4.11 – Slavery in Latin America & E. Asia

In the first half of class, our readings and class discussion will focus on Brazil, but I will also lecture briefly on the problem of slavery and human trafficking in other Latin American countries. In the second half of class, our readings and discussion will focus on China and North Korea. Your assignment is to do the readings and be able to answer the discussion questions on either the Brazil section or the China/North Korea section. I encourage you to do the reading on both sections, but it is not required.

Readings – Brazil

Disposable People, xxxi-xxxii, 4-5, 121-148
Vanity Fair, “Can a French Friar End the 21st century slave trade?”
U.S. State Department, TIP (2016), Brazil section (~104-107)

Conduct additional research as necessary to answer the discussion questions.

Discussion questions – Brazil

How widespread is slavery/human trafficking in Brazil? What broader social and economic factors contribute to its prevalence?

In the Amazon region, how are slaves employed/what different jobs do slaves hold in Brazil? How do slaveholders enslave their victims, and then maintain control over them?

What are the environmental consequences of the prevalence of slavery in the Amazon?

In the past several decades, what steps has the Brazilian government taken to either enable slavery or seek to undermine it?

What steps have NGOs have taken to undermine slavery in Brazil?

How successful have antislavery efforts in Brazil proven to be in the early 21st century?In your view, is Bales’s relatively upbeat assessment concerning the progress of antislavery justified, or is he unjustifiably positive?

Readings – China & North Korea

China:
The Guardian, Brides for Sale
 NPR, US Teacher enslaved in China
 National Review, China’s Slaves
 Jasmine Koehn, “Continuation of Slavery” (first 2 pages)
U.S. Department of State, 2016 TIP report, China (Optional) “Watch the Slavery Documentary that Pissed Off China”

North Korea:

Telegraph, “North Korean laborers sent overseas as slaves”
CNN, “Mauritania no longer the world’s slavery capital”
CNN, “North Korean prison camps”
U.S. Department of State, 2016 TIP report, North Korea

Many additional articles on slavery and human trafficking in North Korea can be found here.

Discussion questions

How widespread is slavery in China and North Korea? What broader factors related to the form of the Chinese & North Korean governments and economies contribute to the prevalence of slavery in those countries?

How are Chinese and North Korean slaves employed (what jobs do they perform)? How do slaveholders enslave their victims, and then maintain control over them?

In the past several decades, what steps have the Chinese and North Korean governments taken to either enable slavery or seek to undermine it?

How do consumers in the rest of the world contribute to slavery in China and North Korea?

What steps have NGOs have taken to undermine slavery in China and North Korea? Have they been successful?

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