The End of Slavery

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This week, we’re visiting the Texas RioGrande Legal Aid blog, “Ya Basta! Stop Human Trafficking Today.”

According to their Web site, “TRLA provides free civil legal services to low-income and disadvantaged residents of Central, South and West Texas, serving communities within 68 Texas counties – including the entire 1,200 mile Texas-Mexico border. TRLA provides legal assistance to more than 20,000 residents every year.”

The organization also gives trafficking victims the legal and social assistance necessary to help individuals get back on their feet.

To learn more about Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, and to read a post highlighting At the End of Slavery, please visit the organization’s blog.

The Examiner: More than 700 arrested and 50 children rescued in sting

The Federal Bureau of Investigation announced the rescue of 50 children who were the victims of child prostitution- here, in the United States. 700 other suspects were also arrested, including 60 pimps, on state and local charges over the weekend. The FBI, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and state and local law enforcement agencies contributed to the sting known as Operation Cross Country IV.

Blogomonster.com: NBC Dateline’s IJM feature exposes blogger to sex slavery

One blogger writes about sex slavery and how they first became aware of the issue.  They write, “I first became aware of the issue of human trafficking after watching a special on Dateline NBC. The program featured the work of the International Justice Mission (IJM.org), a faith-based human rights agency that seeks to free victims of human trafficking and prosecute the perpetrators. I was horrified by the issue of sexual exploitation and bonded labor. The staggering statistics broke my heart.”

The Business Mirror: Lawyers step up drive vs. human traffickers

Lawyers in the Philippines, including International Justice Mission’s Andrew Sawchenko, are hoping to put more people suspected of criminal exploitation in jail as they continue to crackdown on trafficking within the region.

Sawchenko said, “Since 2007, there has been a huge upswing in the cases filed, and we are looking forward to convictions as we need to establish that there is a significant risk so the people involved in trafficking will have a difficult business decision.”

BBC: Lords consider ’slavery’ offenses

A New parliamentary bill amendment, which aims to protect those being held under practices of servitude and forced labor, is going before the House of Lords in the UK.

Aidan McQuade, from Anti-Slavery International, said: “Forced labor will remain a reality in the UK unless adequate legislation is put in place and enforced…. The existing legal provisions fail to protect victims or ensure that the perpetrators of these crimes are brought to justice.”

KCAU-TV (ABC): UNL wants to become center for human trafficking research

Researchers at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln want to become the new center for research on human trafficking.  Marketing professor Dwayne Ball points out that trafficking is a problem found worldwide, including Nebraska.

We invite you to take a look at the Soundslides presentation below, which highlights the rescue and ongoing restoration of one formerly enslaved family.

To play, please click the triangular button to the left of the scrubber. Also, if you would like to scroll through the photos at your leisure, please feel free to use the arrows to the right of the scrubber.

Viswanathan is a young boy who, along with members of his family was enslaved in a rock quarry in South Asia where he labored under dangerous conditions.

This inhumane situation reached its tipping point when a local government official enlisted the help of International Justice Mission in order to free Viswanathan and the other slaves.

IJM investigators conducted a reconnaissance mission and determined that the facility was actually two separate but connected quarries controlled by powerful perpetrators – one formerly a state-level politician.

Avoiding a tip-off required sweeping, yet precise, simultaneous operations at both quarries. The perpetrators were dangerous, and the plan was logistically challenging, but it worked. In coordinated dual operations, IJM and local authorities rescued 13 families from slavery. Today, the families – including Viswanathan’s – live in freedom.

For more stories of hope, please click here.

On November 14, 2009, at 8p.m. EST, IJM CEO and President Gary Haugen will address house parties gathered across the nation via live webcast. This will be a great opportunity for your friends and family to hear Gary’s personal reflections on the movement and to get fired up for action.

If 8p.m. EST is not the right timing for your party, don’t worry. The webcast will be available for download on www.attheEndofSlavery.com shortly after the live webcast is over.

POSTED AT 8:20 am | Weekend To End Slavery | Comments (0)

This week, we’re visiting two blogs that raise awareness about modern-day slavery:

The first blog is from an emerging, small business called Shift6Threads. The company’s goal is to be a force for good by supporting the work of organizations that combat modern-day slavery, including the Not for Sale Campaign and International Justice Mission.

The second blog is called, “The Truth About Polygamy and Human Trafficking,” which discusses the various issues surrounding religion, polygamy and human trafficking for sexual exploitation.

Please visit the above sites to get these bloggers’ perspectives on At the End of Slavery, and to learn more about what you can do to help combat this modern-day injustice.

To read the stories of two former sex slaves, learn more about modern-day slavery and to see how the work of one young filmmaker is helping to combat injustice, please check out the links below.

