Monday, August 20, 2012
A Biblical Chapter
By Nicole Hodnett
I remember the story from Exodus. Where people in Egypt were enslaved, babies were killed and the cost of human dignity meant nothing to those in power.
According to an article by Ariela Pelaia, it happened at the end of the biblical book of Genesis. Joseph brings his family to Egypt. Over the following centuries, the descendants of Joseph’s family (the Hebrews) became so numerous that when a new king comes into power he fears what might happen if the Hebrew decides to rise against the Egyptians. He decides that the best way is to enslave them (exodus 1).According to tradition, these enslaved Hebrew people are the ancestors of the modern day Jews.
According to The Abolition project, slavery refers to a condition in which individuals are owned by others, who control where they live, work and do in their daily lives.
To be a slave is to be owned by another person. A slave is a human being classed as property and who is forced to work for nothing.
Although slavery nowadays is illegal in every country, it still exists according to BBC-ethics guide. There are likely more slaves now than there were victims of the Atlantic slave trade.
The last country to abolish slavery was the African state of Mauritania, where a 1981 presidential decree abolished the practice; however, criminal laws were passed to enforce the ban.
According to South African history, many South Africans are the descendants of slaves brought to the Cape Colony from 1653 until 1822.
It is a popular misconception that slavery in South Africa was mild compared to America and the European colonies in the Far East. This was not so, and punishments meted out could be very harsh.
The Universal declaration of Human rights state all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. These are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.