Saturday Readings

According to the Global Slavery Index 2013, a survey compiled by the Walk Free Foundation, reports that approximately 30 million people are physically living as slaves – a number that is larger than stated by the International Labor Organization.

The reason for the discrepancy is that the Index views the definition of modern slavery in broader terms. The Index ranks 162 countries by how prevalent slavery is in each country and by
absolute numbers of the population that is in slavery.

The largest numbers of slaves are in India (14.7 million slaves), China (3 million), and Pakistan (2.1 million). The lowest prevalence of slavery exists in Britain, Ireland, and Iceland.

“Trafficking of migrants from Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia is widespread. Not surprisingly in view of the influence of Islam, the Middle East countries have the highest level of discrimination against women. They have a high level of forced and child marriages, and also a considerable exploitation of trafficked women in forced prostitution and as domestic workers. Some of the countries, including Egypt, Syria, and Morocco have passed laws to limit slavery but they are not enforced,” Michael Curtis, a professor with Rutgers University, writes in an article originally published in The American Thinker.

One of the reasons it is so prevalent is that human trafficking is a low-risk crime with high profits. According to UN estimates, $32 billion in revenue was generated in 2005.

Heading Around The World

Tehran City Council leader says Iranians will not forget the “atrocities” committed against it by the US, reports Tasnim News Agency.

Meanwhile, the top US nuclear negotiator, U.S. Undersecretary of State Wendy Sherman, called for a pause in sanctions on Iran to determine whether the talks will “gain traction.” The administration also has reached out to Congress to urge them to support the pause. Not surprisingly, the request was met with skepticism.

Sherman’s apparent willingness to take the pledges of good will made by newly-elected Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is not shared by all. Writing in the International Affairs Review, Jennifer Lowry says Rouhani’s charm offensive should be viewed with skepticism.

“If President Obama insists on Rouhani providing specifics of how Iran will become transparent, then perhaps a breakthrough will occur. This rare opportunity to change a longstanding dilemma is something the U.S. should take advantage of. However, the U.S. should move forward cautiously, without hastily trusting Rouhani’s charm, which has yet to be corroborated,” she cautions.






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