An Analytical Comparison Between Ancient Slavery & Slavery in the Modern World

“An Analytical Comparison Between Ancient Slavery and Slavery in the Modern World”

By: Dr. Amirhossein Nurbakhsh (PUBLIC LAW)

Dr. Amirhossein Nurbakhsh

Modernization, development, improvement, technology all are arranged in “First World”; all of them are reachable dreams which in return should be paid with great indemnity and price; and the very least result of that is the state of nothingness, being under the control of masters and all eras have named it “slavery”. There is much about slavery in many articles and books. But we concluded that there was some mistake in categorizing the matters and that is distinguishing “modern slavery” from “slavery in the modern world”. In a way which the common trait between “traditional slavery” and “modern slavery” from the so-called slave human being, is summarized in “ownership and control”; but in “slavery in the modern world” we are facing other matters, meaning “modern slavery” is the continuance of “traditional slavery” but “slavery in the modern world” is what we name the new kind with new outfits and approaches. For example, in the past, because of the impossibility of grafting, the humans were traded without considering their body parts, but with development of science, one of the traits of “slavery in the modern world” which hadn’t existed in the past, now has been circulated for some time and that is slavery and selling humans for their body parts.

A. Historical clarification of traditional slavery
Slave, vassal, bondsman and bondwoman; whom their existence is like a property that is owned by the other and the owner, has the right to use and utilize his work and himself, the owner has the right of selling and buying slaves and make them his own property and heritage. Therefore, the first generation of slaves whom were captured in the wars and clashes of tribes, gradually became involved from the clashes of tribes into regular wars between governments and caused the authorization of ancient way of killing or capturing the enemy soldiers: “after the dominance of Aten over Turon, which was one of the former alliances of Aten, women and children were sold as slaves.” this happens as though slavery were too accepted in Christianity with agreed conditions:” and these are regulations which you put for them: if you bought a Hebrew slave; then he will serve six years and in seventh year he will go out priceless and free. If he came alone, he will go alone and if he had a wife, his wife would follow him. If his master were to give him a wife and his wife gave birth to sons and daughters for him, then his wife and children are his master’s property and that man will go out alone…”

In some aspects, the system of slavery had not any significant growth in north of Arabia, because The holy prophet (PBUH) had worked in different wars to form a dimension of a political singled government and inviting people of Arabia to Islam, and he made efforts to avoid from making slaves of tribes who resisted. It means, there was no discussion about (the lack of economical need toward slavery), but it had Ideological causes. On the contrary, with the resistance of Umayyad household, Nobles and some of the commanders (for example, Khalid Ebne Walid) which their behavior indicated efforts to get more Spoils of war, slavery increased intensely.

B. The foundations of The modern slavery
The occurring of slavery in the world of so called “modern” with all the made efforts for forbidding it, has turned into an important and thematic cause and that is “history”; because “the first cause of self-imposed slavery is that people born as slaves and grow as slaves too.” That’s because until now we have not reached into a real conclusion and instead of eradicating “the traditional slavery”, we have reached into the former the definition with preserving its form as “modern slavery”: “meaning a person could be forced to work and because of threat, violence, seducement, abuse of power and reluctance could not get any release from that work.” Preserving slavery therefore stems from: a slaver father grows a slave child and this chain continued to this day, because there was not any possibility to get away from this cycle. “It’s not possible to believe that how people are drawn into this chain and such at once they are made away from freedom that it seems as though they would never stand to recover it from that place and they freely do such a self-imposed slavery that every audience would tell they didn’t lose freedom but they have gained slavery.”

with these descriptions, the projecting example of modern slavery, which now has gained the attention of supportive international organizations and human rights, is the matter of “World Cup in Qatar”. This bulk of attention began after publishing the documentary of “slaves of World Cup in Qatar” which the “Guardian” newspaper in its report about establishing the facilities of world Cup of 2022, mentions about conditions which according to ILO is counted as the manifestations of slavery, including: cruelly working hours, humiliating, desolate and dangerous residential living places. Therefore “No to World Cup of Qatar” is the title of motto which the defenders of human rights, especially The Migrant Workers’ Rights, have selected in response to the very difficult conditions of the workers who are busy in relevant projects of the 2022 world Cup in Qatar.

C: Changing the concept of “modern slavery” and arrival of “Slavery in the modern world”
If “traditional slavery”, stemmed from the lack of influential laws, the absolute power of masters and unawareness of humans, then this course has continued with small changing of appearance in the form of “modern slavery”, but slavery has appeared with existence of other kinds of chains which can encompass the human being in himself. Chains with substance of law, with brief power of wise employers and with public notice and even slaves themselves. In the era of economic jump after world war 2, many countries were stricken with shortage of work force. However, some countries for securing the work force relied upon the guest workers and the rest were actively involved in looking for promoting the partnership of women especially mothers in labor market. Until the early of 1970, most of the programs of drawing guest workers were pulled off. But the heritage of those programs put insoluble track in the global community.

