Modern day indentured servants can even wear the best boxing shoes
Usually, when people think of indentured servants, they usually think of people working on some sort of agricultural task. This is the most common picture of indentured servants. It has to involve some sort of heavy manual labor.
Well, what if I told you that this is no longer the case? In fact, when you look at what would seem to be modern societies, there are many different versions of indentured servitude there.
This is what throws off a lot of anti-slavery and anti-human trafficking activists. They are looking for a specific type of forced labor. As a result, their narrow definitions of forced labor gets the better of them. In fact, often times, they see all these coerced forms of labor right in front of their very eyes, and they are completely blind to it.
It’s easy to see why many folks are blind to modern slavery. Many forms of this practice hijack local traditions or cultural expressions. This is why people don’t use the word slave. They won’t even know what it means. You have to describe a particular set of practices for you to get to the truth. That’s how it works in the case of modern slavery as practiced in many parts of the world.
You have to use fairly broad definitions. You have to update these definitions to fit the set of circumstances of the particular social and economic scenario you are in. That way, when you update your definition, you can see that there are lots of coerced or forced labor out there.
This is not voluntary. These people may seem like they have free choice, but ultimately, they’re being taken advantage of.
Now, different forms of exploitation vary in how blatant they are. Take the case of certain sporting events in Southeast Asia. You would notice that a lot of Thai men are into Thai kickboxing. Unfortunately, a small but significant portion of this population is not exactly engaged in Thai boxing or Muay Thai voluntarily.
Maybe they’re paying a debt. Maybe they’re doing it out of some sort of family obligation. Maybe they are migrants from one part of Thailand or Southeast Asia to this part of the world and they need to pay off some sort of obligation. This obligation may not even involve money.
Whatever the case may be, don’t be surprised if you see modern-day indentured servants wearing the best boxing shoes. They might have the best protective gear. But none of this takes away from the fact that they are still doing something that somehow, some way, violates their free agency.
That’s right. They’re not voluntarily doing these things. This rises to the level of indentured servitude.