One year til the Olympics and we’re going on the road

One year from today, the Olympics will kick-off here in London and with the support of the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, we are using this amazing opportunity to raise awareness about human trafficking through community roadshows.

Here’s the nitty gritty of what you need to know about the roadshows:

  • Why: Everyone needs to know what human trafficking is and how it affects them.
  • What: An interactive community workshop exploring the impact of trafficking and what we can do about it.
  • Where: Hosted by communities who want to lead the fight against trafficking and those that are hosting events for the 2012 Games.
  • Who by: STOP THE TRAFFIK team, police forces, local authorities, and community activists.
  • Who for: Anyone who wants to make their community harder for traffickers to operate in: local residents, community activists, community organisations, youth groups, faith groups, local charities, police officers, social workers, health workers, teachers, community services, and others.
We have roadshows planned for:
  •   St Albans, Hertfordshire – Saturday afternoon, October 29th
  •   Newham, London – Well Community Centre, 49 Vicarage Lane, East Ham, London E6 6DQ Monday November 14th, 5 – 7:30pm
  •   Birmingham, West Midlands – Hawkesley Primary School, 376 Shannon Road, Kings Norton, Birmingham B38 9TR, Saturday November 19th, 2 -5pm
  •  Tower Hamlets, London – Praxis Community Projects, Pott Street, London E2 0EF Thursday November 24th 6 – 8:30pm
  •   Islington, London- Islington Assembly Hall, Upper Street, London N1 2UD
    Tuesday December 13th, 10am-1pm

If you want to REGISTER for a roadshow, email act@stopthetraffik.org with your name, address, and location you will be attending.

If you want to HOST a 2012 roadshow, email act@stopthetraffik.org to suggest a location for an event, a venue it could be held in, and the communities it could reach.

If you AREN’T IN THE UK you can still get involved by starting Travel Alert! in your community. All the resources to get started in your community on our website www.stopthetraffik.org/resources/travelalert.

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A smokey sweet global news round


 

Smokey

Activists in Africa are upset about the government’s decision to promote tobacco production but not just because smoking is predicted to be the leading cause of deaths worldwide by 2030 killing 8 million people a year. Tanzania has already seen an increase in trafficking onto tobacco plantations so if there is an increased demand for and production of tobacco due to the government’s promotions, there will almost certainly be an increase in human trafficking for forced labour on the tobacco plantations. Read more…

 

 Sweet

Two women in Brainerd, Illinois, USA wanted to be crime fighters as children and now that they are grown still want to help fight crime, just not in the traditional way. The women who share a passion for baking have a sweet dream to open a cupcake shop which will not only bring cheer to patrons but also raise awareness about human trafficking and help fundraise for victim care. Read more…

 

For more about how people are using cupcakes to raise awareness about human trafficking, check out STOP THE TRAFFIK Bristol’s cupcake campaign!

Balancing migration with prevention and detection of trafficking

This past week, a British woman was jailed for six months and ordered to pay £3,000 compensation to a 21-year old Tanzanian woman who she kept as a slave in her home. Read the whole story here.

The young lady was not brought to the UK illegally and in fact she entered the country legally on a work visa but that didn’t save her from being forced to work as a slave once she arrived.  This news story brings attention to the difficult balance between protecting and preventing trafficking and migration policies.

The existing Overseas Domestic Worker (ODW) visa provides the most important protection for some of the most vulnerable and isolated workers in the UK. The visa works well; workers can only enter on, or renew their visa, if they are in employment. They are recognised as workers in the UK with the right to change employer which allows them to escape abuse if they encounter it in their work situation.

The UK government is proposing to remove these protections in order to reduce figures for net migration. If these changes occur, conditions for migrant domestic workers in the UK will worsen dramatically resulting in increasing numbers of domestic workers subjected to forced labour or other exploitation including trafficking for domestic servitude.

The current system for ODW contains protections which help prevent trafficking, in contrast victim support measures only works to identify workers once they have already been trafficked. Overseas domestic workers who have become undocumented upon escaping abuse are far less likely to come forward for identification, protections available even once a worker has been identified are limited and costly. In contrast the right to change employer costs the state nothing.

If you want to find out more about this issue and what you can do about it, visit the website of Kalayaan who support migrant domestic workers and campaign on these issues – http://www.kalayaan.org.uk/

And if you want to find out more about communicating with your MP or local government representative on issues around human trafficking (in the UK or around the world) read our sheet

One year til the Olympics and we’re going on the road

One year from today, the Olympics will kick-off here in London and with the support of the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, we are using this amazing opportunity to raise awareness about human trafficking through community roadshows.

