This month’s Around the Web was written by Paula Hunt, a doctoral candidate in journalism history at the University of Missouri. To find out how you can write an Around the Web post, please visit our call for volunteers.
There has been a good deal of news from the United Kingdom on slavery and human trafficking, starting with the conference "Slavery and Abolition: Then and Now" that took place the Legatum Institute in London in July. You can read and watch highlights from it on the institute’s website.
Cristina Odone writes in the The Telegraph that when "the majority of the world’s 30 million slaves are female," the issue is a feminist one." She focuses on the trafficking of foreign women who are exploited for sex in the UK, while The Guardian‘s Robert Booth and Pete Pattisson report from Doha about migrant workers in Qatar having to wait more than a year to be paid for building the 2022 World Cup organizers’ luxury offices.
Those seeking information on British slaveholders might want to check out Liam Hogan’s article in Ireland’s Journal.ie about a new online database of Slave Compensation Records created by University College London. The database, Hogan writes, "reveals that nearly 100 different individuals, either born or based in Ireland, benefited directly from . . . British slave compensation" paid to owners in 1834. Such findings, Hogan writes, demonstrate that more research needs to be done "to shed light on the connections between slave compensation and its impact on Irish society."
And Stacey M. Robertson, HAS co-director and Oglesby Professor of American Heritage at Bradley University, blogs about her abolitionist tour through the UK, and asks "What do nineteenth-century abolitionist Parker Pillsbury and his twentieth-century biographer have in comment?"
Back in the United States, New York City’s NY1 continues its series of reports on sex trafficking in the city’s five boroughs. In this segment, it explores how the Internet acts as a haven for sex traffickers.
Kevin M. Ryan, president and CEO of Covenant House, a private agency that serves runaway and homeless youth, links homelessness to human trafficking in the Huffington Post. Ryan writes that according to a study published last year by Covenant House New York and Fordham University, "that almost a quarter of the homeless young people surveyed had been commercially sexually exploited, either by being trafficked or by having to trade sex for something of value, usually a safe place to stay."
Gregory O’Malley, assistant professor of history at the University of California, Santa Cruz, talks about his book, Final Passages: The Intercolonial Slave Trade of British Americas, 1619-1807, that will be available in September from the University of North Carolina Press. In the book O’Malley argues "Traders saw slaves as a unique commodity, not for their humanity, but for this ability to facilitate commerce. Their profits from trading all manner of goods were contingent upon their buying and selling of people."
Be sure to check out the relaunch of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center‘s End Slavery Now website featuring a new video highlighting how the site will provide a platform for informing, facilitating engagement, and encouraging individuals into become involved in this issue.
Don’t forget to check out and contribute to Historians Against Slavery’s Pinboard page, which contains links to news about slavery and human trafficking from around the world.
And, finally, with a new semester right around the corner, please use it as an opportunity to introduce your students to the issue of modern slavery and human trafficking by introducing them to Historians Against Slavery, End Slavery Now, or a campus organization in which they can become involved.