Slavery 2

On the 20th of February the Oakville Beaver published an article about cracking down on human trafficking. This is good news. Without a doubt. As a philosopher I’m always interested in the cause that precedes the effect. The why. The ethical concerns. My question is how do we even get to a place where, according to Detective Constable Martin Dick, that every day there are 45 women selling sex along the QEW between Trafalgar Road and Guelph line? I live just off Trafalgar.

I wonder what kind of entrepreneur decides that they’re going to build a business based on the buying and selling of humans. What kind of slogan do you have for a company like that? Less human than human? What’s the business model? Can you talk about economies of scale? Do you cut costs to increase growth?

I’m wondering what other criminal activity is going on in the Oakville area? No one is immune. No one is above the law. Seems to me though there are other issues at play here. Police intervention is essential and necessary, but can we not also start working on the relational and social dis-connectors? I’m quite the raving liberal when it comes to social issues, but criminal ilk of this kind needs to be dealt with severely. Stealing a life is the taking of a life. This is not synonymous with murder, but it must come close. Human trafficking should be tried as a capital crime. I’m not advocating that we throw away the key, but punishment is due. Without remorse. However, we also need to attempt a more holistic approach that allows for cause, symptomatic behaviors, lessons learned and a desire for deep-seated change, not just bigger more secure prisons. That’s not a comprehensive solution.

Human tr‎afficking anywhere is an outrage. It’s a scourge on all levels of society. It’s unjust, indecent and makes a mockery of others. It’s crazy to think that it’s going on around us, now, where we live, work and play.

I have very little patience for those of us who only think of ourselves. It’s time to give a little of who we are away in return for all we’ve been given. Money would be great, but I’m talking about your heart, soul and mind as well. Where is the humanity we have lost in the mediocrity of the average and the everyday? Yes there is beauty everywhere. Wonder abounds, but sadly we live in a world, that for some is ruled by the ruling of others. Not sure Machiavelli would have advocated on behalf of human traffickers. ‎It’s a tragic state of affairs. Turning a blind eye will just not do.

Constable Dick spoke about the relational needs of the victims. I would say the perpetrators have them too. All of us operate with a deep sense of brokenness and longing of one kind or another. We attempt to fill our God-shaped holes with something. Choices become the pathway to an understanding of ethics and the other that is rooted in fear and ambiguity or, as I trust, freedom and opportunity.

“We do all need somebody at some point in our lives…” said Constable Dick. I couldn’t agree more. It’s both a good and unfortunate thing that for these victims, for now, the police will have to do.

‎If it wasn’t for NGO’s like the Alliance Against Modern Slavery, Free Them and Amnesty International where would some of these men and mostly women be? I’m interested to know if our local council is doing anything to seriously consider how this global pariah of an issue has become a local concern. We must love our neighbors here and there and get out of our own backyards.

I bet some of our councillors live just off Trafalgar as well.