Here’s the nitty gritty of what you need to know about the roadshows:

  • Why: Everyone needs to know what human trafficking is and how it affects them.
  • What: An interactive community workshop exploring the impact of trafficking and what we can do about it.
  • Where: Hosted by communities who want to lead the fight against trafficking and those that are hosting events for the 2012 Games.
  • Who by: STOP THE TRAFFIK team, police forces, local authorities, and community activists.
  • Who for: Anyone who wants to make their community harder for traffickers to operate in: local residents, community activists, community organisations, youth groups, faith groups, local charities, police officers, social workers, health workers, teachers, community services, and others.
We have roadshows planned for:
  •  Windlesham, Surrey – Thursday evening, October 13th
  •   Epsom, Surrey – Saturday afternoon, October 15th
  •   St Albans, Hertfordshire – Saturday afternoon, October 29th
  •   Newham, London – Monday evening, November 14th
  •   Birmingham, West Midlands – Saturday afternoon, November 19th
  •  Tower Hamlets, London -Thursday evening, November 24th (TBC)
  •   Islington, London-Tuesday mid-day, December 13th

If you want to REGISTER for a roadshow, email act@stopthetraffik.org with your name, address, and location you will be attending.

If you want to HOST a 2012 roadshow, email act@stopthetraffik.org to suggest a location for an event, a venue it could be held in, and the communities it could reach.

If you AREN’T IN THE UK you can still get involved by starting Travel Alert! in your community. All the resources to get started in your community on our website www.stopthetraffik.org/resources/travelalert.

UN Advisor slams government’s new trafficking strategy


“The UK government is taking the country’s anti-trafficking efforts in a dangerous direction, if its new strategy on tackling human trafficking published today is anything to go by.” This is the view of Steve Chalke MBE, founder of the charity STOP THE TRAFFIK and UN.GIFT Special Advisor on Community Action against Human Trafficking.

Steve said, “The government’s immigration-dominated focus on addressing the symptoms and not the causes of the trade in human beings will do little to stem the tide. It could also increase the vulnerability of the men, women, and children who are trafficked into the UK and exploited, by concentrating more on their immigration status than their position as victims of a horrible crime. Human trafficking is a human rights abuse, not an immigration offence. Police and border actions against the criminals are key, but unless there is a coordinated strategy to prevent human trafficking occurring in the first place, these efforts will be no more than sticking plasters. This new government strategy is a missed opportunity.
The UK government has clear international obligations to take specific measures, in particular helping communities identify and prevent human trafficking, and the strategy published today does little to bring this country into compliance with many of these:

·         Community research has to be undertaken to assess the scale of human trafficking. No government research on trafficking for forced labour or other non-sexual forms of exploitation has been published.
·         Information should be shared between the relevant stakeholders. Charities and community groups still need much more information and feedback from government bodies.
·         Awareness-raising is crucial to making communities harder for criminals to operate in. There is little actual government support for anti-trafficking work with the general public.
·         Education of young people will equip them to stay safe from human trafficking. Little effort has been made by the government to address the issue of human trafficking in schools and other settings.
·         Root causes of human trafficking need to be addressed through targeted poverty-reduction and other programmes. The government refuses to mainstream anti-trafficking measures into its international development efforts.
·         Safe migration and assistance information should be distributed to vulnerable migrants in the UK. There is no evidence that this is being systematically done.
·         Discouraging demand for goods and services produced by human trafficking victims is essential to stopping the crime. There has been little government effort to date to engage the private sector on this issue.
·         Civil society delivers most of the anti-trafficking projects in this country and need to be actively involved. Government consultation with the third sector on this strategy has been confused, last-minute, and not transparent.

Ruth Dearnley, Chief Executive of STOP THE TRAFFIK, says “Prevention is better than cure. Human trafficking starts in communities and can be stopped by communities. It isn’t just happening to someone else, somewhere else – it’s happening right here, right now. British young people are being trafficked within and out of the UK, and the new government strategy does little to address this. Although we welcome the strategy’s intentions about working with the public and the private sector, this government is still falling short on its responsibilities to prevent human trafficking, charities like STOP THE TRAFFIK are filling the gap, and we are equipping communities to prevent and tackle human trafficking in their localities.”

Breaking the trafficking stereotype

Yesterday,  a man who was found guilty of trafficking women out of the UK, was sentenced to 20 years in jail. This was the first prosecution of its kind in the UK.

Before an attempt was made to traffick two girls, 14 and 16, out of the country, the girls were imprisoned in the man’s UK home where he used their belief in Juju magic  to control them. Read the BBC news story here.

I remember when I was younger and first learned about trafficking, people thought of human trafficking as something that only happened somewhere else – ‘poor’ countries in Asia, Africa, or South America, maybe even Eastern Europe.

