AIHce Gives a Look into Human Trafficking Today

A Tuesday lecture discussed the reality of human trafficking in today's world

MONTREAL -- Ethics is a prominent topic in the aftermath of the Bangladesh factory collapse last month. It was also a topic addressed at one of AIHce panel discussion on Tuesday. Stephen Chiusano from the Department of Defense focused on issues that may seem worlds away from the U.S. and the occupational health and safety industry, but in fact, touches our lives every day, whether we realize it or not: human trafficking.

From the clothes you wear to the cell phone you text on to the coffee you might be drinking right now, these are all industries that involve modern-day slavery. In fact, the average person supports the enslavement of 27 people. Worldwide, there are between 12 to 27 million slaves in 161 different countries. So, what does that mean for the health and safety industries? Firstly, the ramifications of slavery do exist in the United States, according to Chiusano. Some industries that employees slaves are mining, construction, manufacturing, farms, hotels, landscaping, and household servants. In fact, there have been national cases of slavery and human trafficking in the United States even today.

"In the 1850's, in the southern United States, the average cost to procure a slave what have been for $40,000 in today's dollars," Chiusano said. "But when you do it today, what do you see? The average cost of a human slave is $90." He suggests contacting the National Human Trafficking Resource Center, who can guide you to local law enforcement to rectify the issues. There are also special visa options for those who have been trafficked into the country as a means to protection

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