Help us raise awareness of modern-day slavery

Opinion: Letters To The Editor

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To the citizens of Oak Park and River Forest:

Descent-based slavery is a problem mainly in the countries of Niger, Mauritania, and Mali, but is still important to know about in our communities. Though slavery is prohibited in these African countries, descent-based slavery is a type of slavery that is culturally ingrained and is more difficult to challenge. Our knowledge on the issue could help eliminate institutionalized slavery, and we can easily start this spread of knowledge within our towns. 

Descent-based slavery usually refers to people being born into slavery, and is a result of strict hierarchical social structures and discrimination based on social standing. Masters deprive their slaves of rights to own land or vote and treat them as property. These slaves are involved in taking care of animals and children, working the land, gathering supplies, and performing domestic tasks from sunrise to sunset. These slaves are unable to run away because of their dependence on their masters for food, shelter, and clothing, and often are surrounded by desert land and face a very uncertain future by choosing to run away. 

About 27 million people are enslaved today, and the best way to fight this problem is to raise awareness and funds to fight against this growing problem. Please spread the awareness to your community, as educating the public on this topic is the first step toward eradicating modern-day slavery. 

Though slavery as a whole is an extremely large issue to attempt to tackle, contributions to the cause and education on the issue will help to end the problem sooner rather than later. If you wish to make a financial donation to support the cause, you can donate at: http://www.antislavery.org/English.

Megan Jones

For roughly 90 students in Ms. Young's AP English class

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