A publishing community called The Extraordinary recently featured Justin Dillon, Founder and CEO of Made In A Free World, on their website, which focuses on people performing selfless and admirable work. The organization calls Justin “extraordinary” due to his willingness to put a successful music career on hold and dedicate his life to ending slavery. The piece highlights his simple and pragmatic approach to abolition, stating that “instead of trying to do something big and end up failing,” he believes in starting “by doing several small things that would definitely have an effect in the long run.” Although modern-day slavery often seems like a daunting endeavor, Dillon knows that thoughtful, careful actions can free the millions of people currently enslaved. Join the team at Made In A Free World in thanking Justin for his devotion to create a world where everyone is free!
Rochelle Dalla, associate professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, has started The Journal of Human Trafficking, which is the first international human trafficking publication. The journal will focus on multiple forms of modern-day slavery, including forced labor, debt bondage, trafficking in children, and sex trafficking. She hopes to use the journal as a forum to educate the public about all aspects of trafficking. Dalla’s initial interest in fighting slavery began with her involvement in a trafficking outreach program in Omaha, Nebraska. Soon after, she expanded her knowledge to the international trafficking industry. Dalla’s background in family science informed her research about how family structure can influence victims of slavery. She is currently recruiting for editorial positions at the journal, and the first issue will be released in early 2015. Keep an eye out for this great movement to fight slavery!
The British police force recently conducted a three-day raid, which involved visiting twenty-five different locations throughout Leeds, England. Sixty police officers, the local council, and local health agencies succeeded brought twenty-six people to a recovery center. Of this group, seventeen people, primarily Slovak immigrants, were identified as human trafficking victims who are now receiving the care they need. Detective Chief Inspector Andy Williams stated that the survivors were subjected to poor living conditions, no benefits, and little to no income. Police located and approached thirty-three additional people, but they declined authority help. So far, eight people have been arrested as part of the investigation and face trafficking, fraud, and labor exploitation charges.
In accordance with the Dodd-Frank Act, companies across the United States will soon need to report the presence of conflict minerals (tin, tantalum, tungsten, gold) in their supply chains. Many of these mineral mines, heavily concentrated in the Democratic Republic of Congo, are controlled by armed militia and utilize the worst forms of forced and child labor. A clause in the Dodd-Frank legislation requires companies to trace their minerals in efforts to prevent profits from funding the DRC wars, violence, and slavery. In order to comply, many companies are simply abandoning any sources which come from this region. Although efforts of the law are positive, they indirectly harm attempts of various NGOs to support conflict-free mines in the DRC and surrounding countries. The Guardian states that NGOs are partnering with electronics companies such as Intel and Philips to “persuade industry peers of the need to support DRC trade, through multi-stakeholder organisations, the US Public Private Alliance for Responsible Minerals Trade (PPA), and the Electronics Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC).” Legislators, businesses, and nonprofits need to find a balance between supporting positive mining operations and defunding rebel controlled mines.
Greek authorities arrested seven people for trafficking sixty Romanians into Greece to work on a mushroom farm. Investigators discovered that the traffickers forced these people to live in an abandoned warehouse and work twelve hours a day without pay. The survivors reported that they occasionally received a small sum (five euros), but were forced to pay 150 euros per month for their minimal living conditions. Fortunately, two workers were able to escape and communicate with the Romanian Embassy in Athens, leading to the rescue of sixty total workers.
A documentary entitled Tricked will hit theaters this Friday, December 13th, and seeks to inform viewers about slavery in the United States. Directors John-Keith Wasson and Jane Wells feature interviews with people at all stages of the trafficking industry in the US, including parents of victims, law enforcement officers, victims, and the pimps who defend their unjust actions. The film highlights individual stories, each of which is unique but equally heartbreaking. Tricked is a project created by 3 Generations, a nonprofit organization. The organization works to support survivors in sharing their stories to educate others about the realities of modern-day slavery. They are accomplishing this goal through their new film as they also try to reform law and public thought surrounding the issue.
Find out how you can take action to help end slavery.