read more and send an email to Saudi Arabia.

STOP 14 MEN BEING EXECUTED IN SAUDI ARABIA
https://www.amnesty.org.uk/actions/stop-14-men-being-executed-saudi-arabia#.WmWjiU2XdxM.twitter     –   After clicking and sending the message you will need to scroll down for more information. Please send only a polite message.

Please sign and share.

There should be no place in the modern world for the legal execution of anyone, but most particularly in cases such as the above. I find executions extremely disturbing, no one should have the right to take the life of another person for any reason, the fact that there are nations in the modern world that continue to punish people in this way is shocking.

Unfortunately this form of punishment is widespread.

Below you find out which countries execute the most people:

Death penalty statistics, country by country

https://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2011/mar/29/death-penalty-countries-world

Surprisingly the USA is listed 5th of the countries with the most executions.

A Christmas Message for Theresa May

A Christmas Message for Theresa May:

Spare a moment over the festive season in your warm centrally heated home with luxury food in abundance for the 300,000 people in Britain who are homeless, including 128,000 children and over 4,000 rough sleepers; the result of Tory policies which have taken money from the most vulnerable in our society and handed it to the better-off. While you enjoy your opulent Christmas sadly it’ll be a different story for homeless people waking up shivering on the pavement, families with children waking on Christmas day in cramped depressing B&Bs or hostel rooms. The children will have few if any new toys for Christmas, their parents having been made destitute as a result of Tory benefit cuts and other austerity measures.

Are you even aware that only last Sunday a thirty-eight year old man died sleeping rough in Birmingham on a bitterly cold night. 

Take time to reflect on the increase in childhood and pensioners poverty which has soared by 400,000 and 300,000 respectively since the Conservatives came to power, the worst decline in decades. Now in the world’s seventh richest country 14 million people currently live in poverty. Shameful.

This Christmas think about the disabled people whose already difficult lives have been detrimentally affected by your so called welfare reforms which the UN have condemned. Vicious attacks on the most vulnerable in our society which have resulted in an increase in poverty and the overall death rate including a high rate of suicides by disabled people after the withdrawal of welfare benefits. This also includes the mentally ill of course who now have to increasingly cope alone as there are 6,700 fewer mental health nurses and 5,000 fewer mental health beds since 2010.

Take time from your hectic schedule to spare a thought for the thousands of people on universal credit who will not receive a payment at Christmas.

Please consider the overworked and underpaid NHS staff who have seen drastic cuts in their numbers, who struggle to cope with underfunding that has resulted in such outrages as 10,000 patients a week left waiting in ambulances outside A&Es ;  Long waits in A&E which have increased by 557% in seven years  and cancelled surgery for 10s of thousands of people.

Thanks to you Theresa May and your government we are now living in a period of great social injustice of which sadly some people are not aware. You and your predecessor have managed to turn the clock back to a time most of us do not remember and thought had been consigned to history.

Tell me: How do you sleep at night?

Related Links

Perhaps Theresa May and other Tories should also consider the following questions:

“It’s like an ordinary day, to be honest”: How the cuts stole Christmas

As foodbanks stockpile and benefits are withheld, Britain faces crisis this festive season.
https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/welfare/2017/12/it-s-ordinary-day-be-honest-how-cuts-stole-christmas

As a result of conservative policies it is estimated that over 4,000 disabled and vulnerable people may have died, but this figure could be much higher as a result of welfare cuts:

Welfare Reform Deaths – Memorial Page – Please Stop Killing Us
http://calumslist.org/

Recent research shows the conservative party’s austerity policies have resulted in the deaths of 120,000 people

Landmark study links Tory austerity to 120,000 deaths
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/health/tory-austerity-deaths-study-report-people-die-social-care-government-policy-a8057306.html

More UK children homeless or in temporary housing than during crash crisis
https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/dec/06/more-children-homeless-or-in-temporary-housing-than-during-crash-crisis

One in every 200 people in UK are homeless, according to Shelter
https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/nov/08/one-in-every-200-people-in-uk-are-homeless-according-to-shelter

I never thought the day would come when the UK would be subject to UN condemnation concerning human rights, particularly in respect to its treatment of disabled and vulnerable people. Anyone reading this please consider the above, Theresa May is not solely responsible.  If you voted Tory and continue to support them you are complicit in this, the greatest social injustice in our country in a long time. It is shameful that so many people either are ignorant of what is happening or simply do not care.

