Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Top 4 Human Trafficking Films To Combat the Spring Blues

Are the spring blues setting in? Fear not - BASI has compiled a list of five incredible films about human trafficking, which will remind you how easy you have it. Instead of wallowing in your misery, get inspired and start making the world a better place now. Make the rest of your life the best of your life!

1. The Whistleblower (2011)

Based on true events, "The Whistleblower" recounts the story of Kathryn Bolkovac, a Nebraskan police officer who heads off to the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina (a country in Southeastern Europe) as a UN Peacekeeper, only to discover that many of her new colleagues are secretly involved in local human trafficking rings.

2. Trade (2011)

"Trade" came out in 2011 and starts off with Jorge's 13-year old sister Adriana being kidnapped by sex traffickers off of the streets of Mexico when testing her new bike. Adriana finds herself held hostage with Veronica, a young woman from Poland tricked into the same situation after being promised a new job in Los Angeles. As both women head off for the US, Jorge is forced to pair up with a mysterious cop so as to break into the sex traffickers' ring.

3. I Am Slave (2011)

Abducted from her village in the Nuba Mountains at the age of 12, Mende Nazer is sold into slavery in the capital of Sudan and then smuggled to London, UK for further exploitation and inhumane cruelty.

4. Lilya-4-ever (2002)

In the former Soviet Union, young Lilya is abandoned by her mother and unable to earn a living for herself. She gets hopeful when her boyfriend offers her a job in Sweden, but it turns out to be a scam and Lilya finds herself at the hands of transnational sex traffickers.

Monday, February 25, 2013

How Sustainable Fashion Saves Lives

 Do you realize that if the clothing you wear is made fair trade, ethically and sustainably then the people who make your clothing can be paid fair wages?  This also means that harmful toxic chemicals such as sulfuric acid, chromium and lead will not be released during clothing production. IF workers are paid fair wages with safety standards set in place then they will he healthy and have money to bring home for their families.  IF they have extra money to bring home to their families then this money can be invested in education for the children of the house.  IF their children are educated then the family can have a trade and a dependent source of income which will in turn decrease poverty.  This will decrease the need for young people to turn to desperate measures which can involve human trafficking.  Are the clothes you wear fair trade, ethical and sustainable?

Today I wanted to take the opportunity to introduce you to the upfront and personal about fashion change blog, Listen Girlfriends

I was first introduced to Listen Girlfriends by my professor, I have to admit that I am now addicted!  The editor, Nadia, just began a series on her blog this past December titled "Ethical Fashion."  In this series she confronts different angles of ethical fashion, including:
  • Navigation in the ethical fashion industry
  • Interviews with leading sustainable designers like Marci Zaroff
  • Empowering young women through sustainable fashion
  • The dangers of chemical waste in the fashion industry
  • Organic Cotton Farming 
    • "Did you know that every 30 minutes and Indian farmer commits suicide?"  
    • Organic Farming can help change this! See article HERE.
Article on Organic Cotton Farming HERE.

Through her blog I have discovered The Source.  If you are a fashion blogger who wants to see fashion be used not only for art, but for good, you definitely need to hop on over to this platform.  If you are a fashion student, or fashion business owner, this is a great source to not only stay up-to-date on sustainable fashion but also to network with other like-minded pioneers!

"SOURCE is a platform of tools and services for the fashion and textiles industries, from field to final product. It aims to make it easy for fashion professionals and businesses to work sustainably, inspire and motivate members, facilitate research and industry collaboration and put the spotlight on best practice.
SOURCE saves time, resources and money, providing users with a one- stop-shop of valuable, regularly updated information and contacts, with a focus on sustainability."
- The Source 

Today I want to leave you with a few thoughts.  I would love to hear what you have to say.
  1. What decisions can you make to help empower young people?  
  2. How does your clothing link to human trafficking and violations to human rights?  
  3. What turn do you think the fashion industry should take?
  4. Do you know any sustainable designers? (Lara MillerLinda LoudermilkEdunPeople Tree,KuyichiMaderaStewart & BrownLoomState ) 

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Monday, February 18, 2013

Freedom Walk Buffalo - April 6, 2013

Today I wanted to share with you all the work that has been going on with the Bloggers Against Social Injustice team in Buffalo, New York!  Myself (Christine) and Dave have been working with people at our University to bring to life Freedom Walk Buffalo!  There will be speakers coming from: Syracuse, New York,  New Jersey and Canada.  There will also be groups coming from various places.  Creating and organizing this event has been A LOT of work, and I have lost hours of sleep over it.  However, OF COURSE it is worth it because it will bring FREEDOM to slaves!  This is my first time planning a large-scale event, so I did not expect this to be easy to plan.

