The U.K.’s International Slavery Museum recently released the Contemporary Slavery Teachers’ Resource, which will educate students in England and Wales about modern day slavery and how they may take informed action against it. It is hoped that this monumental educational material will be embraced and disseminated by teachers worldwide.

The International Slavery Museum opened on August 23, 2007, the bicentenary of the abolition of the British slave trade. Located in Liverpool’s Albert Dock, just yards away from where 18th century slave trading ships once stood, the museum highlights the historic and contemporary significance of slavery in an international context.

“Our aim is to address ignorance and misunderstanding by looking at the deep and permanent impact of slavery and the slave trade on Africa, South America, the USA, the Caribbean and Western Europe. Thus we will increase our understanding of the world around us,” said Dr. David Fleming, Director of National Museums Liverpool.

Although officially abolished, slavery has not vanished; rather, it is rampant and affects 27 million people today. The new Teachers’ Resource will educate students aged 10 to 14 in England and Wales on contemporary slavery as part of their education in Citizenship, which informs students on social justice issues and emphasizes the importance of human rights and responsibilities.

This exciting resource includes key terms, descriptions of the various forms of slavery, case studies and testimonies, human rights legislation, worksheets, and a list of the world’s notable campaigns, among which is Free the Slaves. Free the Slaves has contributed photographs, slavery survivor transcripts, and other resources to the material.

If you or someone you know is interested in educating today’s youth on slavery, access the downloadable Teachers’ Resource here!

Slavery can be defeated within the next 25 years, if everyone is engaged and joins this collaborative effort for freedom.

Links: Slavery in the News

Jason Mraz sits on a fishing boat with James Kofi Annan, a former childhood fishing slave in Ghana, and founder of anti-slavery NGO Challenging Heights.

  • 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.”
  • 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.”

Links: Slavery in the News

  • Children & Young People NowHelp for trafficked children caught in cannabis farms: “Children are being trafficked into the UK to work in so-called “cannabis factories”. There are now moves to treat those found during raids as victims rather than offenders.”
  • CNN: Legal advisor in Haiti kidnap case extradited to U.S.: “After Haitian authorities detained 10 U.S. missionaries this year on kidnapping and abduction charges, Torres-Puello contacted their church in Idaho, saying he was a legal authority on Haitian and Dominican law, the Marshals Service said. ‘He obtained money from the families of the missionaries and began representing himself to the Haitian court and international media as the attorney/spokesman for the detained Americans,’ the Marshals Service said in a release Monday.”
  • Yorkshire Evening PostOwner of an Indian restaurant in U.K. jailed for enslaving staff: “An Indian restaurant boss has been jailed for three years for people trafficking… Her sons, Raja, 33, and Shahnawaz Khan, 30, once dubbed the Indian Jamie Oliver, are already serving three year jail terms after they were found guilty at a trial in March.

An image from the UK's Blue Blindfold human trafficking awareness campaign

Canada has just launched an ad campaign to raise awareness about human trafficking. Backed by the Canadian government, the Blue Blindfold media blitz is based on the campaign of the same name launched in the UK back in 2007. Based around the motif of people wearing blue blindfolds, the campaign urges the community: “don’t close your eyes” to modern day slavery.

The Canadian Crime Stoppers Association—which describes itself as a “civilian, non profit, charitable organization that brings together in a triparte relationship, the police services of a community, the media and the community in the fight against crime”—was given permission to adapt the UK’s Blue Blindfold campaign for a Canadian audience. Media is to be produced for television, radio, newspapers, and educational brochures (the UK campaign also utilized billboards).

The campaign is receiving some criticism from people who say it doesn’t do enough to actively stop modern day slavery and human trafficking. New Democrat parliament member Olivia Chow asked why Canada was three years behind the UK in adopting a comprehensive ad campaign against human trafficking. From CTV:

“Olivia Chow said that a public awareness campaign doesn’t go far enough to address the problem.

Instead, Chow said that Ottawa should be working to provide ‘comprehensive’ legal services to the victims of human trafficking, so pimps and criminals can be convicted and stopped.

Chow told CTV’s Power Play on Tuesday that many foreign women trapped in the sex trade are afraid to come forward, since they believe that officials will deport or arrest them.

If the victims are afraid to talk, this means that traffickers aren’t brought to justice, Chow said.

‘There’s very, very little chance of them being convicted, and they know that.’”

The real question is: why doesn’t the US have a comprehensive, national media campaign against modern day slavery?

Links: Slavery in the News

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon meets with Mira Sorvino, UN Goodwill Ambassador to Combat Human Trafficking, March 2010. UN Photo/Mark Garten

UN Announces “Global Plan of Action Against Trafficking in Persons.” Ten years ago, the UN General Assembly first officially recognized the need to combat human trafficking by implementing the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons.

The new Action Plan will expand on this protocol by creating a United Nations Voluntary Trust Fund—money set aside to help NGOs and government agencies protect and rehabilitate survivors of modern day slavery. “After they have been exploited and abused, [survivors of human trafficking] should not be punished, too,” UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in his announcement yesterday. Read his entire statement here.

China's Human Trafficking Stats

“Xue Shulan, a judge in the SPC, attributed the rising number of human trafficking cases to the demand of a large market, especially in rural areas where people who have a preference for males are willing to spend a lot of money to buy a boy.

About 30,000 to 60,000 children are reported missing every year in China, but it is difficult to estimate how many are actually cases of human trafficking, the Ministry of Public Security said.” Read more on this report fro Economic Daily here.

From Press TV: “Amnesty International UK spokeswoman Lucy Wake called the opt-out ‘alarming’ at a time when Britain’s own efforts to stop human trafficking were failing.

She argued for ‘an independent anti-trafficking watchdog—something that the directive specifically calls for.

‘Trafficking is a serious international crime and we need coordinated international measures to tackle it, not opt-outs and piecemeal responses.’

The Home Office defended its decision, claiming: ‘By not opting in now but reviewing our position when the directive is agreed, we can avoid measures that are against our interests.’” Read the Guardian’s coverage here.

From the New York Times: “The police said 14 people, almost all of them Brazilian, were arrested over recent weeks as part of an inquiry into the network’s activities begun in February.

…The police estimated that between 60 and 80 men were brought to Spain by the network, most of them in their 20s and originating from Brazil’s northern state of Maranhão. They reached Spain by passing through third countries.

The network covered the whole of Spain, with the sex workers placed in, and then switched regularly between, apartments whose landlords received half of the money earned by them, as well as €200, or about $255, to cover food and lodging, officials said.”

From the Fiji Times: “Human trafficking is a global phenomenon and its symptoms have now been identified domestically and also at our borders, says Immigration Director Major Nemani Vuniwaqa. He said human trafficking was new to the citizens of Fiji.”