In Our Own Back Yard

I just read this account:

  • Trafficking charges were brought against a labor recruiting company.
  • Hundreds of farmworkers, all brought over from Thailand, were trapped and held as slaves.
  • The traffickers plunged them into debt and took away their passports.
  • Threats to deport them so terrified the workers that they didn’t fight back.

It’s so sad that such things go on in this world in this day and age!  Are these traffickers in India?  Or somewhere in South America?  Africa, perhaps?

Nope.  It was in Honolulu, Hawaii.  The company was based in Los Angeles, but it had placed the enslaved Thai workers on farms all across the United States.

Here is the end of the story:

Eight defendents were indicted, three of whom pleaded guilty.  But last week a federal judge dismissed human trafficking charges against the company’s CEO, a second major executive, and business associates.  No reason given.

And we wonder why other countries don’t listen when we lecture them.

“Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and directions.”

John F. Kennedy

About kaystrom

Kay Marshall Strom, who am I? Well, I’m a traveler, a railer against social injustice, a passionate citizen of the world. I’m a follower of Jesus Christ. I’m a 21st century abolitionist who speaks out against slavery of all kinds. I am a beach walker and a gardener and the off-key singer of songs. I’m a wife, a mother, a sister, a daughter, a friend. Most people, though, know me as a writer and a speaker. So here is a bit more about that part of my life: Of my 43 published books, seventeen have been translated into foreign languages, and two have been optioned for movies. My writing credits include magazine articles, books for children, short stories, television scripts and two prize-winning screenplays. I love to write, and speak, about topics close to my heart. I speak at seminars, retreats, writer’s conferences, and special events throughout the country. And because I enjoy travel, I even speak on cruise ships. Because I don’t see how a writer can really reflect another people and land without spending time there, I’ve been trekking through India, China, Indonesia, Cambodia, Nepal, Sudan, Senegal, Morocco, Tunisia, and Egypt, Japan and South Korea, tape recorder and camera in hand, to gather stories from the world-wide family of God. Thanks to my “virtual friendship” with John Newton, 17th century slave ship captain turned preacher, I traveled through Ireland. In West Africa I toured an old slave fortress off the coast and saw a tiny set of baby manacles bolted to the wall. I was struck dumb. From that horror came a story question, and from that question, my foray into fiction: The Grace in Africa trilogy. Come join me as I travel and rail against injustice. Maybe you will choose to be a 21st century abolitionist too.
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