Sunday, January 27, 2013

Zamboanga City, Philippines: 86 Human Trafficking Victims Rescued

  • Cartoon Title: Labor Trafficking
  • Keywords: Philippines Today, Labor Trafficking
  • Caption: A cartoon for the January 16, 2013 edition of the Philippines Today on labor traffficking and the problems of exploitation




Thursday, January 10th, 2013, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCD) received information that two vessels headed for Sabah, Malaysia were carrying suspected victims of human trafficking.  

Each of the victims were promised work and transportation to Sabah, Malaysia in exchange for Php 2,500 pesos.  50 victims of human trafficking were rescued from the first vessel during a pre-departure inspection and 36 victims were rescued in the follow-up operation.  Each of the 86 victims were brought to the Department of Social Welfare and Development Processing Center for Displacement in Zamboanga City.

Do you know the difference between human trafficking and human smuggling?  Human trafficking centers on the exploitation of the trade, while smuggling centers on the transportation.  Each one of these 86 victims were promised work and transportation, but they did not know that they were entering into a human trafficking ring.  If the 86 people had made it to Sabah, Malaysia, they would not have been treated equally as workers.  Instead, these 86 people would have been caught in a slave trade where their only option back to a life of freedom would have been a dangerous escape.

Human trafficking is modern-day slavery.  
Without the efforts of the PCD, these victims at this very moment would have been trapped in the terror of modern-day slavery.  How will you promt your government to support human trafficking rescue and awareness?





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Monday, January 21, 2013

Save the Date, Los Angeles!



One thing all of us love here at Bloggers Against Social Injustice[BASI] is fashion.  Now, when fashion combines with an effort to bring social justice to the world, we love it even more!  One of BASI's sister organizations is Freedom and Fashion.  They do exactly this!


Mission Statement
"Freedom and Fashion is a fashion-oriented, creative arts ministry and organization that serves as a resource hub for fair-trade businesses and non-profit organizations working to combat modern-day slavery, human trafficking, child labor and human rights violations."


Freedom and Fashion is hosting a social enterprise conference in Los Angeles, California!  The point of this day is to educate on maximizing conscious consumerism.  Meaning, allowing people to be make ethical, educated purchases to ensure the products do not support human trafficking, enforce child labor laws, and provide an all-around, ethically sound product!  You can learn more about conscious consumerism below! Just reading about made me wish I could fly to LA just to attend.  Currently, this event is in need of volunteers, so if you are in the area, be sure to check out the last poster below!





Wednesday, January 16, 2013

News UK: 84% rise in child trafficking


I was travelling on the tube a couple of days ago, when a headline caught my eye. "84% rise in child trafficking in UK", it read. I skimmed through some alarming statistics - of 546 sexually exploited children, the number of those known to be victims of trafficking rose from 76 to 140 in one year.

"Domestic trafficking of children for sex is a sophisticated type of exploitation, a sinister form of organised violation through networks of criminals. Nobody currently knows the full extent of these crimes because of their hidden nature, but what we do know is that every time we open a new service for victims it quickly becomes fully subscribed. If we are to save children from suffering for years at the hands of their abusers, more must be done by the authorities to identify victims of child sexual exploitation who are being internally trafficked and to stop this activity earlier on." (Anne Marie Carrie, Barnardo's)


This has led to some anti-EU complaints within the UK, but the truth of the matter is, to an extent we are all to blame. Without your help, the problem of human trafficking will not end - in fact, it will keep on getting worse, as exhibited by these terrifying figures. Please take our advice on how to be a human trafficking activist and how to find local anti human trafficking organisations - your help could change someone's life!

Source: Express, Jill Greenberg

Sunday, January 13, 2013

NEW Proud Member of P.A.T.H. Coalition


Written by: Christine, Committee Member

This past Thursday, I attended a meeting for the People Against Trafficking of Humans Coalition of Western New York. It is called P.A.T.H. for short.  P.A.T.H. is a faith-based group of the organizations in the area that all fight against human trafficking.  Their vision is to engage churches and community groups to become a part of awareness efforts, work as a unified front in seeking proactive ways to prevent captivity, free those suffering at the hands of slavery and offer healing and restoration. 