After time and a lot of awareness raising, I think more people are becoming aware that human beings are trafficked into countries all over the world – ‘rich’ and ‘poor.’ However, I think the stereotype still partially persists in that these are people from ‘poor’ countries in Asia, Africa, or South America, maybe even Eastern Europe.

Having grown up in the US, I understand how it can be hard for a lot of people to imagine that people are actually being trafficking OUT of some of the richest countries like the UK, USA, or Canada to ‘poorer’ countries but that is the reality. Human trafficking is not bounded by geographical borders, economic status, race, religion, gender, or age. Human trafficking is a universal problem that can take place in the backyard of your community, no matter if you live in an exclusive Beverly Hills community or Indonesian slums.

So now that you know trafficking can be taking place in your backyard, what can you do about?

You can join STOP THE TRAFFIK and do your part to make your community and communities around the world, hostile to human trafficking. Take part in the chocolate campaign, raise money for a girl’s education through Freedom Ticket For Life and/or join or start a local ACT group. Not everyone can dedicate all of their time to fighting human trafficking but there are a lot of small things you can do in your day to day life that can make a big difference.

If you are already a member of STOP THE TRAFFIK and want to tell us what you are doing or you want to find out what others are doing, head over to our Facebook page. Don’t forget to ‘Like’ us so you can keep up with our latest updates and you can Follow us on Twitter, too.

 

– Elizabeth, Intern at STOP THE TRAFFIK

Northern Ireland – Police can’t do it alone!

This week, a BBC investigation in Northern Ireland uncovered that up to £500,000 is spent every week on prostitution and police estimate there are 88 brothels in operation. Read more here.

Police said gangs can make millions of pounds a year by trafficking women in to the country and exploiting them. Northern Ireland has a higher demand for prostitution than many other areas in Europe and the authorities know that something needs to be done but the police are able to tackle it all. But the police shouldn’t have to do it alone. Communities also have a role in combating human trafficking. They need to increase their participation in making their neighbourhoods hostile to trafficking through involvement in awareness raising and community action.

Last week, one of our staff members was in Belfast delivering a workshop at a training day lead by Belfast City council and Migrant help line.  The event was attended by frontline professionals, services providers and community members who were passionate about wanting to understand the indicators of trafficking and how to appropriately respond/report if they came across cases.

“For me the value of the day was meeting those who represented their communities across Northern Ireland.  People wanted to know what role they could play in the fight to combat trafficking in Northern Ireland.” – STOP THE TRAFFIK staff

We have an ACT group in Craigavon  who are beginning to increase awareness and understanding of the issues so that Craigavon becomes a community where it is harder for traffickers to hide themselves and their victims.  If you’re in Northern Ireland (or anywhere else around the world!) why not start your own ACT group and do your part to make your neighbourhood traffik-free.

Stolen – new BBC drama addresses child trafficking

Sunday 3rd July, BBC1 will air it’s new 90-minute drama Stolen, from award-winning director Justin Chadwick

Stolen follows the story of one man, Anthony, and three children. Anthony works in the Human Trafficking Unit, battling to make a difference to the plight of exploited children being smuggled into the UK and from there, to anywhere and to any fate. (Courtesy of BBC Press Office)

Damian Lewis, who plays Anthony,  said

It makes you look at aeroplanes passing through the sky very differently. Is there a child on that plane that’s just been trafficked from wherever? And I think people who see this film will feel the same way. It goes on all around us in the shadows.” (In an interview with Ian Wylie

You can watch Stolen at 9pm Sunday, 3rd July on BBC1.

Once, you’ve watched it, head over to our Facebook page and tell us what you thought of it!

Can’t watch it on TV? You can watch it live online.

Can’t watch it live online? You can watch it on BBC iPlayer.

Can’t watch it on BBC iPlayer, we’ll keep you updated on cinema release dates!

Although BBC1 does broadcast in a lot of countries around the world, we know that not everyone will be able to view this amazing drama. We also know that a lot of  networks around the world are trying to raise awareness about human trafficking so tell us about TV dramas in your country that you think have addressed the issue of trafficking well!

————————————————————————————————————

03 July 2011, 11:30pm

I just watched Stolen and they did a really good job representing many of the forms of child trafficking.

What did you think?

Did you notice any times during the film that someone could have recognized the signs of trafficking and helped?

What about places where a poster or a flyer could have helped the victims?

Head over to our Facebook page and let us know what you thought of the film.

If you want to do something to take action and help prevent and stop human trafficking, visit our website www.stopthetraffik.org to learn more about trafficking and see all the ways you can get involved.

 

Trafficking in your country – 2011 TIP Report

This week the U.S. Department of State released their 2011 Trafficking In Persons (TIP) report.

What can you use the TIP for? 

