Posts Tagged ‘sexual slavery’

That’s Two per Minute…

Every 26 seconds, another child somewhere is being lured in to the sex trade or slavery. Two million underage kids are forced into having sex with adults, perhaps multiple times each day.

Forty bucks can mean freedom for more kids. The 26 Seconds challenge asks us to donate $40 to Destiny Rescue to continue their international work freeing children from sexual slavery and trafficking. You get a necklace out of the deal, and if you can get just two of your family members and friends to take action as well, and we keep it going for fifteen levels–that’s a million bucks toward ending child slavery in our lifetime.

The project is, in addition to in-the-field rescue work and advocacy, in the process of building a work studio that can employ hundreds of rescued children in Thailand (children are sometimes sold into slavery situations by parents who cannot afford to feed them, and the price they fetch as a commodity helps the remaining family members eat for a few more days). While child labor elicits all sorts of reactions from us, there are instances where the alternative is far worse, and children working is a necessary evil for survival.

Get involved.

Save a life. And another. And another. Two kids lost every minute of every day–that cannot be…

MTV EXIT–Music Television and Anti-Trafficking Awareness

MTV has a far less publicized antidote to The Jersey Shore, Skins, and other stuff that pisses of while simultaneously titillating the audience. The progressive network has always had pro-social programs within the corporate section, even if not always having pro-socially conscious programs airing. MTV EXIT is a Bangkok-based, multi-media, worldwide initiative trying to raise awareness of human trafficking, modern-day slavery, and exploitation. It launched in 2004 and uses music videos with a message, performance festivals, social networking, Internet campaigns, their 14-language website, and broadcast opportunities to educate youth to the international scourge of forced labor and the involuntary sex trade. It is an important voice and the intended global audience is inclined to listen…any way to get the message out equals effective communication…and the flip-side of the coin to gym/tan/laundry.

Join the Fight here.

Human Trafficking Awareness Day–January 11

Some of the annual”X, Y, and Z DAY” proclamations are fun…National Ice Cream Day…International Jumprope Day…American Chocolate Week. But today sucks. It is a travesty that a day like today needs to be proclaimed…Human Trafficking Awareness Day. There are millions in our world that are held in forced labor situations, sold or coerced into the sex trade, restavek children (institutional slavery in Haiti), and more. Freedom of choice has been removed from the equation for so many.

While it seems like it is, this is not an issue that happens “over there” or “way back when” but is happening, right now, all around us. It is far more comfortable to think slavery is an issue dealt with by ancestors or other cultures, but it an issue in our midst. The United States is a HUGE purveyor of slaves in each of the industries where they are kept working against their will (sex, farmworkers/agriculture, fashion/apparel, domestic work, industry, etc). The very least we can do is educate ourselves, and be proactive. Find out more at events and online educational outreach today (or tomorrow or next week or any time, as long as it’s soon). Start here ( and here (Free the Slaves), and then keep on digging. Your voice and action truly count and can make a difference.

We’ve Run Out of Visas for Crime Victims

Immigration is an issue that grabs people’s spirit close to the root—I find people getting passionate about the issue more than I’d expect, and from that passion and oftentimes, anger, rash decisions get made and harsh laws get enacted. I don’t know how to defuse the level of heels-dug-in irrationality (on both sides, I fear), but I do, personally, find this situation untenable.

Since 2007 (and how absurd is it that it took us until 2007?), the United States has created a particular visa, called a U Visa, for undocumented victims of violent crime, sexual assault, and human trafficking, who cooperate with legal authorities to capture the perpetrators of the crimes against them. You can imagine how often victims of sexual assault and human slavery/trafficking (an epidemic here in the US as well as around the world) are told by kidnappers/pimps/etc that if they go to the authorities they’ll be deported and/or imprisoned. Most are so fearful of the US Immigration repercussions that they put up with violent assault or ongoing slavery/trafficking (and we are often talking about kids here–10, 11, 12 years old, too many of them…and of course, in many of these cases, it is the trafficker that has brought the victim into this country against their will and undocumented).

So this victims visa, the U Visa, can really help cut down on violent crime and trafficking…BUT… the government has a cap and only allows a certain number of the U Visas to be issued per year…and they are all used up! When the new fiscal year begins in October, the next year’s U Visas can be granted, but between now and then? Tough luck victims. I’m sure somebody somewhere thought that putting an arbitrary cap on the number of these visas made sense, but I sure don’t see the logic. For the individual victim of violent crime, it really doesn’t matter how many before you were also victimized. It is so clearly, to me at least, a case of bizarre randomness being made into law based on statistics instead of humanity.

From “Think about it this way: 10,000 victims visas means 10,000 violent criminals who law enforcement is able to investigate and prosecute. We should offer as many visas as there are victims, to protect both those individuals and the public from as many dangerous criminals as possible. Sign this petition to tell Congress to eliminate the arbitrary cap on crime victims visas.

Free the Slaves

Ninety Bucks

That’s the average cost of a human life in today’s slave market. TODAY’s slave market. People tend to think that since slavery is illegal in every country in the world, that illegality must have made it go away. In fact, there are 27 million slaves RIGHT NOW, and on average, every 36 minutes, a slave is trafficked into the United States.

I’m at a loss as to how to reconcile my life with a world where slavery still exists. My world view didn’t include this except in past tense–as a history lesson. And I’m not OK with it.

Join me in getting involved to stop slavery. will help you educate yourself and those around you, and open your eyes to ways to step up and take a stand. Singer Jason Mraz just spent 5 days in Ghana to find out more.

Mraz spent his time in the country traveling rescue shelters for slaves – as well as Challenging Heights, a school in Winneba founded by a former child slave, where many students are former slaves.

According to Free the Slaves: “We don’t waste time debating which kind of slavery is worse — brick kilns or carpet looms, sex or domestic, new or old — it’s all horrible. Slavery is a dark slash across the heart of all humanity. We believe there are no easy answers to eradicating slavery. But there are answers from the people who are enslaved and those helping them to freedom. There is no single path to liberation – the paths are many – we will tread them all before our job is done.”

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