 When I first walked into the meeting I was very surprised to see how many freedom fighters (as many call us) there are right in my area.  There were over 30 people in attendance!  30 people each with a drive to bring freedom to people my age and younger and older who are, at this very moment, feeling numb because they are trapped in slavery.  The ages of these freedom fighters ranged from fresh out of high school to grandparents.  This really reminded me that this problem touches the hearts of people at all ages, all genders, and all races. The more people who join in the fight for freedom, the higher chance we will have to bring freedom to those enslaved!

I have joined P.A.T.H. as not only a representative of Bloggers Against Social Injustice, but a student, young woman, blogger, and most important to me, a follower of Christ who believes that no one should live in slavery.  Now that we are a member of P.A.T.H., we will have even more opportunity to partner with other freedom fighters in New York State!  We will also have people to learn from and look toward for support with our local outreach events, such as the Freedom Walk committee member, Dave and I are planning for April 6th! *excited*  The first committee meeting for the Freedom Walk is actually being held tomorrow on our campus!


Check out their new website, just launched this week! They are collecting donations to start a scholarship fund to help former victims of human trafficking pay for education, so that they do not feel like going back to slavery is their best option. This scholarship is such a wonderful idea. You can make a donation right on their website. So check it out, even if you just want to browse, let's help get their URL on the Google page when its searched for! ;)







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Monday, January 7, 2013

Interview: Fuel.PH of Iloilo City, Philippines


Do you remember the post A WEEK TO BE MOVED? Back in November, committee member, Donna, attended an anti-human trafficking event at a local cafe in Iloilo City, Philippines named FUEL.PH.  This cafe is simply amazing!  They aim to encourage the community to use their talents to bring about social good!  
Donna was so impressed with FUEL.PH and their anti-human trafficking week that she went back and asked for an interview. This is just for you guys, in hopes that you will not only enjoy learning about this spectacular cafe, but that you too will find the fuel within yourself to make a change!  Below, find the interview with questions by Donna, and answers by Sarah Cruise, the director of life development and events for FUEL.PH.


1. What is the main objective of Fuel.Ph in initiating an event such as "Social Justice Week"?
Awareness. That’s simply it, at least for now. ;) After learning more about the issues happening both globally and locally, we were moved to bring insight to others in our community. Many walk around day-in-day-out with no idea the gravity and complexity of the atrocities happening around them. We want to be a voice for the innocent and believe that every human should be valued; thus, we saw the need to host Social Justice Week at Fuel.ph to raise awareness in creative ways to captivate hearts. 


2. How Did you feel when you first heard about human trafficking? was it like a passion to bring change?
Personally, I was moved beyond comparison. I had heard briefly about the issue while living in the States, but after moving here to the Philippines and after seeing the documentary “NEFARIOUS”, I can’t say it’s ever hit me quite as hard as it has in the past few months. Absolutely, a passion to bring change has risen in me and as the famous abolitionist William Wilberforce once said, “...you can never again say that you did not know.” These words ring in my head and in my heart. There’s no going back. 

3. How do you spark interest to people who are not interested in taking part in bringing about change?
I think most who “aren’t interested in bringing change” are simply unaware of the intensity of an issue and how it could just as easily effect them, whether that be Trafficking or any other social injustice that plagues so many communities. Those of us who do understand and are captivated, it’s our job to stir up hearts. Don’t just bring knowledge but connect to people’s hearts, make it personal; and you’ll see their desire for change 
come alive.


4. How would you encourage young people especially to take part in making a stand against social injustice?
Many injustices continue to flourish because people choose NOT to say “No”. As Edmund Burke said, "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." We must choose to do something. For trafficking, in particular, the average age of girls entering the sex trade/prostitution industry is 12 years of age. So young! Young people must stay alert to the signs of such possibilities and stand firm in the fight against compromise. Another quote I love is, “Stand for something or you’ll fall for anything.” If we don’t want to fall then we have to stand up and speak out! 


5. What barriers you have come across?
Here in Iloilo City, specifically, I have found it difficult to find organizations actively and aggressively combating the issue of trafficking or giving rescue to the victims caught in the sex trade. I’m finding many in the city believe it’s not as big of a deal here; however, I have received reports from active organizations in other parts of the Philippines who have said that Iloilo is a hot spot from which many of those they’ve rescued have been trafficked from. It’s happening here and we need to make people believe it.  We are lacking people, both locally and globally, who are moved to action. As the saying from “Nefarious: Merchant of Souls” Documentary goes, “We don’t need more interested observers; we NEED incurable fanatics.”

