ONLINE PROTEST MAKES CHOCOLATE GIANT CUT ITS DEFORESTATION FOOTPRINT
STOP THE TRAFFIK thinks the Greenpeace campaign -that has seen Nestlé succumb to eco-friendly palm oil- is a great illustration of what community action can achieve through the power of new media campaigns by NGOs, which can galvanise multinationals in a way that was not possible before the internet. A three month guerrilla campaign against the food giants on the internet saw them attacked on social networking sites such as Facebook and YouTube. One million people watched Greenpeace’s spoof advert for KitKat, despite it being taken down temporarily after a legal threat. A non-profit group will now audit Nestlé’s supply chain while they cancel contracts with any firm chopping down rainforests to produce the vegetable oil for its best-selling chocolate bars: KitKat, Aero and Quality Street.
Campaigners particularly stressed harm to orangutans, a close relative of man, which lives only on the heavily deforested islands of Borneo and Sumatra, cleared to make way for the oil palm plantations used by n Nestlé. But just as no Gorilla should die in the palm oil that goes into our favourite chocolates, so should no child die in the slavery that produces the cocoa itself. We’d like to see Nestlé have more chocolate bars that are not only forest-safe but also traffik-free!
On the success of our previous campaign which saw the four finger Kit Kat go fair-trade, we continue to plead: “Nestlé, give the children of slavery a break and don’t nestle up to exploitation.”
PLAYING CARDS WITH PHOTOS OF THE MISSING: China’s Child Trafficking Epidemic as Profitable as the Drug Trade.
The police are almost powerless to stop it and corruption facilitates the trade. Desperate parents are joining forces to search for their sons and daughters. But efforts are usually unsuccessful. Find out about the children’s market in Tanshan, the local demand for “children for sale” and why no-one asks any questions. It is estimated between 30,000 and 60,000 children disappear each year- kidnapped and then sold, often ending up as slaves in workshops and brickworks, or being forced to work in brothels. Kidnappers can charge up to €4,000 for a boy and usually about half as much for a girl.
Under Chinese law, only those who sell people can be charged with a crime, but not those who buy them. Not just unscrupulous gangs engage in human trafficking- it is the parents themselves, with giving birth to and selling additional children a lucrative source of income and one grounded in tradition. Read about Guo Gangtang’s story. His child Xinzhen (then two and a half) was stolen 13 years ago in coastal Shandong Province.
NEW UK COALITION GOVERNMENT RELEASE PLANS FOR UK IMMIGRATION
Yesterday, the new UK Coalition Government released its full plans including details of those on immigration. Part of this includes the creation of a dedicated Border Police Force, as part of a refocused Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA), to enhance national security, improve immigration controls and crack down on the trafficking of people, weapons and drugs. They will work with police forces to strengthen arrangements to deal with serious crime and other cross-boundary policing challenges as well as extend collaboration between forces. The new government supports E-borders and will reintroduce exit checks and new measures to minimize the abuse of the immigration system, for example via student routes. It is said to be working on tackling human trafficking as a priority. Watch this space!
INTERNATIONAL NGOs CRITICIZE MALAYSIA’S INCLUSION IN UNHRC
Malaysia’s inclusion into the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) at the UN General Assembly last Thursday has received widespread criticism from an international human rights body with claims that Malaysia was among the countries which fell short of UN standards. This is a golden opportunity for Malaysia to champion just causes and make a public announcement from now until June 19, when they officially take a seat on the council, saying exactly how they intend to improve their human rights track record on migrant workers, asylum seekers and human trafficking victims, described by many as abysmal.
TRAFFICKING ON THE RISE IN NORTHERN IRELAND
Well-hidden but happening “right under our noses”, human trafficking in Northern Ireland though relatively new, is quietly on the rise according to police. In April 2010, a new provision of the Policing and Crime Act created new offence in NI of paying for the sexual services of a prostitute who is, or has been, subject to force. The danger is that this may drive activity further underground, making it more difficult to detect, prosecute and punish.
Over 35 brothels are said to have used trafficked girls (would be “hairdressers”), from South America and Africa, some as young as 15, controlling them through fear and voodoo rituals. A “chicken run” system has been identified where trafficked women are moved between brothels disorientating them, keeping them isolated so they cannot seek help and increasing the choice in the prostitution world. According to Police, brothels are being set up in plain sight and people need to spot the signs.