In a recent Upworthy article, Rajiv Narayan describes how he found Made In A Free World’s Slavery Footprint, which led to his discovery that 25 slaves work for him. Check out the story and encourage your family and friends to discover their Slavery Footprint today!
It’s easy to think slavery does not exist in the United States. Yet, earlier this month Ima Mathul, a survivor of modern-day slavery, told her story of how she left Indonesia when she was 17, with the false promise of a good job in the United States at the Los Angeles World Affairs Council (LAWAC) in Culver City. Upon arriving in Los Angeles, California, Mathul was picked up by a woman who said she would teach Mathul how to become a housekeeper. After a week of training, Mathul was taken to a residence in Beverly Hills where she was forced to work up to 18 hours a day, often facing physically abuse. Three years later, Mathul was able to pass a note to a neighbor who contacted the Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking (CAST), which eventually lead to Mathul’s freedom.
On March 17, 2014, The Vatican announced the launch of the Global Freedom Network (GFN), which aims to eradicate modern-day slavery by the year 2020. The leaders of GFN include the Holy Father, Pope Francis; Grand Imam Mahmoud Azab of Egypt; the Archbishop of Canterbury, The Most Reverend Justin Welby; and Andrew Forrest, founder of the Walk Free Foundation. GFN is calling for urgent action by people of all faiths to support this initiative.
Baton Rouge, Louisiana is one of the top ten cities in the United States for human trafficking. To combat this crime, Governor of Louisiana Bobby Jindal announced new legislation ensuring criminals are prosecuted to the fullest extent and victims are no longer charged as criminals, but are identified and protected. The law clarifies and expands the definitions of crimes of human trafficking to include “the act of receiving, isolating, and enticing another person in order to engage in sexual services or labor”.
In Canada, the Manitoba government, the Canadian Women’s Foundation and the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs are working together to address the issue of human trafficking of aboriginal people. They are developing a new strategy to prevent the sexual exploitation of the women and children of Manitoba’s First Nations, by reaching out to the communities and assessing cultural and societal factors. One of the main goals of the initiative is to establish a Sexual Exploitation and Trafficking Act.
March 15, 2014 was the fifth annual Yoga Stops Traffick global fundraiser. Yoga studios and groups all around the world, from South Africa to India to the United States, participated in this awareness campaign to collect funds for Odanadi, an NGO in India working to address human trafficking. This innovative initiative serves to utilize the practice of yoga in promoting a world without slavery.
Did you know St. Patrick wasn’t Irish? He was actually a born Maewyn Succat, a Roman Christian living in Britain. According to historian, William Frederer, when Maewyn was a teenager, Irish pirates stole and enslaved him in Ireland. He spent his days working as a shepherd for a landowner. He remained in captivity for six years before he was able to escape from Ireland and return to his family.
After returning home, he became a priest and took the name of Patrick. Patrick felt called to return to the land where he was enslaved. He spent the rest of his days, nearly thirty years, in Ireland as a missionary. He is the first person in history to publicly and undeniably speak out against slavery.
Knowing St. Patrick was one of the first abolitionists gives us a new outlook on the holiday. You too can speak out against slavery. Discovery your Slavery Footprint today, and become an abolitionist like St. Patrick!
It is estimated that one victim of human trafficking is found in Scotland every four days. Fortunately, members of the Scottish Parliament are overcoming party divisions and banding together to address this issue. Labour MSP Jenny Marra, recently proposed a new bill seeking to establish “an anti-human trafficking strategy, the special treatment of related crime in the justice system and support for survivors.” The bill has received immense support from inside and outside Parliament; Marra is confident of its success.
Photographer Lisa Kristine travels the world to capture images of vulnerable indigenous people. But in her new series titled Enslaved, Kristine visits different countries to document the slave trade. Among others, she travels to Nepal and Ghana, with Free the Slaves, an anti-slavery nonprofit organization. Kristine recalls that they could not “spend any more than 10 minutes in one spot to photograph – in case a supervisor or slave owner saw them.” Despite the time restraints, Kristine took some amazing photographs!
The Ethiopian government is taking several measures to outlaw the trafficking of young men and women from Ethiopia, into different countries as domestic servants. Police and immigration officials were assigned to the borders to enhance security on roads leading to neighboring nations, such as Mozambique, Kenya, Tanzania, Botswana, and South Africa.In addition, the government is investigating 430 registered agencies that are allegedly involved in the trafficking process. They hope to reduce the illegal transportation and exploitation of their citizens by engaging other agencies and ministries to enforce existing laws that ban trafficking.
The Indian government’s Union Home Ministry recently launched a new portal to streamline cases of human trafficking across the country. The portal will not only provide information on relevant legislation and UN Conventions, but it will also include statistics, details and stories on trafficking victims. The aim is to create a tool to enable collaborative efforts between federal and states’ officials, NGOs and other stakeholders. The website will also serve as an informant alert system to aid in the tracking and rescue of victims.
Arizona is starting its preparations early for next year’s Super Bowl which will take place in Glendale, AZ. A representative from the U.S. State Department recently visited to provide insight on ways the state can combat human trafficking. Luis Cdebaca, Ambassador-at-Large, Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, met with Mayor Greg Stanton of Phoenix to organize a Human Trafficking Task Force. An important strategy, Cdebaca said, is reducing the demand by appealing to men in the state to take a stand against sexual exploitation.
In 1981, Mauritania became the last country in the world to abolish slavery. But since then, the government has not been able to determine the extent of trafficking that would help them address the issue. Usually anti-slavery charities throughout the country work exclusively on eradicating slavery. However, a recent United Nations envoy visit yielded progressive results. Mauritania agreed to adopt “a roadmap for eradicating the trade” by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. The envoy called for better law enforcement and in response, the President of Mauritania is forming a special tribunal to prosecute aggressors involved in human trafficking.