Amid the Corona pandemic, social analysts are also noting how catastrophe is being turned into a blessing with a historic worldwide movement to end white racist supremacy and bring about social justice. Big power colonialism and the plunder of the third world resources have been going on for centuries, with Sri Lanka also being among the victims after the invasion by the Portuguese, the Dutch and the British. The Portuguese claimed they were coming to civilise our country although Sri Lanka had a hallowed civilisation and culture thousands of years before Portugal was even known.
The United States is not only the epicentre of the Corona pandemic it was also a leading culprit in the international trafficking of people with hundreds of thousands of people from Africa and other countries being forced to come there to be the slaves of their white masters. So much so there was a civil war led by the legendary Abraham Lincoln to give freedom and basic human rights to the people of African origin.
Now the campaign to bring about racial equality is reaching historic proportion with analysts suggesting that the post-Covid world will not be the same. Racial unity activists are even breaking down statues of white supremacists leaders, though they are getting tacit support from the dangerously unpredictable President Donald Trump who according to most opinion polls is likely to be defeated at the US Presidential Election on November 3. Racial quality activists have also pulled down the statue of the famous Christopher Columbus who discovered America though he is known to have thought it was part of India. That is why America’s native people were known as Red Indians. These American natives possessed a land which was rich in gold and other valuable resources. The white people’s invasion initially began when some English puritan Christians, unhappy over the direction their King was taking, the church went to America and joined the other white people there in plundering the resources of the Native Americans. Not only that they used Hollywood, comic books and other powerful propaganda materials to portray the native people as savages. This was because they had tribal traditions and painted their faces. Sri Lanka was also flooded with films, comic books and other materials to show how the White people brought the “savages” under control but in reality, it was not only the biggest massacre but also one of the biggest plunder in world history.
The wheels of justice turn slowly but it is happening now though centuries after the colonial plunder of the natives and the abuse of the non-white people. Most international social analysts believe that in the aftermath of the Corona pandemic there will be a just and fair world with racial equality, social justice through a more equitable distribution of wealth and resources and new measures including in the battle against global warming and air pollution. A large number of countries and even multinational corporations are taking the right lessons from the Corona pandemic. They are using creative, imaginative and enterprising methods of discovering new sources of clean energy including solar and wind energy which do not cost us much.
It is in such a multi-faceted backdrop that we need to reflect deeply on the theme and thrust, the vision and goals of the United Nations World Day Against Trafficking in People. This will be marked on July 30 and in a statement, the UN says human trafficking is a crime that exploits women, children and men for numerous purposes including forced labour and sex.
Since 2003 the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has collected information on about 225,000 victims of trafficking worldwide. Globally, countries are detecting and reporting more victims, and are convicting more traffickers. This can be the result of increased capacity to identify victims and an increased number of trafficked victims.
Every country is affected by human trafficking, whether as a country of origin, transit, or destination for victims. All over the world traffickers continue to target women and girls. The vast majority of detected victims of trafficking for sexual exploitation and 35 per cent of those trafficked for forced labour are female. Conflicts further exacerbates vulnerabilities, with armed groups exploiting civilians and traffickers targeting forcibly displaced people. Data also show that trafficking happens all around us as the share of people trafficked within their own country has doubled in recent years to 58 per cent of all detected victims, according to the 2018 UNODC Global Report on Trafficking in People.
Happily young people are leading the movement for racial equality, social justice and other key issues. We hope Sri Lankan young people also will aim for such heights instead of indulging in immoralities for personal pleasure, gain or glory.