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Some years ago, I was flying from Orange County to Sacramento and happened to sit next to a woman who was headed to a meeting in the capital on human trafficking.
She told me that she had escaped from an abusive marriage to a wealthy man in Pakistan and since coming to California had devoted herself to helping slaves escape from their masters, running a kind of underground railroad.
Slavery - Century - California
Slavery in 21st century California?
Yes, indeed. California’s status as a destination of choice for rich and poor immigrants has also made it a center for new forms of slavery – not undocumented immigrants who are voluntarily working in substandard conditions for substandard wages, but actual slaves.
Seatmate - Research - California - Servants - Purveyors
Typically, as my seatmate explained and as later research confirmed, they are brought into California as indentured servants and/or purveyors of illicit sexual acts, are kept under lock and key by their masters, and are severely punished when those owners are displeased.
A University of California study, covering five years, easily discovered at least 500 people from 18 countries working in slave-like circumstances in California. The UC study said 80 percent were female and half were children.
National - Human - Trafficking - Resource - Center
The National Human Trafficking Resource Center says that it received nearly 4,000 complaints about human trafficking from California in 2015.
The Associated Press gave us a peek into the underground world of California slavery a few years ago with an article about one Egyptian girl, Shylma Hall, whose parents sold her into slavery at age 10 and, when her Egyptian owners moved to Orange County, was brought along as an unpaid servant and treated like chattel.
Hall - Family - Authorities - California - Slaves
Hall was removed from the family when authorities finally intervened, but she is just one of many California slaves, women mostly, who continue to labor in sweatshops, in brothels, and...
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