The TIP is a good resource for trafficking information in countries all over the world. The 2011 report there are 184 countries listed and ranked. If you want to know about trafficking in your own country or somewhere you are travelling to you can read individual Country Narratives which include sections on

  • General overview
  • Recommendations
  • Prosecution information
  • Protection information
  • Prevention information

This is also a great resource for students conducting research on human trafficking.

Is your country included in the report? What are your thoughts on their conclusions and recommendations?

You can check out country narratives and additional documents on the
***Documents are available in English, Chinese, French, Russian, Spanish, Arabic, Persian***

Steve Chalke on BBC Radio 2 with Chris Evans

“One of my roles in life is to work as the United Nations Special Advisor on Human Trafficking. Human trafficking – the buying and selling people – is as profitable as it is degrading. Now the world’s second largest, fastest growing and most lucrative form of crime, only the illegal sale of arms is more prosperous.”

Our charismatic founder, Steve Chalke, was on BBC Radio 2’s breakfast show with Chris Evans this morning to talk about human trafficking. You can listen to it all here!

London-based internship opportunities

*** We are no longer accepting applications for this recruitment cycle but keep an eye out for information about the next recruitment cycle in Jan. 2012! ***

STOP THE TRAFFIK is looking for London-based interns to join our team for four months on a part-time/full-time voluntary basis. As an intern you will communicate with, support and resource grassroots activists through different means of communication and resources.

As a current intern I can honestly say it’s a great opportunity and an amazing team to work with. For the full job description and application, you can send us an e-mail at info@stopthetraffik.org.

Some specific duties and responsibilites will include:

• To work closely with the team on the daily administration of STOP THE TRAFFIK including responding to general enquiries (phone, e-mail, letters, processing merchandise orders, and acknowledging donations etc)

• Assist in STOP THE TRAFFIK’s internal and external communications including:

– Managing the blog and other Social Networking media

– Researching and writing articles and social network comms as and when required

– Helping with press releases

– Crafting communications to go to the global database

• Research, maintain and distribute an up-to-date record of trafficking headlines to the team

• Participate in and assist at STOP THE TRAFFIK events, including public speaking, school lesson delivery, workshops and running stands / stalls

P.S. My top tip for any future interns, bake lemon drizzle cake for team meetings!

Nestlé, Wish you were here!

Where are you headed on holiday over the next few months?

If you are headed to Australia you’re in chocolaty luck because you’ll be able to find traffik-free 4 finger Kit Kat bars and by the end of 2011, Nestlé has committed to making their entire Australian Kit Kat range traffik-free and UTZ certified! Read more…

Not going to Australia? That’s ok!

No matter where you go on holiday if you can’t find a traffik-free chocolate bar, we want you to let Nestlé  know! Grab a postcard and write them a note. Tell them “I’m here on holiday and I’m very disappointed that I can’t find traffik-free chocolate!” or as mine reads “Dear Nestlé  traffik-free chocolate, Wish you were here! – Elizabeth”

After you’ve written your message, stick a stamp on it and pop it in the post! Click here to look up the address of the Nestlé  headquarters in the country you are traveling to.

If you find your favourite traffik-free chocolate bar while you are on holiday, or maybe you’ll discover a new one, we want you to let us know! Leave us a comment, e-mail us, post a photo of it on our Facebook wall – tell us where you went on holiday and what traffik-free  chocolate you found so we can share it with other activists travelling there in the future.

Our colleague Katy heads off soon on holiday to Kenya so we are excited to see what traffik-free chocolate she finds when she’s there. She’s also got the address packed to write her postcard.

We hope you enjoy your holiday and traffik-free chocolate wherever your headed!

Traffik-free chocolate where you live

Today is World Day Against Child Labour, sponsored by the International Labour Organization.

For a couple of years now activists around the world have been campaigning hard to get the chocolate companies to get on board with using cocoa in their products that isn’t grown and picked using trafficked child labour. From sending postcards, letters, and e-mails to Nestle’s national headquarters in their country to holding fondu parties and getting their friends and family to buy only traffik-free chocolate, activists are making a difference!

Two of the questions I get e-mailed a lot here at STOP THE TRAFFIK is “What brands of chocolate are traffik-free where I live?” and “Where can I buy traffik-free chocolate?” STOP THE TRAFFIK has guides on our website but we know there are more traffik-free chocolates out there than what we know about so I’m turning the tables and asking you – What’s your favorite traffik-free chocolate bar? and Where do you buy it?

You can leave a comment here, e-mail us, or leave a comment on our Facebook note “Traffik-free chocolate where I live”  

For everyone living in Australia and South Africa, the week leading up to World Day Against Child Labour brought good news and more options for buying traffik-free chocolate!

