One of our goals at FTS is to “mainstream” anti-slavery work. That means getting field workers for charities and development institutions, such as USAID and the United Nations, to recognize slavery when they see it, and take appropriate action.
A recent article by FTS Associate Programs Director Ginny Baumann helps to do just that.
Her how-to piece, the cover story in the March 2013 edition of Monthly Developments magazine, answers vital questions that can help mobilize development workers into anti-slavery activists. The magazine is read by development and humanitarian aid professionals throughout the world.
She notes that there are both moral and practical reasons to take a stand against modern-day slavery.
“Removing slavery from a community allows other interventions to more fully take root,” Ginny tells aid workers in her article. “If your project focuses on education, microenterprise development, women’s empowerment, health care, migration – you name it – a greater number of individuals will benefit if their community is free from slavery.”
Ginny’s article lists steps that development professionals can take when they witness slavery.
Just as important, she provides cautions for things not to do, things that could actually endanger slaves rather than helping them toward sustainable freedom.
“If development agencies do not equip their staff on slavery, there is a risk that in some places they can become part of the problem,” she concludes. “Their resources can be used to reinforce existing patterns of control and exclusion.”
Ginny says that eliminating that risk is time and money well spent.
Ginny’s full article is now available online by creating a free online user account with the group Interaction, and looking for the March edition of their Monthly Developments magazine.
Our thanks to Interaction for helping to spread the word!
Editor’s Note: Slavery survivor Timea Nagy now helps others escape enslavement on the streets of Canada. She is a recipient of a Free the Slaves Freedom Award for her heroic resilience and ongoing commitment to others. Her group, Walk with Me, has recently released a powerful music video, which we thought you should see. We asked Timea to say in her own words how the video came to be.
As the winter months say farewell, warm weather seems to be right on the horizon. Unfortunately, the coming of summer will bring with it a rise in human trafficking in Canada. Sex slavery will return to the streets, and Walk With Me is making a great effort to raise awareness.
Walk With Me Canadian Victim Services is a survivor-led organization dedicated to raising awareness and providing education about slavery, delivering and coordinating services to support survivors, and advocating action for change. We have trained and assisted more than 60,000 law enforcement personnel across Canada since 2009. Our organization has been involved in big cases such as Project OPAPA, assisting 22 victims in Canada’s largest human trafficking case to date.
The battle against human trafficking is now starting to enlist Canadian musicians and dancers. “Break the Silence” — a song written and performed by Francois Mudler, a young, talented Canadian artist – illustrates the struggles of people exploited by human trafficking.
Hearing Francois’ voice had been one of my personal coping and healing mechanisms when I would feel overwhelmed by work or by flashbacks from my past. I was fortunate to actually meet him. Francois then read my book, “Memoirs of a Sex Slave Survivor,” and said he would be happy to write a song to expand public understanding. The dancer in the video is a young artist, who came to our first fundraising gala last year and asked to volunteer any time we need help.
The song was recorded last September. Every single story in the video is real, and permission was granted by those involved in the cases to include their stories. The idea is for anyone to be able to use the video. It has been launched as a public service announcement, aiming to raise awareness all over the world. Funds that are generated will be used to keep providing services for victims of human trafficking.
The End It campaign wants everyone to know that there are 27 million men, women and children living in the shadows. In brothels. In factories. In quarries. Working as slaves. In countries throughout the world, including the U.S.
Their two-month awakening campaign has raised more than $175,000 to benefit anti-slavery groups, including Free the Slaves.
The project concludes tomorrow, April 9th with “Shine a Light on Slavery Day.” It’s a great opportunity to tell someone you know something that they might not know: slavery still exists.
Check the End It website for details on creative ways you can SPREAD THE WORD!
Trickery cuts a wide swath in India’s impoverished communities. People often leave home in search of work, and many find themselves being trafficked instead.
FTS frontline partner MSEMVS aims to change that. And young people are at the heart of the strategy. The goal of the Trafficking Prevention Plan is to stop migration from becoming a road to slavery.
To do that, MSEMVS targets schools in some of India’s most vulnerable villages. Using case studies, posters and pamphlets, they teach students about the risks of migration and the realities of human trafficking.
With millions of people on the move worldwide, it’s easy for traffickers to pose as legitimate labor recruiters. Students are now being taught the warning signs so they won’t fall victim when they grow up.
The events are organized as mass meetings, with 250 to 300 students per site. To make the lesson stick, the approach is interactive. It’s not a lecture. Students discuss ways that they can become agents of change in their own communities.
Organizers provide a telephone hotline number and leave a “Report Box” at schools for anonymous tip-offs about suspicious activities that might be related to trafficking.
It’s working. At one location, students provided more than 30 tips for community organizers to investigate.
This educational initiative is one reason that more and more people are escaping slavery at farms, brick kilns, brothels and factories. MSEMVS reports that in 2012 they helped nearly 800 people move from slavery to freedom.
Learn more about our India program on the FTS website.
We see slavery and trafficking stories throughout the world each week. It’s great news that journalists and bloggers are exposing the problem of slavery, and examining solutions to it. Awareness creates momentum for change. Here are 10 top stories that caught our eye:
1. The Journal of Commerce. “EU Seeks Supply Chain Input on ‘Conflict Minerals’.” http://www.joc.com/international-logistics/global-sourcing/eu-seeks-supply-chain-input-%E2%80%98conflict-minerals%E2%80%99_20130327.html
2. Huffington Post. “More Coordination Needed to Combat Human Trafficking.” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jane-mosbacher/post_4536_b_2965776.html
3. Ghana Web. “Guide Princess Ocansey busted for human trafficking.” http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/crime/artikel.php?ID=269041
4. USA Today. “Human trafficking hotline accepts text messages.” http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/03/28/human-trafficking-hotline-now-accepts-text-messages/2026249/
5. Times of India. “HC for central probe into trafficking case.” http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/kochi/HC-for-central-probe-into-trafficking-case/articleshow/19249855.cms
6. Global Post. “Congo’s subsistence miners dig for their livelihoods.” http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/groundtruth/congo-artisanal-miners-dig-livelihoods
7. Vision.org. “Down to Slavery.” http://www.vision.org/visionmedia/article.aspx?id=2172
8. My Republica. “Children trafficked to India for labor on rise.” http://www.myrepublica.com/portal/index.php?action=news_details&news_id=52162
9. UN News Center. “Honouring over 15 million victims of slave trade, UN calls for end to remnants of slavery.” http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=44488&Cr=slave&Cr1=#.UVGyT1uDQXw
10. WSPA. “Child tells US court in Detroit he was slave labor.” http://www.wspa.com/story/21786771/african-sentenced-to-11-years-in-child-labor-case