Monday, October 29, 2012

"We are Poor & Helpless"


"'We are poor and helpless. What are we supposed to do? We don't have anything to eat. That's why the 'big man' brought us here from Karachi. No one likes doing this work, but I don't have any other choice,' she told DW."
(read more below)

When we think of human trafficking what is the first thing that comes to mind? 
Prostitution?
Children?
Labor?
Sex slavery?
Injustice?
Molestation?
Force?
Isolation?

It is important to remember that human trafficking has to be more than an issue we say we area against and do nothing to change.  We need to fight.  When I say FIGHT I am implying that we need to:
#1- Educate people to be aware and not support this trade 
#2 - Raise funds to help support the rescue and psychological, spiritual, emotional and physical recovery of victims of slavery

Below, read a summary of an article covering the harm prostitution is causing in Afghanistan.  Then click the link to read the full article.  I hope it touches your heart to fight against slavery of all people of all nations!

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Human Trafficking, Prostitution thrive in Afghanistan

"Many people are unaware of just how many women are forced to work as prostitutes, according to Heather Barr of Human Rights Watch's Asia Division.

The reason, she explained, that women were forced into the sex trade by their families was due to poverty and drug addiction - usually of a husband or brother or both. The families often saw women as a source of money and take advantage of it.

Sahar Gul, 15 years old, was tortured for months by her in-laws for refusing to prostitute herself

'At least four people have to bear witness to the crime. And should the prostitute or the person who buys her be married, his or her spouse will have to be stoned. If there are no married people involved, then they receive lashings.'
As of recently, it is now illegal to lock up women for running away from home, which is just a further symptom of the violence and forced prostitution women continue to face in Afghanistan."

CLICK HERE to read full article from Deutsche Welle


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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Human Trafficking (2005)


Despite being passionate human rights fighters here at BASI, we understand that sometimes you just want to kick back and relax with a hot beverage/tub of ice cream/bag of crisps and something fun on the telly. Not long ago, we introduced you to the film "Trade of Innocents" (2012), which is now out and is fantastic. And so are the actors cast in it - most remarkably, perhaps, Mira Sorvino.

Today we want to introduce you to another film about human trafficking. It is, quite straightforwardly, called "Human Trafficking" (2005). And you know what it has in common with the "Trade of Innocents" (2012)? Mira Sorvino. And, once again, her performance is very real and striking. Here are some closer looks at the movie:



Yes, this is just a film. But it manages to portray the issues around sex trafficking in a very realistic and enlightened manner, whilst at the same time allowing you to relax in front of the TV. It gives you interesting crucial facts about modern day slavery in a concise way and makes your heart race with all its action-packed scenes. A must-watch for all human rights activists.

If you are not into the Hollywood patina and want to listen to real-life trafficking survivors, here is a little something for you, too. The UN Higher Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCR) published the following video, in which victims share their stories:

Monday, October 22, 2012

"I am Priceless"


____________________10 October 2012___________________


 Nigeria for Freedom!

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"The Government of Nigeria, jointly with UNODC and the European Union, has launched a nationwide three-year anti-human trafficking campaign. Entitled "I am Priceless", the campaign is aimed at raising awareness about the reality, dangers and possible impact of irregular migration, as a consequence of either being smuggled or being a victim of trafficking in persons.

UNODC also appointed two Nigerian celebrities, Joke Silva and Jude Abaga, as Goodwill Ambassadors to spearhead activities connected to the campaign, particularly among the young and vulnerable.
 

Based on the 2009 UNODC assesment:
Annual Inflow: 3,800 - 5,700 women
Value: $152 million - $228 million annually
Estimated:West African trafficking victims comprise ~10% of forced sex workers in Western Europe

The "I am Priceless" campaign also supports the Blue Heart Campaign against Human Trafficking of UNODC. The launch included a "Blue Heart" fashion show and the unveiling of a customized Blue Heart fabric, Ankara, whose design features the blue heart, the international symbol that represents the sadness of those who are trafficked and the cold-heartedness of those who buy and sell fellow human beings. The fabric will be used in awareness-raising and prevention activities.


The slogan of the "I am Priceless" campaign is designed to communicate a sense of the value, self-worth and dignity of each and every human life and to instil a sense of empowerment to counter negative messages that trafficking victims or potential victims have experienced since childhood or following a trafficking experience."

