The Slums: A Boom in Urban Poor Defies Solutions

Experts predict that by 2030 two billion people will live in urban squatter and slum communities with no services, sanitation or running water. The growth of slums and economic disparaties are spurring poitical debate and legal crackdowns, even as new social movements emerge within the communities themselves. reports that today 80 percent of Nigerians — that’s more than 40 million people — live in slums, as do 158 million Indians, or 56 percent of the population. The Economic Times in India puts that sum closer to 70 million, accounting for 45 percent of Delhi’s population, and more than 50 percent of Mumbai’s. In an editorial, the newspaper says that the huge influx of rural poor to cities has changed voting patterns, which are now divided along economic rather than caste lines.

On Poverty’s Coattails, Slavery Thrives

Impoverished girls from Eastern Europe and Africa are prime targets for pimps and smugglers. As many as 5,000 youth have been sold into prostitution and literal domestic slavery in the United Kingdom, according to a new study. In India, participants in the Global March Against Child Labor decried what they say is a $32 billion worldwide industry that mostly preys upon women and children. And Reuters reports that Myanmar, a police state that formerly branded emigrant laborers “traitors,” has established new rules protecting them after 66 Myanmar citizens were rescued from a Thai factory where some were imprisoned for seven years. Sources:
“‘Human trafficking is a $32 bn worldwide business'”
Indo-Asian News Service, February 24, 2007
“Sex traffic: Danielle was 15 when she was sold into slavery in the U.K.”