Evidence of slavery pre-dates all written record. The Code of
Hammurabi (c. 1760 BCE) discusses slavery as a well-established institution.
It's mentioned repeatedly in the Bible and Qur'an. Its presence has been felt
throughout history and on all continents, and persists to this day. Although the percentage of enslaved people is apparently lower than it has been in the past, in terms of body count more people
are enslaved now than at any point in the history of the world (some estimates
place the global number around 27 million, with as many as 50,000 in the U.S.
alone). E. Benjamin Skinner takes on this difficult subject in his first book:
A Crime So Monstrous.
The story of how this book came to be is, in itself, rather remarkable. Skinner
spent four years traveling all over the world doing first-hand research, in the
process visiting twelve...
Beyond the Book
On October 28, 2000, President Clinton signed the Trafficking Victims
Protection Act into law. It charges the State Department to direct and sponsor
programs that combat slavery. It also is responsible for evaluating the
abolition efforts of any nation with more than 100 slaves.
One of the primary tools the State Department uses is an annual Trafficking in
Persons (TIP) Report. It assigns each country one of three designations:
- Tier 1: Those countries working hard and succeeding in eradicating
- Tier 2: Countries working hard towards abolition, but failing.
- Tier 3: Countries making no effort at all to curb slavery.
Non-trade sanctions will be...