Fall 2024: European, African, and Asian Adventure

IE 272 World Interdependence – Current Global Issues [CRN 75634]

Overview of Course

While slavery and the global slave trade were legally abolished in the 1800s, new forms of slavery and human trafficking are on the rise worldwide. According to the Global Slavery Index, in 2023 there were approximately 49.6 million people trafficked and enslaved in over 160 countries. Indeed, human trafficking, one of the most pressing human rights issues today, is the fastest growing illegal activity in the world. This course seeks to understand and analyze the complex phenomenon of human trafficking and modern-day slavery from various perspectives-- historical, social, economic, and political.
Starting with a brief overview and a comparison between slavery of past centuries and slavery today, this course will examine various forms of exploitation, human trafficking, and slavery in an increasingly interdependent world. We will examine the roles gender, class, and race play in the modern trade in human beings. We will also analyze the global causes and consequences of human trafficking and look at it from survivors’ perspectives by reading slave narratives and interviews in order to think deeply and compassionately about this issue. Each year, in each of the countries we will be visiting, untold numbers of persons are trafficked and enslaved. We will explore and compare efforts to prevent and combat human trafficking on our journey. Finally, we will look at how slavery affects all of us and what we can do to combat it.