Now that I am coming to the end of planning, I have learned so much, and have recorded the steps it takes to be successful at planning an event, so that I may share it with bloggers and friends who want to create an anti-human trafficking walk.event, like I am doing!  I want to inspire you to reach out into your local community and create events that make a difference to people who are being sold as slaves.  Things are for buying and selling... not people!

Next time you want to get together with your friends, why not watch a movie about human trafficking and brainstorm how you can help fund raise to help organizations that rescue people trapped in this trade?

Check out the event details so far Eventbrite - Freedom Walk Buffalo . Leave comments to let me know what you think! Feel free to contact if you are interested in organizing your own anti-human trafficking walk, or movie night with a purpose!

For the sake of Freedom, we shall unite!

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Sunday, February 10, 2013

Hearts. Every piece has a story.

Photo from Free The Slaves

Knowingly or not, consumers and corporations alike are complicit in human trafficking. By changing how we purchase, we can work together with ethical companies to liberate human slaves and fight against systems that allow slavery to exist.
Ethical businesses encourage freedom and justice for all humans at every stage of the supply chain through strict standards and principles. At Hearts, we push the boundaries of ethical consumerism by prohibiting all forms of slavery, including unpaid labor, debt bondage, sex slavery, child slavery, and the trafficking of humans. Instead, we encourage freedom and social justice through:
  • Fair trade
  • Cooperatives
  • Microloans
These fair trade fashion systems place the welfare of people above the need and greed for profit. Conscious consumers can support these types of businesses. By changing our purchasing patterns, we can change the world so millions of people can achieve freedom, and social justice. We hope you’ll help us.

-  2011


Do you think about the clothing you wear, the pencils you write with, the toothbrushes you use in the morning?  Who made these products and how did the materials impact the environment?  Although these questions are in the back of my head, as a consumer, I do not always make them my top priority even though I should.  I am looking forward to the day when the standard for retailers is at a level where we will not have to ask ourselves these questions, because all products keep humanity and the environment in mind.  

Today, I wanted to take the opportunity to introduce you to HEARTS, a place that is bringing life back to fashion.  When I write this, I mean that the fashions offered through this site provide ethical and sustainable pieces which help make a difference by bringing about social justice and environmental sustainability!

Below are some products that HEARTS offers.  Know that every purchase you make upholds both environmental standards and human rights standards.  For example, the "I <3 You" Bracelet below is fair trade and made of recycled bomb metal by artesians in Laos.  Many of their products even make donations to help bring change!  If you check out their site, every piece has a story. =) 

Check them out and let me know what you think!

You can even browse their site by category:

 Fair Trade Certified
Ethically sourced & Produced
Traditional & Cultural Art
Low Impact

 Fairly - Sourced Animal By-Product
Sustainability Harvested Wood

World Causes
 Environmental Sustainability
 Freedom & social Justice
Quality of Life In A Community
 Human Rights
Conflict Resolution
Cultural Awareness

Giving Back
 Give Backs
Free The Salves
50% of proceeds give back to Free the Slaves, a group dedicated to ending slavery worldwide while the remaining 50% help local Arizona teens earn funds and scholarships for college through The Shine Project

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Sunday, February 3, 2013

Activism Inspiration from University of Wyoming

A story about human trafficking recently caught my eye - and believe it or not, it is a positive one! A group of students at the University of Wyoming is trying to raise awareness of the issue of human trafficking in the US. They are pushing for legislation to be passed in their home state, which would strip trafficking victims of any criminal charges in relation to selling drugs or prostitution, which they may have acquired whilst being trafficked. And the government is listening - state representative Cathy Connolly has introduced a piece of legislation addressing the students' demands. Watch the story to find out more!

This fantastic piece of news just shows you how much you can do to change our world - if a group of students at Wyoming can make the news with their efforts, you could make history! Why not start today?