“Stand for what is right even it that means standing alone”
Suzy Kassem

 

Benefits UK: Are We Getting Like The US?

The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference.
Elie Wiesel

It looks like it will be a cold winter this year here in the UK. Yesterday I saw a homeless man on the street sleeping in a shop doorway, it was 09.30 and bitterly cold. I could not afford to give him money but did so as I was worried that he was not well and needed a reason to wake him.  This country is an awful place with extreme social injustice condemned by the UN, a country where many people have no money to live on. Poverty is high and getting higher – childhood poverty has soared by 400,000 since the Conservatives came to power.  While corporations get tax concessions and tax payers fund another extravagant royal wedding poor people get their benefits cut or taken away from them.

How long I ask myself is this nightmare going to be allowed to continue. We cannot have people living in poverty in the 6th richest economy. Shameful. Anyone who votes Tory should be ashamed for you are responsible for the damage to thousands of people’s lives including children. How do you sleep at night, not like the homeless man mentioned above ? The indifference of many people to the plight of those needing benefits has also played a role in consigning many people to lives of misery and despair, not knowing where their next meal will come from or if they will have a roof over their heads.

Under cover of the announcement of the royal wedding – 0dd how there is plenty of money to indulge those who already have it in
abundance – the government announced that they intend to continue the freeze on benefits:

Benefit freeze to stay for working people costing typical family £300 a year

“Millions of people will have their benefits frozen for another 12 months from April in a move that will cost a typical working family with two children about £300 a year.”

“The freeze, which has been in place since 2015, means a real-terms cut in income for millions of people because of rising living costs.”

Continue reading:

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/nov/27/benefit-freeze-to-stay-working-people-costing-typical-family-300-a-year

Poverty and homeless increase yet who cares, most people carry on with their own lives oblivious.

How many of us were aware that back in July 100 tenants each day where being evicted as a result of cuts to benefits, this number will no doubt rise with the introduction of Universal Credit. 

“More than 40,000 tenants in England were evicted in 2015, according to a study by the Cambridge Centre for Housing and Planning Research for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF). It is an increase of a third since 2003 and the highest level recorded. The research appears to confirm fears that a mixture of rising costs and falling state support would lead to a rise in people being forced out of their homes. It will raise concerns that even those in work are struggling to pay their rent.”

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/jul/22/100-tenants-a-day-lose-homes-rising-rents-benefit-freeze

It is important to note that UC is a benefit for working people paid low wages.

Three thousand people responded to an a House of Commons inquiry into disability benefits when only about a hundred responses were expected. Responses are still coming in after the deadline has passed.

Inquiry into disability benefits ‘deluged’ by tales of despair

More than 3,000 people have written to work and pensions committee in despair at system, many saying they have been driven to suicidal thoughts

“A House of Commons inquiry into disability benefits has heard from more than 3,000 people in despair at the system, including dozens who say they have been driven to suicidal thoughts by the process.

Frank Field, the chair of the work and pensions committee, said it would be usual to receive about 100 responses, but the inquiry had been deluged by people sharing stories about being denied disability benefits or battles to keep their entitlements.

The evidence includes testimony from many saying their mental health had deteriorated as a result of trying to claim the employment support allowance (ESA) for daily living costs and/or the personal independence payment (PIP) to cover the extra costs caused by long-term disability.”

Continue reading the full article:

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/nov/27/inquiry-into-disability-benefits-deluged-by-tales-of-despair?CMP=share_btn_tw

Life for many in the sixth richest economy is hell thanks to Tory polices and the indifference of other people.

