Are You Supporting Sweatshops?

sweatshops_lgOK — So I like things easy.  I look for simple easy to fight human trafficking.  And changing my shopping habits is… NOT easy.  But I want to find reasonable ways I can shop in a way that supports freedom for everyone and a fair wage for their work.  Here’s a post from a fellow blogger that talks about some simple steps.

Are You Supporting Sweatshops?.

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How to be a 21st Century Abolistionist

MODERN-DAY-SLAVERYToday at the Bay City Wesleyan Church, we had what we called a Freedom Sunday.  We learned more about how we stood against slavery as a denomination in the 1800’s and why we still need to fight against human trafficking today.  Here are some ways we can do just that.

Become a 21st Century Abolitionist

1- Educate yourself on human trafficking and share what you learn with others.  Browse the different article and resources at  www.EverydayAbolitionist.com to get you started.

2- Shop well.  Use your purchase power to support fair-trade items/companies.

3- Advocate.  Speak up for the voiceless to our representatives in the government and ask companies to provide fair-trade products.

4- Pray about it.  Involve your faith and pray for:

  • Rescue and Restoration for the victims
  • Repentance of the perpetrators
  • Resources for those who are intervening (governments, law enforcers and other advocates)

5- Keep your eyes open and ask questions.  Human Trafficking happens in our own backyards so if you see something suspicious, ask questions like “How old are you?”  or “Do you need help?”  and report it to the police.

6- Keep it Up!  Keep on learning, keep on spreading awareness, keep on advocating and keep on praying.  Keeping this topic at the front of our minds will help us as a community truly make a difference for justice.

Try this!

Here are some more specific things we can try that help bring an end to modern slavery.

1)  Find out how many slaves work for you! Discover your slavery footprint at SlaveryFootprint.org

2)  Encourage the companies you buy from to become SLAVE-FREE at Call+Response’s Chain Store Reaction

3) Distribute public awareness material from the Department of Health and Human Services

4)  Host a viewing of a movie about human trafficking.  CLICK HERE for a list of some movie possibilities.

5) Start or sign a petition at Change.org.

6)  Have a fair trade chocolate, tea & coffee tasting party!  Maybe even use it as a fundraiser for an anti-trafficking organization.

7) Take a moment to ask yourself, “How can I resist objectifying people in my own life?”

8) Provide economic support to families in need across the globe, such as micro loans.  You can read more about this in my post: Do You Know What I can Do with $200?

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Sex Slave Interviews

The Video is Ready

Well it took almost an entire year, but I am excited to say that the Sex Slave Interviews film is completed!

This video is meant to spark discussion and increase awareness about the issue of child sex trafficking in the United States.  After you watch it, think about the questions at the bottom of this post.

Watch it Now!

What does it make you think?

Right now there are 100,000 children working in prostitution under threat of violence in the United States of America.  In fact the average age a person in the U.S becomes a prostitute is ages 12-14.

  • Were you surprised to find out the average age a prostitute is introduced to “the life”?
  • How does this statistic affect your understanding of what motivates a person to become a prostitute? 
  • How does it affect your understanding of what a prostitute is?
  • When you think of a prostitute do you think about her pimp?  It is difficult to present a clear statistic for the percentage of prostitutes that are pimped out because prostitutes are reluctant to talk about their pimps.  The statistics we’ve found range from 53% to 90%.  The reality for most 12-14 year old girls entering “the life” is that an adult pimp helped them get there. But when asked what comes to their mind when they hear the word “prostitute,” none of the 62 interviewees mentioned a pimp.  Why do you think that is? 
  • What other questions or thoughts did this video raise in your mind?

What will it make you do?

  • To gain a clearer picture of sex trafficking in the U.S. read these articles and the resources that are linked to them:

Street-corner Prostitute: Working Girl or Sex Slave?

How to Turn Your Daughter Into a Prostitute

Before You Click on that Porn, Read This

  • To make a difference, consider contacting your state legislators and asking them to support Safe Harbor Laws that help the minors who have been trafficked for sex in your home state.  Visit The Polaris Project to learn more about this and easily discover who your representatives are.  (I did this the super easy way by visiting International Justice Mission and accepting their 100 postcard-challenge.  They sent me 100 postcards that had the letter to the legislator typed out on it and all I had to do was choose my representatives and get my friends and family and coworkers to sign the postcards.  Then I sent them all back to IJM in an addressed envelope they provided and IJM mailed them to my representatives for me.  Easy.  Just the way I like it.)
  • Discover your state’s grade card in the Protected Innocence Challenge, a comprehensive study on existing state laws designed to inspire and equip advocates done by Shared Hope International.  Review the 41 key legislative components that must be addressed in state’s laws in order to effectively respond to the crime of domestic minor sex trafficking.  Then make your own letter of recommendation for improvement to your local legislators.  
  • Share this video (or another like it) in a public forum and have a discussion about it to spread awareness.  
  • Do NOT pay for sex OR view pornography as these things add to the demand for minors to be trafficked.  
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Why Do You Want to End Slavery?

