Slavery is often associated with 18th century entrapment of human beings who were forced to labour within a community or under a government which restricted them from their civil rights.
We are all familiar with the violent slavery of the Southern States of America and in certain parts of Britain at that time, and the resolution of William Wilberforce when he declared an end to Slavery in 1807 and passed a law abolishing it throughout the land.
The brilliant movie Twelve Years a Slave’ left me quaking in my boots as the reality of the violence, the cruel debasement of living souls and how far we will go when allowed to pursue our most basic instincts as human beings for material gain.
So how come we are still here and that Slavery is still very much alive and growing as the economy wavers in all parts of the World and especially within our own domain in spite of the law passed in 2010 banning the practise of slavery – which in essence is to take away the liberties of any human being through unlawful restraint.
The much publicised forced entrapment of women in the far east working in sweatshops and females being forced into prostitution is just the tip of the iceberg.
There are estimated to be 162 countries who are harbouring slaves and you may be horrified to learn that 145th is where the US still come in that statistic.
Juliet Sargeant, the first Black garden designer to exhibit at the Chelsea Flower Show (and not before time!) has allotted The Slavery Garden as her contribution to the estimated 4,600 slaves in this country alone and millions throughout the rest of the World.
What does Slavery mean today and in the civilised world? It is a question I have been asking myself time and time again. In my mind it is often people who feel they have no other option other than go with the flow of the aggressor. They are held against their will under the threat of violence or blackmail, and are too terrified to fight back.
It reminds me of abusive relationships where one partner is a captive for fear of a violent response, or indeed their own lives. It is even a fact that the victim will often form an attachment to the aggressor and so feel unable to leave.
There are so many types of Slavery. But we can do our best to eliminate it once and for all. We can be alert to the signs and act upon them. Offer advice to anyone under the threat of violence, they may just need to know that they have a choice.
Whatever the situation, we can use our long earned freedom to really make a difference to those living in captivity, as Slavery could still be on your doorstep, and you could be the catalyst for their release.