United Nations
October10, 2012

6 months earlier: Hon Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Nigerian politician and member of the Nigeria Federal House of Representatives, addressing The Exec Sec of NAPTIP on the increase in Human Trafficking in Nigeria.


Sources: United NationsYoutube

Monday, October 15, 2012

Freedom Walk: 1 Month Later


It has been one month since Christine, editor-in-chief and committee member of Bloggers Against Social Injustice, attended the [free-them] Freedom Walk in Toronto, Canada with a group of friends from her college (Coverage post HERE).  All the good [free-them] is doing to help liberate slaves is definitely something to admire and emulate!


This is actually Christine writing this post...
Check out news coverage from the Freedom Walk (below).  See if you can spot us in the clips!
You can see me (Christine) around 40 seconds.
Around 14seconds, you can see a Bloggers Against Social Injustice team member- she is in a fedora.


This blogging network is
 about more than simply educating fashion bloggers and online audience on the reality of human trafficking.  Together we unite from all parts of the globe to come up with ideas to educate on human trafficking as well as FIGHT human trafficking.
Reality: sitting behind a computer alone will not bring an end to this horrible injustice!


I would like to encourage you to:
  1. Contact an editor of Bloggers Against Social Injustice (see HERE)
  2. Gather a group of your friends (make it fun & purposeful!)
  3. Find an organization by you that fights human trafficking (raising awareness or funds)
  4. Join them & GET INVOLVED locally
  5. Represent Bloggers Against Social Injustice... REPRESENT HUMANITY!  
  6. Share your experience on our blog through a guest post!
If we could do it, so can you! :)
Trafficking of persons, like you and me, happens everyday behind closed doors.  It happens in poverty stricken areas and it happens in wealthy areas.  It happens in Asia, and it happens in the Americas.  It is time for us bloggers to not hide behind our computers, but show our faces and take a stand with others so we can help bring JUSTICE to the world!



Bloggers Against Social Injustice would love to see how our bloggers get involved locally to help end human trafficking!  We can assist you with DIY t-shirt ideas, and advice on how to set up an event or get a group together to attend an event!  Don't be afraid to find an organization, and please feel free to contact us to join us and for support!

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Thursday, October 11, 2012

United States: Modern Day Slavery


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WHAT | Obama speaks on United States' stance against modern day slavery at the CGI
WHERE | Clinton Global Initiative 2012- New York City, USA
WHO | Obama Administration, Clinton Global Initiative
WHEN | September 25, 2012
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What is the Clinton Global Initiative? Somewhat of a mini United Nations, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) seeks to bring change to the world.  It began in 2005 after former President Clinton realized he had attended many summits, and saw a lack of action efficiency. 

"CGI member commitments represent bold new ways to address global challenges – implemented through new methods of partnership and designed to maximize impact. To date, participants have developed more than 2,100 Commitments to Action, which have made a positive impact on nearly 400 million lives." - CGI


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The United States is venturing out to take a more proactive stand on policies to prevent and bring an end to human trafficking(AKA: modern day slavery)!  Summed up, Obama reminded us that this global issue is not one the United States wants to watch from the side lines.  Take a peek below at this 5 minute video to see an overview of the Obama administration's efforts to bring an end to this human injustice. 

See the full length HERE.

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Direct from the White House

Fact Sheet: the Obama Administration Announces Efforts to Combat Human Trafficking at Home and Abroad

“It ought to concern every person, because it’s a debasement of our common humanity.  It ought to concern every community, because it tears at the 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.”
“Our fight against human trafficking is one of the great human rights causes of our time, and the United States will continue to lead it…”
--President Barack Obama, September 25, 2012
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I would love to direct you to another blog which covered the pros and cons on Obama's speech: CAROLINE HELDMAN

Sunday, October 7, 2012

"Trade of Innocents" (2012) - Hollywood Takes a Closer Look at Sex Trafficking

Human trafficking, sex trafficking - these issues are omnipresent in the modern world. They normally do not garner as much media coverage as they deserve, but it seems Hollywood has finally caught up, with the new film, "Trade of Innocents", coming to theaters this fall.