In Australia, Mars Bars are now Rain forest Alliance  

and Cadbury’s Fairtrade Dairy Milk has made it to South Africa!

Cut the strings of the trafficking puppet masters

Today, the London Metropolitan Police are spreading the word around London about their new human trafficking hotline which we hope will encourage victims and those who may know of victims to help cut the strings of their puppet-master traffickers.

STOP THE TRAFFIK are really excited to work with the Met police on this project. With today’s launch of the Met’s hotline, London joins cities around the world like Manila and Abu Dhabi, in which hotlines have seen great success in helping to alert authorities to potential trafficking situations, rescue victims, and eventually prosecute the traffickers.

Hotlines are fantastic tools to help combat human trafficking but they are only helpful if victims and communities know about them which is one of the reasons STOP THE TRAFFIK developed the GLOBAL TRAVEL ALERT! Victims are trafficked from a community and are trafficked into a community and although we aim to prevent trafficking before it happens, we also want to reach potential victims while they are in the process of travelling from one community to the next via car, train, bus, boat or plane.

No matter where you are in the world, you can use the Global TRAVEL ALERT! to help spread the word about your local hotline or number victims and community members can contact to receive help and support. Getting involved is really simple! All you need to do is download the resources from our webpage, customize them to meet your community’s needs and then start spreading the word in your community at hotels, bus and train stations, schools, churches, community centers, everywhere!

The poster is great for hanging in toilets in travel centers like bus and train stations. Just adapt it with a local phone number people can pull-off and take with them.

Ask your local hotels to put door hangers in each of their rooms. You can even give them to friends and family and ask them to take them with them when they travel to hang up.

We’ve also created a fold-up luggage label you add a local number to and also add an organisational logo to if you want! Pass them out to travellers in your community so they can stick it in their wallet and will always know who to call if they need to.

If you’ve got any questions about bringing TRAVEL ALERT! to your community, e-mail us at info@stopthetraffik.org

Global News Round 13.05.2011

Czech Republic

As immigration policy gets stricter, human trafficking increases in the Czech Republic. The country has a history of being associated with trafficking but its association is changing form. Where it once was a transit point and trafficking to the Czech Republic was mostly for sexual exploitation, the country is now becoming a destination for forced labourers. Along with this change in tide, the official number recorded cases of trafficking have more than doubled since 2009 from 36 to 76. Recording actual cases of trafficking is complicated due to the difficulties in differentiating between trafficking and exploitation. Read more…

North Korea

A US-based human rights organization has accused North Korea of over 180,000 incidents of what could be considered state sponsored human trafficking. The organization claims people have been forcibly taken or lured by jobs adverts from 14 different countries, some possibly to help train North Korean intelligence agents. Read more…

China

Today’s arrest of a 40 person gang including Family Planning officials supports sociologists’ belief that trafficking in China is extremely high due to the one-child family planning policy. 22 child victims have been recovered so far but it is hard to tell how many more there might be. The officials allegedly abducted the children and sold them in overseas adoptions. Read more…

India

The Indian police are making great efforts to combat human trafficking. They will establish 330 district-wide anti-human trafficking units over the next three years which brings the total to almost 450. 10,000 police officers will be trained in how to treat victims during rescue and rehabilitation. Read more…

Global contest

I often get e-mails with pictures of artwork and flyers or graphics our awesome activists have created and designed in support of STOP THE TRAFFIK and our work. So, when we decided we need a new image for our weekly Global News Round post, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to highlight your amazing talents!

We want you to create an image or graphic around the themes of human trafficking and global news.

It can be a graphic design, a photo, a scan of a painting, drawing, water-colour, a combination of any or all of those, or anything else you can think of!

Send us your designs before Friday May 27th and an online vote will take place the following week. The winner will be revealed in the first Global News Round of June!

What are your favourite trafficking films?


A team of New York University (NYU) postgraduate students are getting ready to film Brave Girl, which will tell the story of Bumika, a 13-year old Nepali girl, who is trying to “change the heart of a kidnapper before her fate is out of her control.”

We are really excited about this film! With each new film about human trafficking there is an opportunity to reach a new audience and raise awareness around the issue so hopefully Erin Galey and her team can raise the funds they need to complete their project. You can find out more about the film here.

What are your favourite (or least favourite) films about trafficking? Any recommendations? When I was explaining what we do at STOP THE TRAFFIK and what human trafficking is to my 16-year old ‘sister’ she were struggling to understand, so since she lives a few miles east of Hollywood I thought a movie reference might help. I asked if she’d seen Taken and obviously she had because I saw an expression of understanding, and then horror, come over her face. I’ve only seen Taken once and I have to admit, before I started at STOP THE TRAFFIK, it was my go-to reference when I needed to explain trafficking to someone. After I started here, I was so disappointed when someone told me the film never actually mentions “human trafficking,” I was especially bummed since it is one of only two films that come to mind when I need a spur of the moment pop-culture reference for trafficking – Slum Dog Millionaire is the other one. We get asked to recommend films all the time for various national and international films festivals; leave us a comment and tell us which ones would you recommend?


