Kevin Bales: How to Combat Human Slavery

Kevin Bales speaks at a TED talk on how we can eradicate human slavery, how even though the problem is huge, it does not require as much effort as we think to get rid of human trafficking. Bales disscuses how it is important not to just free the victims but to also help them recover and to maintain their newly liberated status.

Getting involved

One thing that I find when people begin talking about a particular social injustice, and how everyone should be getting involved in it is that you don’t know where to start.
When I first heard of this issue a number of years ago now, I did not know what I could do to help. I was only a young teenager, no job, unable to go and do things by myself. What could I do, how could I make a difference in someone else’s life?

Firstly there are the simple donations,  helping to provide financial assistance to those organisations that rescue people from human trafficking situations. Secondly there is getting involved on a more personal scale to take part in one of the many organisiatons that exist to stop human trafficking, volenteering and working alongside these victims to build them a better and brighter future. Holding events that get people movtivated to do something about this injustice, to have people speak about human trafficking and holding fundraising events. Or even just telling friends and family about it, to get them to help you provide assistance to these people.

If together we can unite across the globe, we can put an end to this injustice. If people wake up to this crime and its realities then we can finally find a sustainable solution to the issue and rescue people out of these horrible situations and circumstances. I found just the other day this TED talk done on helping to combat human trafficking. It discusses how we can make a difference (although on a more global scale) in these people’s lives, and how we shouldn’t be discouraged by the sheer size of the issue. Kevin Bales shows how this injustice can be stopped, that all it would take is mainly determination and conviction from across the globe to eradicate slavery.

So I hope before you log off your computer and go back to your life and forget all about this, that you take a moment to see that you can make a difference, that you can help to save someone’s life.

Destiny Rescue

“What began as one ordinary man with a God-sized dream and a passion for setting others free has now grown into a worldwide, Christian non-profit organisation dedicated to rescuing and restoring children enslaved in the sex-trade.”

Destiny Rescue is an internationally recognised non-profit organisation founded in 1998 by Tony and Jenni Kirwan. They run various programs among six nations: Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, India and Mozambique. In addition, they have offices in their two donor countries: Australia and the United States.

Their work is truly making a difference, too! They have rescued countless enslaved children, through prevention programs have stopped many more entering the sex trade, and have raised awareness to so many. 

The rescue agents risk their own lives to rescue enslaved children so they can live, and that is very admirable if you ask me. After rescuing children, they support them and help rebuild their lives.

In 2011, they started a campaign with the ultimate goal of rescuing 100, 000 children from the sex industry by December 31 2020. This is just one of the fantastic campaigns that Destiny Rescue run, and there is so many ways in which you can get involved, find out more here.

 

News Flash: Human Trafficking alive and kicking

Human Trafficking Police to Open Border Offices

London’s ‘Shadow City’ of Human Trafficking

Sex, servitude and Labour: Human Trafficking is Diverse in Greater Mekong Region

These are just three articles I found on human trafficking within the last few days. It is when you see this, and you consider the estimates on the numbers of people enslaved that you really wonder at how much the extent of this crime is and how little of it sees the light. 

Sometimes though when you read about these stories, you see the statistics you become afraid to do anything because, hey, what can i do about it, wouldn’t anything i could to barely scratch the surface of this enormous problem. I know especially for those of us who are so young in the world will often wonder what affect could we have? This hardly seems a good excuse not to try. Who knows who you might affect, who knows whose life you might make a difference in.

So when you think it seems all to big and to much to do, take one step at a time. Even if you only save one person’s life from servitude, disease, an early death, their life alone was worth it, because every life is worth saving.

 

The Freedom Project

“The Freedom Project exists to end human trafficking and slavery. We’re building and equipping a community in the free world to help rescue and restore those enslaved around the world.”  This is the vision of The Freedom Project.

Whilst many people associate human trafficking with migration, the definition in the Palermo Protocol covers anyone who has been obtained through force, coercion or fraud and has been subjected to forced labour, forced commercial sex or involuntary servitude qualifies as a trafficking victim, whether they have been transported or moved anywhere or not.

Men women and children are trafficking into three main areas of slavery:

Poverty is a major part of the reason people are getting Trafficked. People who are trapped in poverty are willing to obtain a better life for themselves and their families. These people are so called “prayed on” when they are searching for a job or training or any opportunities for a better life.