Huffington Post: Diary of an escaped sex slave

“You think slavery went out with Abraham Lincoln? Ask my friend Sreypov Chan about that. She’s a cute young Cambodian woman with a love for Kelly Clarkson songs and Tom & Jerry cartoons. But when she was seven years old, her mom sold her into sexual slavery…This month, Marie Claire published Sreypov’s story, along with a photo essay of her work inside one of Phnom Penh’s most notorious brothels.”

Image courtesy of Phnom Penh Post

Image courtesy of Phnom Penh Post

Phnom Penh Post: Former sex slave wins 2009 Freedom Award

“Sex slave-turned-activist Sina Vann received the Frederick Douglass Award at the 2009 Freedom Awards in Los Angeles on Tuesday. Awarded to those who have survived a form of slavery and are actively helping the lives of others, the Frederick Douglass Award provides US$10,000 to help facilitate current work and another $10,000 as a personal reward.”

Xinhua News: UN reports human trafficking as under-detected crime worldwide

“Human trafficking has become a serious and under-detected crime all around the world, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) reported on the EU anti-trafficking day. The relevant figure showed that currently, about 2.7 million people worldwide were victims of human trafficking, who were engaged in prostitution, begging, or high-intensity labor in tough conditions, including 1.2 million children victims.”

GulfNews.com: Gregg Helvey’s Kavi highlights modern-day slavery

“This year’s Middle East International Film Festival (MEIFF) not only showcased blockbuster and independent movies from around the world, but also ensured that films highlighting important issues were given their moments to shine. One such movie is Kavi, a short film by Gregg Halvey, which addresses the issue of modern-day slavery, told through the eyes and experiences of the main character, who lends his name to the title of the film.”

Over the next several weeks, we will be following key bloggers who are playing active roles in fighting against modern-day slavery.

Image courtesy of International Justice Mission

Image courtesy of International Justice Mission

These human rights advocates are also highlighting At the End of Slavery as a tool to help catalyze the movement to end modern-day slavery worldwide.

Please visit ALENOW.org to learn more about modern-day slavery and how you can be a promoter of social justice.

To learn more about current, local and global stories on modern-day slavery, please check out the links below.

NJ.com“Jury urged to convict woman in Newark human trafficking ring”

A woman in Newark, New Jersey is on trial for her alleged involvement with smuggling more than 20 West African girls to work in her hair braiding salons. The girls, ages 10 to 19, were forced to work 14 hour days without pay. Assistant U.S. Attorney Shana W. Chen said, “She knew these girls were young. They were poor. They were uneducated. She knew they wanted a better life and they were susceptible to that promise.”

STL Today“Study seeks ban on organ trafficking”

Exploiting a living person for the use of living cells or organs is already a crime included under human trafficking laws, but the U.N. and the Council of Europe say there is a need for a global definition.

Seattle Post-Intelligencer - “90210’s McCord fights against human trafficking”

Nip Tuck’s and 90210’s AnnaLynne McCord joins a slew of other celebrities, such as Emma Thompson, Ricky Martin, and Ashley Judd, who are taking a stand against human trafficking.  On her experience with working with non-profit organization, Blind Project, she says, “It’s been really incredible to be able to shed light on a billion-dollar industry that barely anyone knows about.”

BBC“Stolen youth of South Africa’s child brides”

Girls as young as 11 are being abducted and forced into arranged marriages as part of an ancient cultural custom in areas of South Africa. Now, many of these young brides are finding refuge in local care centers.

Please visit IJM.org to learn how you can help combat modern-day slavery.

Does your community know about modern-day slavery?

We wanted to find out what students and the University of Missouri knew about this global issue, so we set out on a series of interviews.

Please take a look at the video below to see the reactions of students when they were told just how prominent slavery is today.

To learn more about modern-day slavery, please visit IJM.org.

The Christian Post“Film uncovers dark underworld of modern-day slavery”

Ambassador Luis CdeBaca was one of several influential figures who attended the Washington D.C. premier of At the End of Slavery last Wednesday. According to the article, “Ted Haddock, the film’s director, said a unique element of the documentary is that it presents the rule of law as an important tool in fighting bondage slavery.”

The Namibian - “Human trafficking to surge in build-up to 2010 World Cup”

The 2010 World Cup is expected to bring a significant boost to South Africa’s economy, but with 500,000 predicted international visitors, a boost in human trafficking may be a result of some of that spending. One Zambian researcher shares her concerns of a major increase in the demand for women and child sex “workers” from the estimated 500 gangs involved in South Africa’s sex trade.

York Daily Record“Three plead guilty to modern-day slavery at U.S. nail salon”

In June 2008, two Vietnamese woman escaped a nail salon in Pennsylvania where they were forced to work without pay for four years, under threats from the owners. On Tuesday, three of the perpetrators plead guilty to charges of modern-day slavery and are facing a maximum sentence of 5 years in prison. According to the York Daily Record, “The Da Vi Nail Salon remains open, but its ownership is not known. A spokesman for the Da Vi franchise in Utah declined to identify the owner.”