The different strategies which these countries had put together, practically different concepts from institution of family, sexual work division in it and work division among family, created or confirmed government or market. Economic slump and changes in the labor market, made the jobs of men less stable and less income were given to them. Also the increasing rate of collapsing of families caused many children to live without their fathers. This happens as though according to reports of international organizations, most of the damage of this kind of slavery includes women and children. In this regard, special rapporteur of united nations about the kinds of modern slavery, which were stated in twenty forth conference of the court of human rights, the most important manifestations of slavery in the modern world were surrounded in these cases: forced labor, slavish marriages, home slavery, child slavery and bail labor which according to vulnerability of women and children in most of the societies, the main victims of slavery in the modern world are compromised with these two groups; usually because of the lack of equal accessibility to teaching and also some of the cultural traditions in different communities, they lose the possibility of partnership in the market and acting in jobs with desirable conditions and are forced to get their hands on jobs which is counted in the category of slavery and this causes women to become slaves and give slaves to society; meaning “slavish marriages” and “domestic slaves” are two forms of the parts of modern slavery related to women and children.

D: manifestations of slavery in the modern world
From the manifestation exploited toward women and daughters, one can mention to “sexual slavery” which now in some countries for its high revenue has become the main foundation of tourism industry of those countries; or “modeling industry”, which is a kind of job that a person – mostly woman – is forced to keep her body according to his employer appeal to show her clothes better. Therefore, there has been some cases which some persons because of not eating food for preserving her body fitness, has become weak or died. This kind of slavery which also has legal dimensions, is provided in contracts with the form of slavery, so that in case of mistake by “the model” from the regulation of contract, get fired. “Stewardesses of the airship” also can be in the category of this case, meaning in regard to work agreement, the stewardess is forbidden from getting pregnant and otherwise “the female workers should as soon as awareness of her pregnancy, inform the company and the employer has the right with considering the date of pregnancy, decide to end their work agreement” or for marriage, they should get permission from their company.

The other kind of slavery is named “domestic slavery”: “a kind of slavery in which the slaves don’t work but some of the noble families for adornment, show-off, pretension, eye and ocular, sign of nobleness, power and …, hold one to two slaves for work in home and buying and selling them. This adornment slavery is called symbolic or domestic – meaning housekeeper.” On the other hand, young girls are drawn into licentiousness and boy also are turned into substitute child soldiers; which both are subsets of “Child labor” who are under the legal age. “adoption” is also significant in this regard, because some of the hidden organizations or under cover of legal companies, in global level are turned into a million business during which children of southern and central America are sold with prices to the extent of 2000 dollars.

Also several black markets for selling and buying slaves in order to use body parts, exists especially in argentine and Russia. To the extent which, the unverified reports indicates hijacking children in different countries for selling body parts. This case is done in countries like argentine, Brazil, Honduras, Mexico and Peru and buyers too were mostly from Germany, Swiss and Italy.

In the past years, there has been a new kind of slavery named as “the slavery of Islamists”; this new kind especially after the arrival of the groups like Isis and Boko Haram and their different abuses from toward their subordinates is apparent for everyone. In a way that continuing these kind of behaviors would lead to creation of the secondary slavery named as “migrants slavery”, in which the residents of war-stricken countries, after migrating into stranger countries, sell themselves with hope of a good fortune and are eager to do anything.

Nowadays, in a world in which mostly the humans are a kind of a slave to the other human, debating over a solution would be hilarious; because in the meantime, that powerful human who has lesser qualities of a slave, wouldn’t release others from slavery; because his interests would be in danger. “you can escape if you make efforts for escape, not that making efforts to escape, but making efforts to want to escape.” Therefore, it seems that the best solution, would be changing the international law which maybe can be used as a leverage to prevent gradual slavery; indeed these laws about traditional and modern slavery have indicated their own influences but about the new kinds of slavery it needs serious amendments; amendments with substance of definition, restriction, explanation and increasing dissection of slavery which has grown in the world. Meanwhile, the social communication devices have influential rule in restricting the masters of slavery; in a way that if beyond the topic of news agencies; film-making companies also do their job in a good way, indeed we will observe extensive changes. A correct way to introduce the religions would also be counted as an important matter in the world today, because if we make a bad introduction of Islam, that would become “Islamic government of Iraq and Sham” and this of course is related to Islamic leaders of societies, who have been and are very active in making a bond between different societies. And here economic, religion, politics, culture and art together hand in hand maybe could save one million out of 46 million slaves.