Slavery has always been a big topic in the world of religion and across many countries and is seen in very different ways with different views on the beliefs towards it. A slave is defined as ‘a person who is the legal property of another and is forced to obey them’. This term, in some ways can be acceptable in a just way where that person is still treated with respect with full custody of their own human rights. Slavery is often considered a thing of the past, but in contemporary society it continues to be a growing concern even in Australia.
In the bible, people were taught to obey their masters, in a way that is not seen as slavery. This was seen as an endorsement of slavery, but an appeal to Christian slaves to honour their masters and accept Thai suffering to thirst sake. Today, although Christians claim it to be ‘obeying their master’ its not found acceptable in society. The use of slavery in businesses, such as sweatshops or sex slavery, is not completely against the law and big debates arise on the punishment of this activity. Many people find themselves trapped in the use of slavery due to a number of factors including poverty, exploitive recruiters and the globalised economy demand for cheaper labour. Although the types and practises of the behaviour of slavery has changed completely in history, it is still an issue in modern. The religious society claims everyone should be treated equally and fairly or ‘treat your neighbour as you wold like to be treated’, which states the practises that should be shown in the religious community.
Maria came to Australia looking for a better life with a better job to earn an income and support her family with all her rights to do so. As her previous life was not sustainable enough to support her family and herself, it resulted In situation ethics where she was forced to have to leave her country and find somewhere that would allow her to have enough money to survive. Her friend suggested her a place in Australia that would treat her well and she would be able to earn enough to be happy. Maria’s approach of situation ethics was not what she would imagine. When she got there she was stripped of her passport and threats were made against her if she was to work for any form of freedom. Threats were immediately made against her family at home that if she disobeyed her ‘master’, they would hurt her family at home just from her actions, this forced her to constantly have that on her mind and forced to do what she was told.
The owner of this business does not show a sign of ethical thinking as they are not considering the value of another human beings life. Their moral values are almost not present in the behaviours that were shown against Maria. The business has shown complete nihilism against Maria as they don’t show any reconciliation to her life and the behaviours against her. It has shown their lack of meaning to her life and a approach to treating her with complete worthlessness. Maria choices and decisions has been stripped from her completely but the decision to start a new life was.
The actions of slavery, human trafficking and abuse are highly wrong not just in the religious community but in society and illegal no matter the circumstances. The presence of a valuable life and an aim to help others does not show In the behaviour they take part in, creating unfair and unjust decisions against Maria. Maria has started this new job to help create a new life for herself and her family. The business has created a complete authority over Maria, with no freedom to her ‘new life’.
The Australian catholic community has created many groups against slavery to stop the rates of human trafficking across the world. An example is Australian Catholic Religious Against Trafficking in Humans (ACRATH). ACRATH has a vision ‘a world free of human trafficking’ with a purpose “to stop human trafficking, and the harm it causes, in Australia, the Asia Pacific region and globally, in collaboration with others”. This group recognises the harm and presence of human trafficking and works towards eliminating it as much as possible. ACRATH uses an approach of utilitarianism where they start with things that are already good and then move to consider which actions will achieve that good to the greatest degree. ACRATH see the good in every person and use the catholic approach to ethical decision making with love, generosity and equality to stop such unjust actions.
Slavery will continue to be a growing problem across in the world and without programs like ACRATH to help people like Maria, the world will never adjust to what is so morally and ethically wrong. Millions of peoples are taking actions to live a better life but continually caught get up in the destroying world of slavery. The religious community works to get the best out of every persons life and the assurance of having the Lord as a guide has always been small light at the end of a tunnel.