Martin Institute

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Martin Institute
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Modern Day Slavery

Modern Day Slavery

Ex-slave Micheline Slattery (now a nurse in Massachusetts) and American Anti-Slavery Group Program Director Janie Kiser will speak about the global implications of slavery, as highlighted through the experiences of Ms. Slattery. Current estimates on the global scope of slavery are in the range of 27 million people; US State Department estimates for the number of new slaves trafficked into the United States are as high as 17-20 thousand.

The following is a synopsis developed from press releases issued by the UI Communications and Marketing Department; additional comments in italics

Micheline Slattery became a servant to extended family members when orphaned at age five. At 14, she was trafficked from Haiti to Connecticut to serve as her cousin’s slave and allowed to go to school under restrictive supervision. After many years in captivity, Slattery was able to leave and currently works as a nurse in Massachusetts.

Slattery only recently started to publicly speak about her childhood enslavement.

“It’s not something I will ever feel free and comfortable talking about, but I do it because I think it will make a difference,” Slattery notes. “I want people to understand that it’s happening. If they need to see a face, see mine.” Assisting Slattery in the talk was Janie Kiser, a 2003 International Studies graduate of the University of Idaho. She came in her role as program director of American Anti-Slavery Group.

“Far from being a problem of the past, this is a major, current international issue – I wish it wasn’t, but it is,” said Bill Smith, director of the Martin Institute. “With over 27 million people living in some type of slavery around the world, it is very much a problem of our times. Our forum will help bring the issue to light, and help to end this scourge onto the international agenda.”

More than 500 people attended this powerful talk in the SUB Ballroom. The utter silence in the room as Micheline spoke quietly and emotionally was remarkable, as everyone listened raptly. She and Janie spent time with IS majors and visited classes as well.