Robert Fulford: Slavery’s modern face in the Middle East

National Post | Full Comment

The world doesn’t need more reasons to be angry at the governments of the Middle East, but the West should nevertheless know about their cruel treatment of labour. When we deal with these states, we should understand the meanness that lies deep in their societies — beginning with how they construct their gleaming buildings and how they treat their maids and nannies.

Much of the manual labour in these countries, and much of the domestic work, is performed by people who in the 19th century were known as indentured bond-slaves or coolies. The British Empire abolished slavery in the 1830s, the U.S. in the 1860s, but in 2014 much of the Middle East treats foreign workers as slaves. This week a journalist in Nepal wrote that “the kafala system keeps hundreds of thousands of Nepali in slave labour conditions.” It is widely accepted — and the more you learn about…

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