Read the Story of Sue and others lives turned into a nightmare by UC

‘It’s just mistake after mistake’ – stories from the universal credit catastrophe

“It was introduced to simplify benefits and encourage people to work. Yet from a bungled rollout to Kafkaesque rules and the infamous six-week payment delay, universal credit has caused untold misery. John Harris meets people who have had their lives turned upside down. ”

With only £48 a week of child benefit coming in, Sue had effectively stopped eating. “I was trying to make stuff from the food bank last longer. I lived off cereal, so the kids could eat. That went on for three months.”

…the time it took to process her application and start paying her the right amount of money went way beyond six weeks, to almost three months.

One of her most vivid memories is of explaining what was happening to her eldest son. “I sat down with him, and I was crying my eyes out. I said: ‘I’m so sorry – I’ve got no money at all for anything for Christmas . It was only through our church’s generosity, giving us bits and pieces for the kids, that they actually had presents on Christmas day. None of it was from us.”

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/nov/20/mistake-universal-credit-catastrophe-misery

This is the tip of the iceberg. People’s lives have been made hell on earth since Tory changes to welfare, so many people do not know where to turn or have the wherewithal to write to committees, either worn down by the misery of draconian welfare assessments, by the severity of their illness often made worse by the nature of these assessments or they simply do not have the ability to write about their situation.

The Tories are on a mission to dismantle the UK’s welfare state.

I get sick of hearing that the Tories are out of touch with reality. The implication being that it is incompetence rather than a deliberate attempt to destroy our welfare state. The truth is the Tories are using cuts  as a means of destroying the welfare state – including the NHS which they detest.

Read

How to dismantle the welfare state in five easy steps – and ways to spot the Government doing it

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/how-to-dismantle-the-welfare-state-in-five-easy-steps-and-ways-to-spot-the-government-doing-it-a7025711.html

The above article is eighteen months old but the points it makes are valid now as they were than.

Don’t be fooled with the misleading implication of Tory ineptitude, even by those opposed: benefit cuts and cuts to NHS funding are deliberate a attempt to end our welfare state.

Universal credit is not the only problematic benefit. The Tories new Personal Independence Payment PIP which replaced Disability Living Allowance DLA has left thousands of disabled people without this extra support or with a less amount of money.

The government are slowing dismantling our social security until it resembles the US –  virtually nonexistent.

If you think this is far fetched, such abuse of sick and disabled people would not happen in the UK think again.

Read the following

The staggering rise in PIP complaints shows there’s rot in the system

It’s not just the scale of the complaints, it’s the increasing evidence that disability benefits are being removed on fabricated grounds

‘Almost 80% of disabled people put through the PIP test have seen their health deteriorate due to stress or anxiety.’

Complaints about the personal independence payment (PIP) assessment process rose by nearly 880% last year,

For the past four years, I’ve been reporting on the radical changes to disability benefits orchestrated by Conservative governments. The lack of humanity is glaring: there’s the Open University student with agoraphobia, Asperger’s and complex mental health problems living without a washing machine, oven or television after benefit cuts left her destitute; the 14-year-old child carer listening to her disabled dad crying because he doesn’t know how he’s going to pay the bills after having his disability benefits taken. But as the DWP’s complaints show, the scandal of this goes even further: there’s increasing evidence that benefits have been removed from disabled people based on entirely fabricated grounds.”

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/oct/30/staggering-rise-pip-complaints-rot-system-disability-benefits

Note in the above article that there are “claims of  widespread dishonesty in the disability benefit system, with more than 250 PIP claimants alleging assessors repeatedly lied, ignored written evidence and dishonestly reported the results of physical examinations. ”

Claiming PIP is a harrowing and degrading experience added misery, anxiety, stress and depression to the lives of vulnerable people whose lives are already difficult as  consequence of their conditions

After reading this story why you might ask why did this person receive zero points

Cece’s epilepsy last May left her bed bound for three months!

