Mary Graw Leary

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Emory L. J. Online


Society is rightly outraged to see America's dark history of slavery repeat itself in the form of human trafficking. However, society should be equally concerned about the new face of those who support human trafficking: components of mainstream corporate America. A review of the relevant history of antebellum slavery reveals that one reason why antebellum slavery continued as long as it did was because of the support it received from economic interests that benefited directly and indirectly from the exploitation. Sadly, that reality is once again apparent today as human trafficking thrives in the world in part because it is profitable to the traffickers and others. It is so profitable that legitimate businesses that benefit from it'or from the structures that allow it to thrive'are willing to tolerate it and actively thwart efforts to end human trafficking. This Essay examines these historical parallels and advocates that human trafficking cannot be defeated until such entities are willing to place human beings above profits.

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