SLAVE-FREE COMMUNITY PROJECT: SOMAMISH

 

The Goal

Acting together, the people of South Orange, Maplewood, Millburn, and Short Hills will eradicate all the effects of modern slavery from their communities.

The Problem

Slavery has existed for at least 4000 years of recorded history. Today, there are an estimated 21,000,000 to  46,000,000 slaves in the world. Regardless of whether various aspects of modern slavery are defined as “slavery”, “human trafficking”, “forced labor”, “sex trafficking”, “debt bondage”, or something else, such activities are illegal everywhere on earth. Modern slavery supports criminal enterprises throughout the world and generates an estimated $150 billion annually in illicit profits.

It has been estimated that  15,000 – 18,000 slaves are imported into the U.S. annually; about 50% are sex slaves, the balance are slaves in agriculture, domestic service, and commercial enterprises.

For our communities, even assuming that there are not slaves living in the shadows, slavery may be present through what we buy. Slavery exists in various supply chains that provide such items as gold jewelry, electronic goods, shrimp, cotton, cocoa, and carpets. Can we be certain that such tainted products are not in our communities and being bought by our governments, schools, businesses, and ourselves?

The Slave – Free Community Project

In order to be the first communities in the nation that can confidently say “we are slave free”, the Project is enlisting residents, and faith-based and other organizations, and businesses, and schools, and governments, to come together to address all aspects of the problem. Are people aware of the nature, scope, and impact of modern slavery? Are our schools teaching not only the history of slavery, and the nature of modern slavery, but helping to ensure that our children are alert to avoid situations where they might be trafficked? Are our police sensitive to and investigating any possible cases of slavery? Are we as individuals, together with our organizations and institutions, asking when we buy good and products: Can you ensure me that this product is slave free?

 

The best way to eradicate all the effects of slavery in our communities is to come together in a coordinated, methodical effort and to work step by step through each problem, each vestige of slavery, each area of concern until every possible issue has been fully addressed. Then, we can say with confidence that all the effects of modern slavery has been eradicated from South Orange, and Maplewood, and Millburn, and Short Hills.

 

More Information: Bob Boneberg, rcb6576@gmail.com ; 973.886.6576.