You don’t have to be a budding director or have a huge budget to make a film to raise awareness about human trafficking! A lot of our activists use their talents to produce films about human trafficking and I’m  in awe at the amount of creativity they have. Last month we launched the global TRAVEL ALERT! and we want our activists to hold a summit to raise awareness within their local hotel and/or transport industries. We also want you to have some fun and stage a prank to get publicity for your summit! You could stage a hotel room on your high street with a mattress, friends donning their favourite PJs and some event flyers or you could organize a flash mob at your local train/bus station, whatever you can think of, film it and put it on YouTube to spread the word! For details, check out our how-to guide.


Are you as lucky as Kate?

Today is the big day! If you’ve been following the wedding, you’ve no doubt heard of at least one or two odd souvenirs being sold and the numerous ways people are showing their enthusiasm for the happy couple on their impending nuptials. Many well wishers have made their way to London to camp outside Westminster Abbey and ensure a great view of the wedding events while others are participating in royal wedding fever by placing bets on everything from the colour of her wedding dress (11/4 on white) to whether or not Prince Phillip will be caught on camera sleeping during the ceremony (8/1 he will). The betting will go on after Prince William and Catherine, as she will have to be called after tomorrow, are married since bets on when their first child is born, the child’s sex, the child’s name, if the child will be on the cover of Vogue before his/her 18th birthday, and cynically, how long their marriage will last are already being placed.

One popular bet, and popular topic of media speculation, is where the newlyweds will honeymoon. Paddy Power had 32 separate bets open including Australia (11/4), Wales (18/1), Saint Lucia (33/1), and Ibiza (100/1). There is one honeymoon they don’t have odds on though – Cambodia, where the young prince could sell his unsuspecting new bride to a brothel owner for $300 and leave her there to work, which is exactly what happened to Neary, a young newlywed herself, and happens to many married women all around the world.

Not all women are as fortunate as the Catherine, who found her prince charming (literally) and decided to enter into wedlock after a long and mutually loving courtship. Many women around the world are victims of human trafficking and forced to marry and others marry a husband who turns them into a victim of trafficking, like Neary. In 2009, more than 263 Myanmar women were trafficked into forced marriages in the Yunnan province of China alone. In 2007, Lina, a 21-year old Colombian woman, used the website “Colombian Sweethearts” (the 21st century equivalent to mail-order brides) in hopes of improving her family’s life by finding an American husband. During the first few months after the wedding her ‘husband’ often abused her and when she worked, she was forced to give him her pay check until one day he sat her down in front of “Colombian Sweethearts” and told her to find him a new “wife”. That night she ran away. It wasn’t until later Lina found out her marriage wasn’t real and she was only in the US on a 90-day fiancé visa and not a spousal visa.

Last week the news reported about a poll that found 9 out of 10 women don’t think Kate’s one of the luckiest women in the world. I’m in the 1% that does, but not for the same reasons most women stated – the money and the prince. At 11am (5/4 odds she’s there on time) Kate Middleton gets to marry by choice, not by force, and after an afternoon and evening of celebration, she will go on a honeymoon which she’s sure to return from. I think that does make her one of the luckiest women in the world.

Navajo granny and the Global Travel Alert!

As you can tell by the blog posts on the day, the Global Freedom Summit was fantastic!

You can check out all the videos and photos from the day on our website but here are two of my favourites moments from the Summit.

The ‘Navajo Granny’

Click on the cartoon to hear Steve’s speech and find out what an old Navajo woman who was running at a wedding in New Mexico, USA has to do with the Global Travel Alert!   

 

A window in a classroom with no walls

 During the Classroom Without Walls workshop, students participating in Hong Kong Skyped us and we were able to video chat and give them a brief window into the Summit!

 

At the Summit we launched the Global Travel Alert! and we’ve got some great resources so people aroudn the world can get involved and even host their own Summit! It was attention grabbing to have the resources in the toilets and on all the door knobs which is how we ant them to be used to raise awareness worldwide. Check out the resources on the website.

