By Ashley Keller
Old Slavery v. Modern Day Slavery Part III (Conclusion)
There are different national and international organizations for disabled persons. These organizations are made up of people with and without disabilities. While this is good news, sadly, this is new. Groups and organizations in the past have not thought to have disabled persons on their committees, which again leaves this population without a voice. These new integrated and accessible groups and organizations are using their insight to help implement accessible programs, or change existing programs in order to make them accessible. They are doing this by diversifying environments, i.e. taking a multicultural, multi-gender, multi-ability approach to problems and ideas.
There is also a greater urgency to educate and train the general public. This allows people to better understand and appreciate this population of people. It is very important for everyone to know that whether someone is disabled or not, they are all still people and they most definitely have value. They deserve the same human rights as those without disabilities. Unfortunately there is not much information out there on human trafficking and the disabled. Awareness is required in regards to human trafficking, but when this entire population is overlooked and left without a voice; people are not getting the whole story. This population needs to be brought up in conversations, classrooms, websites and statistics.
As Human Rights Watch notes “disabled women and girls face the same spectrum of human rights abuses that non-disabled women face, but their social isolation and dependence magnifies these abuses and their consequences”. This is a real problem and these people need our help as much as the men, women and children who are drug into this dark reality by force, fraud or coercion.
We need to give this population a voice, if possible, and if not, be the voice they so desperately need. The media can do this by reporting on this ugly truth through pictures, articles and documentaries. The media needs to make it known that this issue is alive and it is everywhere, not just in some far off country. While many countries have taken strides to criminalize human trafficking they continually fail to prosecute these perpetrators. Through research it was noted that most individuals detained in relation to human trafficking are released by the time a trial or sentencing arrives for “time served”.
There needs to be collaboration and cooperation between many different government and non-government agencies in order to bring light to this seemingly overlooked topic within the larger picture of modern slavery. Law Enforcement, families, cultures, hospitals, education agencies, and prosecutors all need to understand the ramifications of their beliefs and actions, or lack thereof. By working together, which is a feat in and of itself, fewer and fewer individuals will fall through the cracks.
As the great Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “to ignore evil is to become an accomplice to it”. We, as moral, rational and reasoning beings, cannot allow these people to be swept under the rug and forgotten any longer.
Ashley received her B.A. in Psychology from Immaculata University this past semester. She has worked with individuals with autism for about 10 years and is currently working as an ABA therapist doing Early Intense Behavioral Intervention. This coming semester she will be student teaching to receive her Elementary/Special Education teaching certifications. She also plans to pursue graduate level programs in order to continue her work and understanding of individuals with autism.