Why are you passionate about ending human trafficking?  

I watched Tim’s video about his answer to that question and it got me thinking about what I would say.  I think I’m passionate about ending human trafficking because its such a huge evil today that was going on without me ever being aware of it.  When I found out about the reality of 27 million slaves in the world today, I just knew that this knowledge called me to action.  I just want to fill my role in this endeavor to eradicate slavery.  I am encouraged and enabled by the many people and organizations who are already working to that end.

 Meet Tim

Tim (Nashotah, WI) helps lead IJM’s advocacy work in the state of Wisconsin. Hear Tim’s story about how he got involved in fighting human trafficking.

“I’m passionate about trafficking because in my lifetime I was sort of the bully magnet. I was the one that people picked on, and even people in authority at that time didn’t back me up…so I knew what it was like personally to be affected by people taking advantage of me. The human trafficking is really the same thing on a different scale. It fits right in to who I am as a person.”

What do you think?

What does this video make you think?

How would you answer these questions:

How are you fighting slavery today?

What makes you do it?

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Are Slaves Picking Tomatoes for You?

tomatoesWas that tomato on your plate harvested by a slave?

If you bought it at the grocery store this week then the answer is most likely… YES.

Turns out that Florida supplies ninety percent of all off-season, fresh tomatoes for the entire United States, and Florida’s tomato fields have been called “ground zero” for modern day slavery in the U.S.

In the past 15 years some work has been done and over 1,200 people have been freed from slavery in U.S. tomato fields.  But there is more we can do to make sure slavery ends once and for all.

There’s already a solution in place to stop this abuse: Supermarkets can join the Fair Food Program — just like major fast food service companies like McDonald’s and Subway have done — to guarantee a transparent and abuse-free tomato supply chain.

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

Click HERE and “sign” the Recipe for Change

International Justice Mission is collecting signatures for letters to the CEOs of major supermarket chains Publix, Ahold (owners of Stop & Shop, Giant and Martin’s) and Kroger to endorse the Fair Food Program, ensuring the tomatoes you buy are slave-free.  10,000 have already signed so why not add your voice and tell our grocery stores we would like to buy slave-free tomatoes?

Download and Share

Download their letter and signature page and collect signatures to bring to your local grocery store manager so they can tell their corporate headquarters that your community wants them to join the Fair Food Program.

Read and Learn

You can also learn something new about the tomato industry and the people who are exploited in it by checking out these sources.

tomatolandThe book — Tomatoland: How Modern Industrial Agriculture Destroyed Our Most Alluring Fruit

A link from IJM — Recipe for Change Resources

SHARE THIS BLOG

“Share” this blog entry on your social media page to spread the word and collect more online signatures for IJM’s Recipe for Change campaign.

This everyday gal just shared this at her local church and got an overwhelming show of support and a good number of signatures for the letter.  It’s easy and makes a difference, so why not give it a try yourself right now?

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Human Trafficking Awareness Commitment

Human Trafficking Awareness Commitment

HT awareness day

It’s National Human Trafficking Awareness Month (January) now and it’s been a little too long since I’ve posted on this site or done much of anything EverydayAbolistionist-y (save sign a few petitions on Change.org.  I love that site! And yes, I just made up a word.)  The truth is that it’s easy to get caught up in my everyday life’s circumstances and not easy to keep focused on the things that really matter to me.  (Does anyone else understand that?)  Well I’ve decide to kind of refresh my quest to find and fill my role in ending slavery today by clicking around on my own site! (haha)  I know that sounds a little strange but it’s working for me.  Actually that’s really what this site started out as — a sort of library of my own personal resources for me and my like-minded friends to use.

1o Minutes for Awareness

What can you and I do when we’ve lost momentum in your abolitionist endeavors?  What can you do to get started in honor of National Human Trafficking Awareness Month?  Well I suggest something simple: 10 minutes a day of clicking around on the internet reading about the modern movement to end Human Trafficking.  You can do that on your smart phone while waiting at the pharmacy for your prescription (yeah– it’s cold and flu season).  Or on your break at work or while your picking your kids up from school.  Whenever you have a moment!  And this site is the perfect place to start (not that I’m biased or anything).  We’ve just made EverydayAbolitionist.com a place of the little blue links so it can be like a hub to send you out to tons of HT resources.

