FOX News: Women for Sale in Tel Aviv: At a shopping mall in Tel Aviv, Israel, anti-slavery activists stage a fake slave auction: “She’s blonde. Petite. Blue-eyed with delicate features.’Sophia,’ 30, was just one of fifteen women up for sale in a Tel Aviv shopping mall this week. This wasn’t a real sale, but an exhibition to draw attention to female trafficking. The display was sponsored by the Israeli Task Force Against Human Trafficking.”
- Change.org: World’s Creepiest Fairytale Tells Story of Child Sexual Exploitation: “The Candy Shop takes place in a through-the-looking glass Atlanta, where a candy store is turning children into candy for chubby, sweaty male customers. In the real Atlanta, over 500 children a month are sold for sex. Many estimates put it as one of the top cities in the country for child sex trafficking. The film is part of a city-wide campaign with anti-trafficking organizations Doorpost, 12Stone Church and StreetGrace, and 100% of the profits will go to support anti-trafficking programs in Atlanta. But the truly frightening part of The Candy Shop is that it could be set in any city, because child sex trafficking happens everywhere.”
- WINK News: Florida Woman Charged with Trafficking Her Own Children: “Deputies say a Fort Myers woman turned her children into prostitutes, and beat and starved them if they didn’t buy her drugs. She faces felony charges, including Forced Labor through Human Trafficking…Reports say she beat the 4 young girls with a hammer, wire hangers, and a belt, starved them, and even urinated on them.”
- Halogen TV: Jason Mraz crusades for Free the Slaves: “Mraz wept as children sang Luc Reynauld’s ‘Freedom Song.’ He texted Reynauld, telling him about it. Reynauld texted back, saying, ‘It’s their song.’”
Jason visited Free the Slaves partner in Ghana Challenging Heights—an NGO founded by Freedom Award winner James Kofi Annan, a survivor of childhood slavery. Help us support anti slavery organizations around the world. Donate today!
- End Slavery Now: Galleries—Child sex slavery and exploitation: “The reasons [for child sex slavery] are often complex, but the results are the same, children forced to work in a growing sex trade where demand drives even caring parents to do dreadful deeds… for every child who is rescued, there are many more in danger of sexual abuse”
- BBC: Three people charged over ‘baby sale plot’ in London: “Two men and a woman have been charged after an investigation by the News of the World into the alleged sale of an 11-month-old girl… An 11-month-old girl has been taken into the care of Newham Social Services in east London.”
- Change.org: U.S. commits $10 Million to fight child labor in chocolate industry: “The $10 million pledge will create what [Secretary of Labor Hilda] Solis called ‘A New Framework of Action,’ specifically focused on protecting children in the cocoa sectors of Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire. The project will build community-based monitoring systems to investigate and identify child labor and child slavery, get former child workers back into school, and provide trafficked and at-risk children with supportive services.”
- Asia One News: China’s gender gap fueling trafficking: “The gender gap has created a situation where there are not enough women of marrying-age for China’s single men…Chinese police have so far freed 10,621 kidnapped women and 5,896 kidnapped children… Among the women freed were 1,099 foreigners, mostly from Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Mongolia, who were sold as brides to Chinese men or forced to work as prostitutes.”
- Change.org: Victory! Bangladeshi labor leaders released from jail: “Victory is sweet for the over 1,000 Change.org readers took action to demand the release of Bangladeshi labor rights advocates Kalpona Akter and Babul Akhter from jail… Kalpona and Babul were put in jail on trumped up charges at a time when garment workers in Bangladesh were protesting for better wages.”
- Senate passes Child Protection Compact Act, an anti-child trafficking bill: Senator Barbara Boxer said, “The trafficking of children is one of the most heinous crimes imaginable. I am so proud that my colleagues, both Democrats and Republicans, supported this bill, which will give the State Department new, innovative tools to help protect vulnerable children around the globe.”
The Child Protection Compact Act, if passed into law, would allow the U.S. to give up to $15 million in aid over a three year span to countries who are “eager, but currently unable” to combat slavery and human trafficking. You can learn more about this law at the website of our ATEST colleagues, International Justice Mission.
Change.org and California-based anti-human trafficking organization Coalition to Abolish Slavery & Trafficking just launched a petition calling for Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to sign two pieces of legislation that seek to eliminate slavery in California’s supply chain. As part of ATEST, Free the Slaves has officially endorsed one of these bills—SB 657, the California Supply Chain Transparency Act.
Today it is estimated that nearly 12.3 million people—equal to nearly one-third of California’s total population — are working in some form of forced labor worldwide.
Across the country, existing state and federal laws make human trafficking a crime, while providing various remedies and supports to victims. Yet, state and federal laws have done little to address the growing markets that consume products tainted with slavery and trafficking.
In September 2009, the US Department of Labor released its “List of Goods Produced by Child or Forced Labor.” The report found nearly 122 goods from 58 countries that are believed to be tainted with forced and/or child labor.
Undoubtedly, many of those goods are consumed in California—home to the 10th largest economy in the world with hundreds of billions of dollars of imports pouring into the state each year. California consumers and businesses—by the nature and scope of their purchasing power—are uniquely positioned to eradicate slavery and trafficking through their purchasing choices.