There are so many way of being Trafficked, but here are some of main ways that people initially become trafficked, are as follows:

  1. Many women and children are kidnapped into slavery
  2. some children are sold to traders by their parents,
  3. some children are willingly sent with a trader by their parents, who have been promised that their children will receive a good education, an apprenticeship or a good job and good prospects or even just adequate food. Traders can often be well known locals or relatives, so the parents trust them.
  4. some women are married, only to find that their marriage is a sham, and that their new husband has sold them into the sex industry,
  5. some respond to job advertisements offering good pay for manual labour, only to find that they are imprisoned on arrival, subjected to vastly different employment contracts to what they had been led to believe, with no escape, and may be made to work for many years labouring for no pay at all;
  6. Many women apply to sham foreign job agencies or to study overseas, and go abroad willingly thinking they will receive education or have employment as a waitress or a nanny etc, only to find when they reach their destination that the reality is very different, and that they are imprisoned, raped and forced into the prostitution industry.

Every country in the world is included in this crime in some way shape or form. Some countries are the origin (source) and some are the transit or destination country, some areas of origin are Africa, Asia, Eastern bloc and Soviet Union countries. The UNODC (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime) data shows trafficking of human beings from 127 countries, to be exploited in 137 countries.

There is almost no escape from being help captive by people who do Human Trafficking, you are prisoners, it is impossible for someone who is being trafficked to be freed on there own. They are often held in isolated places so no one really notices, if they children, men or women are disobedient or try and do a escape attempt, they are severely beaten and tortured.

The Freedom Project are doing their very best to help people who are trafficked. They help people in the Philippines and also in Burma. The Freedom Project are in need of a team to help them in these countries to help stop this horrible crime.

Here are was to get active:

10 different ways to get active!

  1. Become a member of The Freedom Project. Go to the DONATE page and get on board!
  2. Start a conversation with someone about the issue. Bring it into the open and make it a topic of discussion amongst your family and friends.
  3. Write to your local politician. Making our local and national politicians aware of the problem in our own city and across the globe brings slavery into the open. And puts pressure on them to act. Speak to your local member about what they are doing about this issue in our very own suburbs.
  4. Post a comment on Facebook. Keep the dialogue going with quotes from books, facts you’ve discovered, thoughts you have about slavery and trafficking. Stir up interest and get it on people’s agendas. Be an advocate for The Freedom Project online!
  5. Organise your own fundraiser. Get creative…Gather your friends and family and have some fun – raise awareness and money at the same time! Ideas for fundraisers include, cake stalls, jelly bean guessing competition, car wash, movie/dvd nights, walk-a-thon, fun run, trivia night, raffles, mufti days, karaoke party, hold a dinner party, a lunch, a picnic, sell some artwork, jewellery making, gingerbread house event, sausage sizzle….
  6. Buy Fair Trade Products and take seriously consumer awareness and buying. Go to the SLAVERY page and read about what fair trade is all about.
  7. Educate yourself. Get yourself equipped and savvy about the issues of slavery and trafficking. See our resource list.
  8. Start a book group at school, uni or amongst your friends. Read one of the books from the resource list and meet together to discuss it. Watch a movie/dvd together. Journey together as you learn and grow in your understanding of slavery and trafficking.
  9. Volunteer. Contact us to see what opportunities there are to volunteer. We need passionate, creative, people to carry The Freedom Project forward.
  10. Pray: Pray on your own, or with friends. Start a prayer group at school, or church or amongst your friends. Put the issue in the prayer bulletin at your church.

When your at church or at home don’t forget you can also pray for these as well.

  • Pray for the victims of trafficking and slavery – for safety, release and rescue from captors, peace, strength, courage, salvation, forgiveness, healing and healthy rehabilitation and job training.
  • Pray for the victims families – for income generation, peace, courage, support, salvation, safety. Pray for the traffickers and slave owners – for conviction of their sin, plans to be confused and thwarted, for criminal convictions that lead to justice, the closure of brothels, repentance and salvation.
  • Pray for the organisations who are working all over the world to fight this evil – for wisdom, courage, protection resources and safety, success with trials and convictions of traffickers and slave owners. Pray for governments and government bodies with power to change laws.

Anti-Slavery Day

I was doing research, and thinking of ideas for this next post when I came across a link to Anti-Slavery Day and I went to do a bit more investigatining into what exactly this day is all about.

Anti-Slavery Day is held in the United Kingdom each year since 2010, when the UK government declared the 18th of October to be Anti-Slavery Day. The purpose of this day is to get people involved in the fight against trafficking, to build awareness and to inspire people to do something about this horrible atrocity.

There are a number of different ways that people from the UK can get involved in this day, but that does not mean the rest of us across the rest of the world cannot take part in this day. One of the particular campaigns/fundraising ideas I came across while investigating Anti-Slavery Day was the “Be a Slave and Donate Your Wage.” This idea is two fold, firstly it gets one to experiece (admittedly on a miniscule scale) slavery, working without being paid and secondly the money that you would usually earn that day goes towards helping those victims of human trafficking.