6. How did you decide to mingle profit with advocacy? What crowd this draws in?
As you’ll find further down, Fuel.ph is passionate about inspiring positive social change. We combine our Cafe with that to fund our efforts and the efforts of other like-hearted organizations/projects in the city. We believe strongly in being invested in the community in which we serve. 

A percentage of our profits and other donated materials go to our charity focuses on a regular basis, as well as our team is involved in service projects around the province. This idea we have draws an interesting mix of people, but all have a common pull... curiosity. ;) Fuel.ph is new, it’s different, it’s not quite normal. So we invite people to come in, talk with us, get to know what makes us tick. Then, join with us! The movement we are embarking on is not exclusive, but inclusive and for all walks of life. We are passionate about people and seeing them reach their purpose in life! ;)


7. How do you think advocacy can grow in our area (Iloilo)?
We have to be willing to take the stand, raise awareness, and volunteer our TIME and resources. I know we all keep quite busy; but, if we care we have to invest our time in the fight against injustice if we ever want to see change happen in our city. Meeting together with like-minded people to brainstorm ways we can do this will be the first step. From there, we can get training and strategize ways to get the information out to the public and hopefully move hearts to action.

8. What impact do you think this is making in the short/long run?
It’s up to us what impact is made, no matter what part of the world we live in. We’ll get out of it whatever we put into it. If we tirelessly strive for results, we’ll get them. It’s up to us. If your efforts even effect only one life, it’s worth it. I hope that with committed involvement, we’ll see our city become a safe place for women and children. A place where they can feel free, valued and respected. We’ll see compassion for our fellow humans. They will be free to live in a safe environment and keep their innocence intact. 


9. What advice can you give to people (young and old) regarding human trafficking?
Stay aware, stay engaged, stay sensitive and GET INVOLVED. Many times, we hear of the issues and are moved for a moment or a few weeks and then back to “business as usual” with our lives. This should never become normal or permissible. A human’s life is being robbed from them and exploited without their consent. This should continually grip us, to the very core of our being. 

10. Who are the people behind Fuel.Ph? What is Fuel.Ph? It's mission/vision?
Fuel.ph is, firstly, a social movement committed to inspiring, encouraging and provoking young people to pursue their passions - whether that’s art, writing, business, community development, cooking or any other worthy passion. We use our Cafe in Smallville, Iloilo to facilitate that mission. We have 4 key initiatives: Coffee Shop, Internship, Art, Community. 

When you visit our Cafe, you’ll see a very art-driven environment because we believe that art is a powerful communicator and Filipinos are SO talented in this area! Fuel wants to not only “make money” but turn around and invest it back into our community; not only money, also time. “We believe that investment shapes the world more than mere charity.” We are simply a social enterprise that seeks to do good and effect change. You can check us out here: www.fuel.ph or here: www.facebook.com/fuelph OR contact me at sarah@fuel.ph. :)



 Thanks again for supporting our cause and the pull for social justice!
Best,
Sarah Cruise
Director of Life Development and Events 



___________________________________________________________

Thank you Donna and Sarah for bringing this interview about an inspiring cafe to the world!




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Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Happy New Year from BASI!

Dear fellow freedom fighters, happy new year and welcome to 2013!

Many of you are probably working on your resolutions at this very moment and here at BASI we have many resolutions for the upcoming twelve months ourselves. But there is one, big wish which trumps all the others - the wish to combat social injustice and to help the victims of exploitation worldwide. We discussed how to be an anti human trafficking activist in an earlier post and now is a better time than ever to think about ways in which you can help impact your local - and possibly the global - community in various ways and help make the world a better place for those less fortunate.

 

For some more information about human trafficking, please watch the short documentary above - this story is about Tampa Bay, but as we aim to demonstrate to you here at BASI, no area is exempt from this inhumane business

With this in mind, in 2013 be on your guard and look out for signs of human trafficking in your city or town - you never know when your watchfulness might help save a life!

Once again, the entire BASI team wishes you a fantastic new year full of love and empathy! YOU can make a difference.