It’s the beginning of the New Year, so why not start a New Year’s resolution to help end Modern-Day Slavery?
There are currently 27 million slaves in the world right now- more than any other time in history. Together, we can do something about it.

Here are five simple ways to help end slavery in your lifetime.

Free the Slaves 2011 “Freedom Photo” winner

1) Tell 10 people that you know that slavery still exists.

Words are powerful. So is social media. Send a simple message via Facebook or Twitter to 10 of your best friends– have them send a message to 10 of their friends– and so on. Slaves risk their lives to tell their stories because they believe that if enough of us know about slavery, we’ll do something about it.

2) Be an ethical shopper.

Slavery is in many of the products that we use every day– from our electronics to chocolate. Knowing where your products come from is essential to stopping the modern-day slave trade. Do your research and find out whether the items in your shopping bag are tainted by slavery. The Guardian recommends shopping apps such as the GSG Ethical Shopping App or Barcoo to check out an orgaization’s ethical history. (As a note, Free the Slaves doesn’t endorse any of these products.) If you’re on the business side, pick up a copy of Free the Slaves’ “A Guide to Becoming a Slavery-Free Business,” to ensure that you’re not selling products with slavery in them.

 3) Lobby your school or your children’s school and get them to teach a course on modern-day slavery.

After students and parents lobbied Harvard, they adopted a course on modern-day slavery into their curricula. If you want to help educate the next generation of abolitionists, you can also join Free the Slaves’ Freedom Education Project on IndieGoGo, which will send 27 copies of Slavery: The Book and multimedia packages to schools and libraries in California. The best part? All of the proceeds go towards the Free the Slaves “Free a Village, Build A Movement” initiative, which helps free people from slavery.

 4)  Throw a fundraiser.

Whether throwing impromptu talent shows or hosting documentary screenings, everyone gets creative when it comes to ending slavery! We’ve had people rally their whole communities when they find out the truth about slavery. Check out this page for ideas on how to throw your own benefit.

  5) Donate.

One of the easiest– and fastest– ways to help is to donate. Free the Slaves works directly on the front lines to free people from slavery and help them re-build their lives.

Want to learn more?

Sign up for our monthly newsletter for updates about the new abolitionist movement.

Tawney Bevacqua is Free the Slaves’ outreach coordinator. She is also the face of the ‘Artists Against Slavery’ blog—a sub-section of the FTSblog—in which she explores how artists and creative professionals are using their talents to help end slavery.

Thousands of people are brought into the U.S. every year to be used as slaves. Thousands more U.S. citizens are enslaved within our borders. Even though it’s all around us and we are connected to it through the products we use every day, modern-day slavery is a hidden crime, and we can sometimes feel helpless against it. But there are actions you can take now to help eradicate slavery. Raising awareness is an important step you can take. It’s still not universally recognized that real slavery exists today. Experience tells us that when people find out about slavery, they are inspired to work to eradicate it. Raising funds to help reputable anti-slavery organizations like Free the Slaves is also an important action. Donations help us continue our work.

Here is a list of three concrete things you can do to help bring an end to modern-day slavery:

SPREAD THE WORD:

Tag Free the Slaves in a facebook status asking your friends to join in on the fights against modern day slavery.

SIGN THIS PETITION:

The landmark Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) of 2000 is perhaps the most important piece of U.S. legislation to combat modern-day slavery. The TVPA is up for renewal this year, and we need your help to ensure this important legislation is continued. In partnership with Change.org, ATEST has started a petition urging President Obama, Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Harry Reid to make the eradication of slavery a priority—and renew the TVPA. Sign the petition urging the U.S. government to continue the TVPRA

STAY INFORMED:

We started a blog so it would be easy for you to get the latest on slavery in the news, events around the world, and ways for you to help. Make the Free the Slaves blog your homepage!


If you have creative ways to help end slavery share them on our facebook wall or email me at Tawney@freetheslaves.net

Via the BBC: A journalist posted a photo of a kidnapped child on a microblogging site. The photo on the right was blogged back, and the child was reunited with his parents.

Here’s a great story about the power of social media. In China, microblogging helped reunite a kidnapped child with his family. Via the BBC:

It is estimated that up to 20,000 children in China are kidnapped every year. Some are sold to gangs to be used as beggars, others to families who don’t have a son but want one. Most are never recovered.

[Kidnapped child] little Lele’s family… found help from Deng Fei, a journalist, who has a massive following on the internet.

Twitter-type microblogs took off in popularity in China last year. Well over 100 million people now use them. Deng Fei tweeted Lele’s picture to his two million followers. Someone saw it and spotted the boy in Jiangsu province, 2,000km away from where he was kidnapped.

So Lele’s father headed there. Overcome with emotion he waited outside the police station as officers went to investigate the sighting. They returned with his son.

Peng Gaofeng shouted the boy’s name. Lele replied: “That man crying is my father.” It was all filmed and tweeted live by journalist Deng Fei.

Inside the police station Peng Gaofeng called his wife to tell her the news, breaking down in sobs as he told her the boy had been found. Then he clutched Lele close and told him: “No matter where you go, I will find you.”

‘Rights Activists Say China’s Gender Ratio Contributes to Human Trafficking.’ Via Voice of America:

A new online campaign to publish photographs of child beggars is helping to reunite children who have been kidnapped with their families.

On Thursday, the Ministry announced that people can call the number 110 if they believe that a child has been a victim of human trafficking and made to beg. The campaign was initiated by Professor Yu Jianrong of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

The police’s decision to involve ordinary citizens in anti-trafficking activities comes after the January 25 launch of a similar initiative by online bloggers and internet communities.  Professor Jianrong has urged ordinary citizens to take picture of children they suspect of being forced to beg and posting them on micro-blogs.

Links: Slavery in the News

  • Blogging and anti-slavery come together as one! Via PR Web: First annual bloggers soiree to benefit anti-sex trafficking organization: “Bloggers and anti-human trafficking advocates will take over the Lower East Side Monday, September 27 at Libation NY for the First Annual Bloggers Soiree hosted by DesireeFrieson.com, RedRoverStyle.com and HerJourneyMag.com… 25% of proceeds from this event will go to benefit Restore NYC, a non-profit organization providing long-term aftercare services to international sex trafficked victims in the city. Last month, Restore NYC launched their ‘Brick by Brick’campaign which aims to raise $50,000 to build a safe house in New York City for sex trafficked survivors.”
  • TDN.com: Exploited minors need our help, not punishment: Last week Linda Smith, founder of Shared Hope International testified at the House subcommittee on sex trafficking of minors. “Sex-trafficking victims, whose average initial exploitation age is 13, are often treated as juvenile delinquents or adult prostitutes by the criminal justice system. ‘Those who are identified as minors are frequently charged with a delinquent act, either prostitution-related activities or a related offense such as drug possession,’ Smith explained. That treatment, Smith added, only compounds the trauma of sexual violence the minor has already experienced.

Read Freedom Award winner Tina Frundt’s testimony at this same hearing. Frundt, a survivor of childhood sex trafficking, says “Every pimp has a MySpace page.”

  • TheLedger.com: A South Florida couple guilty of human trafficking: “Sophia Manuel and Alfonso Baldonado Jr. schemed to force Filipino nationals to work in South Florida country clubs and hotels and threatened them with deportation. In exchange, they were offered little or no pay, and inadequate food or water.”