GLOBAL News Round 18.4.2011

Trinidad and Tobago

Three Indian men, who are victims of a human trafficking ring in Trinidad and Tobago (T&T), are pleading to go home. The men were lured to T&T by a job advert in India offering work in granite and marble fabrication. When they arrived in T&T their passports were confiscated and they were forced to work installing countertops everyday from dawn until dusk. After sending money back to India, the men could barely afford to buy food. The government is aware of the situation and ministers are currently working on a solution. Read more here

Dubai

Two Chinese women were sentenced to imprisonment in Dubai after being convicted of human trafficking, specifically forcing someone to work without pay and sexual exploitation. After serving their prison time, the women will be deported. One of the accused women and her son met the victims at Dubai International Airport and seized their passports and visas upon arrival. The victims, two women and a man, were forced to provide illegal massage and sex services under threat, confinement and without getting paid. An investigation and raid too place after one of the victims sought help from an Egyptian customer who took her to the local police station.

The case is believed to be the first of its kind in the emirate with a forced labour accusation. Read more here

Philippines

The Philippines is making great strides in their fight against human trafficking. Four years after being put on the U.S. State Department Tier 2 watch list for failing to meet the Trafficking Victims Protection Act’s minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking, the country has been removed from the watch list and are now on the Tier 2 list.

This news comes just over a month after the 1343 hotline for trafficking victims was launched in Manila. The hotline has been flooded with thousands of calls since it opened and has resulted in 7 court cases.

Read more about the watch list and the hotline 

Can’t come to London? We’ll come to you!

Have you been reading about the Global Freedom Summit and thinking to yourself, “Gee! I really wish I could be part of the day but I can’t get to London!” Well look no further, we’ve got the perfect solution!  Whether you are a couple hundred miles away in Manchester, England or a couple thousand miles away in Manchester, Iowa, USA, you can join us on April 11th!

 

We have created an online ‘classroom without walls’ so groups of students and individuals around the world can discuss, ask questions, learn and feel empowered to take action against human trafficking.  

 

In this 45 minute classroom, we will use 2 case studies to explore trafficking, give you tips on spotting it, advice on staying safe and set you up with a new campaign to do in your local area. This is your chance to chat to trafficking experts around the world and ask the questions you’ve been meaning to ask.

 

We will be holding two sessions so people all over the world, in every time zone, can participate. One in the morning of April 11th either at 8 am, 9 am, or 10 am GMT and then again in the afternoon at  3:15 pm GMT. 

 

If you want to see how the classroom will work, check out this two-minute demo about bullying: http://media.engagelive.net/howto/engage.wmv. 

 

**If you want to take part, please email info@stopthetraffik.org to reserve a place!**

 

GLOBAL News Round 25.3.2011

 

Trinidad and Tobago

The Slave Trade Act was passed 204 years ago today. In T&T they are commemorating the day with the inaugural celebration of Human Trafficking Awareness Day. In recognition of the day, the Caribbean Umbrella Body for Restorative Behaviour (Curb) has launched an online network which they hope will help end human trafficking and sexual exploitation of children in the travel and tourism industry. Read more…

 

Nigeria

To traffick a Nigerian woman to Europe for prostitution costs between $8,500 and $14,000. After they are delivered, they have to work to pay off a debt between $40,000 and $100,000 which can take three years. The article takes care to mention that although most research focuses on women trafficked from the northern areas of the country, men and children are trafficked as well and from all over the country. Children are often trafficked to Saudi Arabia to work as domestic servants and then pushed under a passing vehicle so their ‘employer’ can collect $27,000 given out in those situations. Read more…

Philappines

80 women were rescued before they reached their destination as victims of human trafficking. The women, most of whom were 18-25 years old, thought they were on their way to jobs in the Middle East which relatives had recruited them for, but really they were on their way to Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia. Fortunately, a joint task force was to foible the traffickers plans. Read more…

US

Lawrence Taylor, an NFL Hall-of-Fame player, received a sentence of six years probation after being found guilty of  sexual misconduct for buying a 16-year old girl from her pimp, Rasheed Davis, who is planning to take a plea bargain next week that will get him seven to nine years in prison. Read more… 

Tell us what you think? Should purchasers and sellers should be punished equally?

Exploiting loopholes to exploit children

We are all very busy here getting ready to launch the Global Travel Alert! at our Global Freedom Summit on April 11! Earlier this week, I read an article in the Evening Standard which reaffirmed the need for us to issue the Global Travel Alert! and to not only enable people to create communities hostile to human trafficking but hotel and transportation industries who are hostile to human trafficking as well.

The Evening Standard reported that traffickers are using Eurostar to capitalize on a loophole in border security on which allows children less than 14 years of age to enter the country without a passport; they only a letter from their guardian, a letter easily forged by traffickers. The same loophole poses a threat for air travel however, teams have been trained and are in place at Heathrow to help spot potential cases; no such measures are in place at St. Pancras Station in London where the Eurostar arrives. Read more…

UK opts in to EU Directive!

Good news! Today, the UK government decided to opt in to the EU Directive on human trafficking, which requires awareness-raising campaigns and education programmes.

