John Bersia urges action to help curb slave trade

After spending their careers serving in far-flung places around the globe, a group of Foreign Service retirees visited Flagler County last week.  The Foreign Service Retirees Association of Florida met for lunch at the Hilton Garden Inn to renew old friendships and to hear about what is going on in the world.

John C. Bersia, director of the Global Perspectives Office and professor at the University of Central Florida, offered a stark picture of the world scene, speaking on a range of subjects from Iran and the Middle East, to China and the growing problem of the modern slave trade.

A plague of “human trafficking has been a significant interest of mine,” Bersia said. “Not enough people are paying attention to it.”  Bersia said more than 30 million people are currently enslaved in one form or another around the globe today. He said that is more people than were enslaved during the height of the African slave trade in the 18th and 19th centuries.

And it’s not just an issue in foreign countries, Bersia said.

“Florida is ground zero for entry of slaves into the United States,” he said. “Human trafficking concerns us very greatly here in Florida.”

Bersia said the issue is certain to come up in September when the Association of Opinion Journalists International Convention meets in Orlando.

Read more about the event here.


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