Perhaps it continued to exist in other places on the globe, but only in isolated pockets and less so with every passing year. In fact, slavery has continued with vigor since, only it has lost its former veneer of legitimacy and gone underground, where it has thrived. Mark Lagon’s article in the Washington Times, “Modern-day Slavery,” effectively makes that very point: slavery still exists; it involves children and women, can include horrific sexual violations and violence, and is a phenomenon which ought to be of great concern to the United States because it too is a country where it has reared its ugly head.
Lagon’s strategy for making his case involves several references to real-life human cases so as to provide to the reading public an idea of what victims of human-trafficking face. He mentions the case of “two Indonesian women who were beaten, starved and never allowed out of the mansion where they worked as domestic servants” (Lagon 2008). This sort of picture is quite effective. The image of women being wronged and held against their will is sure to garner sympathy with the public. After mentioning some of the efforts of the United States government against human trafficking, he points to a case where those same efforts have been met with some success. He writes of an Indian couple, “Manesh and Jaya,” who were “forced to work in a brick kiln in India, treated as less than human because they were born into the lowest caste of their society. They were freed from bonded labor and received restitution with help from International Justice Mission – which my office funds as a partner” (Lagon 2008). This provides a contrast with the other “human” reference because it shows how American efforts have helped those in need.
Lagon also makes use of references to well-known governmental/political figures and leaders so as to give his piece a sense of