Her “focal onset seizures ranging from between once a week to sometimes ten to fifteen a day – these leave me confused, exhausted, emotional, unaware, and unable to speak or move. I’ve caused harm to myself many times, being alone in my flat while my partner is at work.”

“The assessor was shocked when she saw that I struggled to write my own name because I’d had a seizure three days prior to the assessment; she was shocked when I told her about my job; she was shocked to hear that on bad days I can’t even walk to my GP surgery which is only a 15 minute walk away, or stand in the shower which is why we have an unbecoming IKEA stool in our lovely bathroom, that when my partner is away I can’t cook for myself because I can’t be by the stove unsupervised; she was shocked to hear that if I have a seizure while out, I become confused and lose my way and struggle to read maps – even a tube map, yet I grew up in London. Every Londoner knows that a tube map is like their children’s Bible and by the time you hit adolescence, you don’t even need that bad boy because you have it memorised. Well, not when you have recurrent seizures.

None of this was in this assessment report however… No mention of my awkward crying either, or the constant prompting for answers, because of my slow brain. Furthermore, my mobility problems, medical history and mental health issues were also relegated to thin air, and in the end I scored zero points.”

This World Isn’t Made For People Like Me – My PIP Assessment

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/this-world-isnt-made-for-people-like-me-my-pip-assessment_uk_5a11b32ce4b0e30a958507fe

While it’s bad here in the UK it could get worse. Sadly I rather think this is what the government intend for the UK

Read the following from the Washington Post

10,000 people died waiting for a disability decision in the past year

597 days.
And still waiting.

10,000 people died in the past year while stuck
in a backlog of judges’ disability cases.

What will happen to Joe Stewart?

“Stewart had first applied for federal disability benefits on May 21, 2015. The application was denied, and so was his appeal. When he appealed the second rejection, he went to the back of one of the federal government’s biggest backlogs, where 1.1 million disability claimants wait for one of some 1,600 Social Security administrative law judges to decide whether they deserve a monthly payment and Medicare or Medicaid. “A death sentence” is how Stewart, who has no health insurance, has come to think of another denial.

For other applicants, the wait itself may be enough to accomplish that. In the past two years, 18,701 people have died while waiting for a judge’s decision, increasing 15 percent from 8,699 deaths in fiscal 2016 to 10,002 deaths in fiscal 2017, according to preliminary federal data obtained by The Washington Post. The rising death toll coincides with a surge in the length of time people must wait for a disposition, which swelled from a national average of 353 days in 2012 to a record high of 596 this past summer.”

Please take time to read the full story

http://www.washingtonpost.com/sf/local/2017/11/20/10000-people-died-waiting-for-a-disability-decision-in-the-past-year-will-he-be-next/?utm_term=.16e88fbb0b2c

Write to your MP and demand change:

http://www.parliament.uk/mps-lords-and-offices/mps/

Remember anyone can be ill at any time, lose their job, become homeless. None of us are immune to the suffering that is taking palce here in the UK as a result of vicious tory policies which are taking us back to a time we had hoped had faded into history.

Related Links

Apparently universal credit claimants will now only have to wait five weeks instead of six! BIG BLOODY DEAL when you have no money. Housing benefit to continue for an extra two weeks after the start of a universal credit claim. Again hopelessly inadequate, not everyone has savings for a rainy day, thousands of people here in the UK live from week to week . By way of comparison, in 2015-16, government targets for the waiting times for income support, jobseeker’s allowance and employment and support allowance were between 10 and 14 days).

An insult, a joke. .These changes as pathetic as they are  will not come in time to help claimants struggling before Christmas, as they only take effect from next year.

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/nov/22/universal-credit-wait-reduced-to-five-weeks

Keep in mind also that UC the new system’s shift from a mixture of benefits paid monthly, weekly and fortnightly, to a once-a-month payment will make people’s budgeting even more difficult.

The fact that UC depends on an internet connection makes it very difficult for a lot of people to access, not least because of the government’s closure of hundreds of public libraries.