More good news! STOP THE TRAFFIK has been, and will continue to, do just what they are asking for! We are raising awareness and educating our communities not only in the UK and the EU, but worldwide so you can opt in to the EU Directive too; where ever you are!

 Read more about the directive

GLOBAL News Round 12.3.2011

Jamaica

One man: It is rare that victims of trafficking are willing to come forward and help the police but one Indian man has. He became a victim of human trafficking by the hands of the company previously employed for and has stepped up to help the police in Kingston to fight forced labour. After finishing a contract with a company and returning to India, the source was told he would be given higher pay if he returned to work again. Upon his return to Jamaica, his passport was taken and he was forced to work, sometimes for months without pay. After some legal intervention, his passport was returned to him and he has now set-up his own shop in Kingston and is trying to help people who are in the same situation he was. Read more…

UK

One woman: In a landmark case, a British woman was convicted of human trafficking. One woman, an interpreter, made all the difference in bringing a terrible case of domestic servitude to an end. During a visit to the GP, the interpreter grew concerned and contacted an NGO who then in turn contacted the police. The victim was brought to the U.K. from Tanzania after being made redundant. She was under the impression she was getting fair employment from her employer, the same who had employed her in Tanzania, but was then forced to sleep on the kitchen floor and given two pieces of bread a day for food. Her work duties included answering the ring of a bell at any hour and taking care of two grown-up disabled children of her trafficker. She was not given a day off in four years; not even to return home for her parents funerals or her daughter’s wedding. Read more…

U.S.

One class: The International Dayton Peace Museum will being opening a two-room exhibit put together by one class of students from University of Dayton. In the fall term, a class of political science students learned about human trafficking and have spent the spring term doing their community engagement program. For the community engagement they have designed a two room museum exhibit to teach visitors about trafficking and they hope the exhibit will become a travelling exhibit so it can reach outside the local community.  Read more…

 

Malaysia

One law: In the three years since the passing of the Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants Act 2007, 315 arrests have been made, 132 people have been charged, and 31 people have been convicted. During those same three years 1,949 victims were rescued and placed under interim Protection Order and 735 victims have been given Protection Order.   Read more…

Worldwide

One brand: The Body shop has taken up the fight against human trafficking, one customer at a time. When I was in the shop on Oxford Street, the clerk eagerly explained the campaign to all the customers and asked them to sign the petition. Read more…

Chocolatey Friday treat!

In response to our hunt for an Easter campaign slogan, one of our activist sent us a great story she wrote and it was just to good to keep to ourselves!

It was After Eight on CaramacDonald’s Farm and The Little Red Hen was making Easter Eggs, but she was getting tired of doing all the work.  She called a meeting at the RownTree.  “Who will help me find fairly traded ingredients to make the finest Easter Eggs?” she asked the Aero Animals.

 

Well, this is what they said:

“No, not I”, squeaked the Milkybar Mouse. 

“No, not I”, snorted Rolo the Rat. 

“No, not I”, snapped Drifter the Dog.

“No, not I”, meowed Two-Fingers the Kat.

“No, not I”, grunted Polo the Pig.

The Yorkie yapped, “no, not now”.

“Baah humbug”, said Smartie the Sheep.

“Moove away”, said Chunky the Cow.

 

Mr. Wonka wielded a Walnut Whip,

The Lion threatened to Breakaway,

And you may suppose with a Toffee-Crisp-nose

Heaven the high-horse said “neigh, no-way”.

 

So the Little Red Hen went off to the much friendlier Co-Operative Farm instead where she rested under the Traidcraft Tree.  When she awoke she met the Chocolala Chicken, Organica the Owl, Divine the Duck and the Green-and- Blackbird.  After she told them her story they all shared out the work and got on with it.  Together they made Fairtrade Easter Eggs with the Taste of Freedom.  The Easter Bunny was Dubbly delighted with their products and delivered them to all the shops, and the Little Red Hen and her friends lived happily ever after.

 

THE END – or is it the beginning?

The Nestlé slogan hunt is on!

Our Valentine’s Day campaign asking Nestle to ‘Have a Heart’ was a great success thanks to your help!

Now, Mr. Cocoa Bean is hunting for a short campaign slogan to demand Nestlé hops on board this Easter to give us traffik-free chocolate!

The winning slogan will be revealed on Mr. Cocoa Bean’s placard when we launch our Nestlé Easter Campaign in a couple of weeks!

We want you to put on your thinking cap (or bunny ears if you’d like!) and spring into action to hatch your best short slogans and bounce them our way!

(Remember, the slogan has to fit on Mr. Cocoa Bean’s placard!)

 You can leave your slogan ideas here as a comment or on Facebook , Twitter e-mail: info@stopthetraffik.org