1 Idea to Act Out

While you are surfing the net ask yourself “What one thing can I DO to play a part in ending Human Trafficking?”  It doesn’t have to be big (though it could be) but there are lots of easy things that anyone can do to help.  So find yours and try it.  I’ll probably start with another Destiny Rescue Jewelry party but then — who knows. 🙂

So click around for ten minutes — and pick one thing to do and move on it with me.

Here’s a few places to start:

5 Easy Ways to Fight Human Trafficking

About EverydayAbolitionist.com

Organizations that Make a Difference

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Before You Click on That Porn, Read This

20120701-143640.jpg
If you think that pornography is a vice you can indulge in without hurting any one, you have an incomplete picture of the industry. Before you click on those porn links today please think about these stats.

–More than 20,000 images of child pornography are posted online every week (National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, 10/8/03).

–Approximately 20% of all Internet pornography involves children (National Center for Mission & Exploited Children).

That means 1 in 5 pornographic images is actually a child. Some of the “women” you are seeing are actually girls too young to consent. And some of the girls and boys you see did not wilfully participate.

–Forced prostitution, or sex trafficking, is the most common form if slavery today. These girls forced to prostitution are also put on film. It is used to shame them, control them, coerce them –entice you.

— Because of the demand for sexual images and de-humanized female bodies to use for personal momentary pleasure, women and children are being forced into sexual slavery — to keep up with the demand.

No one is enslaving people in slavery because they want to be mean to someone. They do it because there’s serious money in it. When we watch porn on videos, in pictures on the internet, when we go to strip clubs and peep shows, even if it is “legal” to do so, we are financing and fostering an illegal industry that strips PEOPLE of their rights and reduces them to someone’s property. Your’s and mine.

Let’s control our appetites because it is our cravings for intimacy and stimulation that can destroy others’ lives. And if we were to stop using others for their bodies, we could greatly reduce the demand for sex slaves and so end this devastating industry.

Related Articles:

 

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Pop Quiz on Modern Slavery

So you think you’re informed about human trafficking?  Take this quiz and find out for sure.  These are questions that every person needs to know the answers to and Everyday Abolitionist will continue to spread awareness until every person does.

Pop Quiz on Modern Slavery

1) Does slavery still exist?  If so, approximately how many people are enslaved today?

2) Are there more or less slaves today than in the eighteenth century?

3) Where does human trafficking occur?  Does it happen in your city and state?

4) Can you name three product categories that most often have slave labor in their supply line?

5) Which of the following illegal industries is growing the fastest today:

        • Illegal Drugs
        • Arms Dealing
        • Human Trafficking

6) True or False:  Modern slavery is an appalling and a complex problem but it is possible to stop it in our lifetime.

Answers:

  1. Yes.  In 2005 it was estimated that 27 million people were enslaved at that time.  Now it is more like 30 million.
  2. More.  There are more slaves today an at any other time in history.
  3. Human trafficking occurs everywhere.  Yes, it happens in your state and in your city.  They say the only way to not find human trafficking in your city is to not look for it.
  4. There are many industries that use slave labor in their supply line.  Answers could include: Chocolate, fine jewelry, cell phones, other electronics, baby clothes and children’s toys.
  5. Human Trafficking is the fastest growing illegal industry today.
  6. TRUE!  The 18th century abolitionists did away with the trans-Atlantic slave trade in just twenty years.  With all of us working together to spread awareness, prosecute offenders, rescue and restore victims and prevent the vulnerable from becoming exploited, we can see the end of this evil practice.


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Thank you interviewees!

ImageIf you are visiting our site today because your were interviewed on the street about human trafficking and/or prostitution, THANK YOU!  Thank you for being in our video and thank you for visiting our site.  As you read our articles you will find several links to other sites.  Click around and see where it takes you.  I hope you find something new on the topic of modern slavery.  Please feel free to leave a comment and share more of your thoughts with us.

May I recommend…

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News on Modern Day Slavery

When I tell people that the agency that I run serves over three hundred girls a year in the New York City metro area alone who’ve been trafficked for sexual purposes, they’re invariably stunned. When I tell them that the girls and young women we serve are predominately U.S. citizens, their shock and sympathy turn to utter incomprehension. “How?” “What do you mean?” “From here?” “How?” “Where?” To talk about trafficking conjures images of Thai girls in shackles, Russian girls held at gunpoint by the mob, illegal border crossings, fake passports, and captivity. It seems ludicrous and unthinkable that it’s happening in America to American children.

It’s often not until you explain that this phenomenon is what is commonly called “teen prostitution” that recognition dawns. “Oh, that … but that’s different. Teen prostitutes choose to be doing that; aren’t they normally on drugs or something?” In under three minutes, they’ve…

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