Today slavery is seen as a crime against humanity. You would like to think that it no longer exists, but today probably more than ever you can see that people are bought and sold, given away or acquired as if they are just a commercial product. You can find slaves in most countries and even in those which consider themselves to be very modern and progressive.

Who are these slaves? Where do you find them? What do they do? Who are the slave masters?

There are very many people today who are looking to escape from poverty and to find work. They are called migrant workers. They try to get to foreign countries often to places where they are not welcome. Often traffickers, employers, and other people force these to work for low wages, or to live in conditions which really are subhuman. These workers turn out to be slaves.

Others are being forced into prostitution, and women are forced into marriages they do not want.

Some are slaves because they are asked to sell their body organs, sometimes even their own children. Children are increasingly being recruited as soldiers or suicide bombers. Various parts of the world are suffering from terrorist groups. They force those they control to be slaves to their causes, which makes them modern slaves as well.

Slavery is only possible because our society allows us to look on fellow human beings as “objects” Objects are more easily bought and sold.

Poverty, a lack of education or a lack of employment cause people to fall into the hands of slave masters.

The lack of a good government or corruption also makes slaves. This happens when money and not the human person in the centre of an economic system. Wars and armed conflicts contribute to the growing number of slaves around us. People are forced to flee wars. They leave everything behind them. They become very vulnerable to being someone’s slaves.

The church and our society must recognize that modern slavery is actually all around us. What are we as a Ukrainian community going to do about it? Slavery as described above affects Ukraine and Ukrainians around the world.

+Peter

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