 

This powerful film won the "Best of the Fest" award at the Breckenridge Festival of Film, as well as the "Best Picture" from International Christian Visual Media (ICVM). Here is what Mira Sorvino, an actress playing one of the main characters, has to say about it:

"I am very proud to be a part of this film; as actress and UNODC Goodwill Ambassador to combat human trafficking. Most people are unaware that this terrible trade of children for sexual exploitation flourishes both in the US and around the globe; "Trade of Innocents" will open their eyes and their hearts, and inspire them to become part of the solution."
And she was not the only one eager to share their opinion about modern day slavery - US President Barack Obama had much to say about the issue as well. Here is a short interview from CNN, where Erin Burnett and Mira Sorvino speak about this problem in a little more depth:


Are you not convinced yet? Have a look at this exclusive, behind the scenes, look at the set of "Trade of Innocents".

I hope you will take the time to watch this incredible film when you get the time.

In theaters October 5, 2012.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Price of Sex: Mimi Chakarova


Human trafficking is a global issue - a major issue and a dangerous one. In our recent post, you can read about a website entitled Slavery Footprint, which allows you to calculate how many slaves work for you based on your lifestyle. But human trafficking has many faces and the one that affects women worldwide in the most appalling manner is sex trafficking. 

Sex trafficking is an international phenomenon, but it has become particularly widespread in Eastern Europe and the ex-USSR nations after the fall of the Soviet Union. As someone who was born in a post-communist nation in that region, I find it necessary to raise awareness of this sex slavery hotspot. The short clip above was compiled by Mimi Chakarova, a Bulgarian photojournalist and author of "The Price of Sex" - her feature-length documentary about women who were sold into sex slavery. You can watch the trailer below:


What are some of the main reasons women are still being trafficked and this illegal trade in humans continues? As Anna Revenco, who is in charge of an NGO called "La Strada" says in the video above:
  • discrepancy between poor countries and rich countries
  • discrepancy between access to justice
  • high levels of corruption

Unless we at least begin to tackle these problems, sex trafficking will continue. So what are we still waiting for? We must put immense pressure on our local representatives, our politicians, our legal systems to change this nonsensical hierarchy and challenge the idea that certain countries (along with their citizens) deserve better than others.

Now, let us have a look at several of Mimi Chakarova's stunning photographs documenting the vile world of sex trafficking.





If you would like to get involved with "The Price of Sex", just have a look at the different ways in which you can support this worthwhile project.

Don't forget to follow BASI for more information about sex trafficking!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Make-a-Stand: Day 100!!!

What were YOU doing at Age 8??? 
Raising $150,000 to free human slaves? 'Cuz she is... 




CONGRATULATIONS Vivienne on 100 DAYS for Freedom!
Do you may recall my past blog post about 8 year old philanthropist Vivienne from Fairfax, California, USA?  SEE HERE. I am excited to share the news that her Make-a-Stand lemonade stand has been up and running for 100 days!  


Mission: "To sit at my lemonade stand until I raise $150,000 for Not For Sale to help free people around the world."   



This is rain or shine, people!  Her goal is to raise enough money to free 500 slaves!  Vivienne is capturing global audience and not only raising money but educating people on the realities of modern day slavery.  She has had media coverage in the United States, Brazil, Australia, the Netherlands, Hong Kong and Japan.  #MakeaStand has over 30,000 followers via Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter!  Will you add to that (see below)?  

This all started with a photo she saw of two child slaves carrying heavy rocks on their backs.  Injustice photography ignited the fire that started this movement.  Vivienne's experience with lemon aid stands brought about this This shows  how you can take your loves and experiences and find a way to change the world for the better!  Do not be intimidated with the thought of failure.  Selfless actions for the greater good of our fellow brothers and sisters should yield no shame... so get out there and use your talents for good!

Follow MAKE-a-STAND lemonade:





Exciting, upcoming Make-a-Stand destinations:


12.12.12  |  TIME SQUARE , USA
Make-a-Stand will stand for freedom in time square and each person to "make a stand" will have their instagram photo taken [#makeastand] and it will appear on the famous electronic billboard!

Unknown Date | Washiongton D.C., USA
Make-a-Stand will be located at the  Lincoln Memorial & the White House.