So I encourage those of you who live in the United Kingdom to get whole heartedly involved in this upcoming day, and for the rest of you to perhaps make the 18th of October your own personal Anti-Slavery day to get involved in the war against human trafficking.

~P

Slavery isn’t dead

There is a monstrous amount of statistics on human trafficking and slavery on the internet, so where do I start?

  • Every country is affected by human trafficking, whether it’s an origin country where people are trafficked from; a transit country where people are trafficked through; or a destination country where people are trafficked to (STOP THE TRAFFIK)
  • An estimated 1.2 million children are trafficked every year (UNICEF)
  • 600,000-800,000 men, women and children are trafficked across international borders each year. Approximately 80 per cent are women and girls. Up to 50% are minors (US Department of State)
  • Slavery is a $32 billion-dollar-a-year industry (Not For Sale)
  • By forcing a woman to work as a prostitute, a human trafficker can earn an annual salary of $77,000+ (Havocscope)
  • There are an estimated 3 million women working as prostitutes in India, and approximately 1.2 million of those are under the age of 18 (Havocscope)

This is just a snapshot of the statistics available regarding human trafficking and slavery, there is so much more information accessible and I strongly suggest you investigate further because not only are you learning about the world you live in, you also gain a new found appreciation for your life.

~E

Why it concerns you

“It ought to concern every person, because it is a debasement of our common humanity. It ought to concern every community, because it tears at our social fabric. It ought to concern every business, because it distorts markets. It ought to concern every nation, because it endangers public health and fuels violence and organized crime. I’m talking about the injustice, the outrage, of human trafficking, which must be called by its true name — modern slavery.”
-Barack Obama

Not For Sale

We have much to be thankful for but often we disregard our blessings. I do sometimes find myself wallowing in self-pity, feeling as if the whole world is against me. I suppose it is only natural that we have these moments, especially for a teenager on the rollercoaster of hormones and the like, finding one’s place in the world and all. But the thing is I along with many of you do not have a reason to feel this way. I have plenty of food to eat, a place to sleep at night, friends, family, an education, the wonderful advantages of internet and technology, the benefits of living in a first world country where I have rights as a human being, I have my freedom.

There are some people however, in this world however that don’t have these blessings. There are those who are used as commodities for the benefit of others, whose motives to use these people are built on greed and the worst of human nature. But there are those who show the exact opposite. Those who are working to bettering the future of these abused and used people, those that show compassion, love, empathy and all those beautiful aspects of human nature. One such group is an organisation known as Not For Sale.

Not For Sale began by a man called David Batstone when he was awoken to the shocking truth of human trafficking in 2001 when he discovered that his favourite restaurant had been a place of human trafficking (For further information on his story click here). Since learning of this shocking truth he wrote the book Not For Sale and begun the Not For Sale agency.

Not For Sale works by providing homes for trafficked victims, providing education and training to victims as well as to potential victims as to prevent them being trafficked. They also help us, the general public who like David Batstone have been oblivious to the crimes going on around us, to help those who have fallen prey to this industry in many different ways including information regarding where certain products have come from and whether those companies use forced labour (see here for more information).

Not For Sale needs your support and help to fight against injustice. One such way to get involved is to donate, whether it is a once off donation of a reccuring donation, anything will be greatly appreciated (To donate to Not For Sale click here).

We thank you in advanced for any support you may give, becuase you may never know whose life you may save, whose future you may give a hope to, who you may effect.

~P

Love146

“Her name became a number. Her number became our name.” (Love146)

Love146 is a non-profit organisation working towards abolition of child trafficking and exploitation. The dedicated team members work over three continents and through survivor care, prevention education, professional training and empowering movement hope to abolish this horrific crime.

Why 146? The number 146 became so significant to this organisation in 2002 when the co-founders travelled to Southeast Asia on an undercover investigation. They were inside a brothel looking at the young girls displayed behind panes of glass, wearing red dresses and numbers as identification. All of the girls were vacant and lifeless except one, number 146. She still had fight left. Thus, Love146 was born. You can read the whole story here.

As terrible as human trafficking is, it is beautiful to see so many people so dedicated to making a difference in the world, and it is heartwarming to hear and see stories of survivors. One story that was particularly tear-jerking (I even shed a few too) is the story of Serey:

What can you do? There is many, many ways in which you can become involved in the fight against child trafficking. You can join a task force, host an event or even just donate (more information here). Every bit helps. Below, Love146 demonstrates where your money is going to.

~E