Jewelry from [Made by Survivors]

Check out this website and buy the beautiful jewelry that was handmade by victims of poverty, abuse, and human trafficking.

Go to this website –> http://www.madebysurvivors.com/handmade-jewelry — Some of these are really pretty!! 🙂

Supporting women who are working to rebuild their lives after being oppressed is an excellent strategy  to help turn the tide against slavery.

1. Reduce Supply – Sustainable economic development to help prevent people in poverty from becoming victims of slavery (or become victims again)

2. Reduce Demand – Responsible, knowledgeable consumers who reduce demand for slave labor by insisting on transparent, verifiably free-labor supply chains (shop carefully, knowledgeably, and compassionately for things like gold)

3. Reduce Demand – Men not buying women and children for sex (train young men not to treat women and children that way, and enforce laws against men who do)

4. Reduce Supply – investigate and prosecute people who exploit and enslave other

5. Reduce Supply – rescue and rehabilitate slaves in every country (child soldiers, slave brick makers, enslaved sex workers, debt bondage victims, tomato pickers, cotton farmers, children maimed for the purpose of begging, slave brides, and so on)

Not to mention governments passing and enforcing anti-slavery laws, people reading books and watching movies to educate themselve and others, researching human trafficking solutions, fighting international criminal networks that traffic people, and being alert to human trafficking in our own communities.

Slavery and human trafficking are not going away any time soon, but this generation can at least turn the tide, and attempt to hand the next generation a world that is more slavery free than today. Supporting groups like Made By Survivors is one good way to support the fight.

Congress’ Anti-Slavery Reauthorization in Danger

I was surprised to discover the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act is in danger of dying without a floor vote in Congress.  The best chance of passing the TVPRA this year is probably the Senate version of the bill.  S 1301, the bipartisan Senate version of the TVPRA, authored by Senator Leahy and co-sponsored by dozens of senators from both parties, has been approved by committee, but not scheduled for a floor vote in the Senate.

When the TVPA was first passed in 2000, it was probably the best thing the US government has done to fight slavery since Reconstruction.  It has been reauthorized several times since then, but the current reauthorization bill is at risk of going away.   The bills must be approved before the end of this session of Congress at the end of the year, or they’ll have to start over at the next Congress.

We can help give momentum to this cause and make it a national priority by signing the petition. Please do it guys and support the many women who are waiting to be saved.

Trade of Innocents: Justice Needs a Hero – a new movie with Mira Sorvino and Dermot Mulroney.

Academy Award-winner Mira Sorvino and Dermot Mulroney star in a new film about children in sex slavery and the complications of real people fighting an overwhelming crime. This movie revolves around a sect of human trafficking that involves girls as young as 10 years old!

From the movie press kit –

In the back streets of a tourist town in present-day Southeast Asia, we find a filthy cinder block room; a bed with soiled sheets; a little girl waits for the next man to use her.  Alex, a human trafficking investigator plays the role of her next customer as he negotiates with the pimp for the use of the child.
          Claire, Alex’s wife, is caught up in the flow of her new life in Southeast Asia and her role as a volunteer in an aftercare shelter for rescued girls.  She, and Alex both still are dealing with their grief of losing a child years earlier.  As both of them struggle in their own way to overcome the pain of their past and realities of child exploitation where they now live and work, they find themselves being pulled together in to the lives of local neighborhood girls, whose freedom and dignity are threatened.  Parallel story lines intertwine and twists unfold against the backdrop of the dangerous human trafficking world, in a story of struggle, life hope and redemption in the “Trade of Innocents.”

I was actually quite surprised to find SOO many books and movies about human trafficking because I didn’t think there would be many. I know of just one, Price of Sex, which was my inspiration to learn more about this issue. Now that I know there’s more to discover I’ll be including them in my posts as I find them.

Unfortunately, this movie only releases in one theatre in the entire state of Texas. Just one! I don’t know if I should be happy that a movie is made to increase awareness or be sad that this movie is only available  in one theatre.

Please watch the trailer guys and I’m sure you’ll want to want to entire movie.

Should prostitution be legalized?

The biggest debate that government officials have is whether or not to decriminalize human trafficking, namely prostitution. And how will that effect this industry?

Of course we all want it to end but obviously, it’s not that simple. Operators of these businesses have amazing connections that ensure their secrecy and that they keep running. So you can’t help but wonder if legalizing this industry could help the victims somehow? Here are five of the main reasons why it should and should not be legalized:

Pro:

– If legalized, the women could be protected through their bosses (or whatever the CEO of a company of this kind would be called). The women could go seek legal aid when dealing with abusive clients or managers.

– If legalized, the supply of prostitutes would probably increase thus prices would naturally lower. This reduction in prices might even reduce this practice, eventually eliminating it.

– Prostitution should be legal to prevent even worse crimes against humanity. People are given the right to do all kinds of immoral things because it’s their choice – their body. Prostitution shouldn’t be any different. If legalizing it will help prevent far more serious crimes against humanity, then it’s for the best all around.

– Legalization would make it easier for the government to require that all women in that industry to be tested for various STDs so as to prevent the spread of those diseases, as in several European countries.

– Prostitution as a business will continue whether or not it is legalized.

Con:

– Legalization does not control the human trafficking industry. It expands it. Take the Netherlands for instance. When trafficking was decriminalized in 2000, it actually increased by 25%. In addition to the government endorsing prostitution, associations of sex businesses were created who consulted and collaborated with the government to further their interests. (I personally couldn’t believe this statistics when I first read it but it’s true.)

– Legalization does not protect the women. In a study done by the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW) which included 146 victims of trafficking in five countries, 80% of the women interviewed had suffered physical violence from buyers and bosses. Apparently the clubs have surveillance cameras but they’re there to protect the buyer rather than the women.

– Legalization would bring it the status of a moral profession. Since lawmakers would have to give their approval for it, it would show everyone that the “world’s oldest profession” is now an acceptable way of living.

– People involved in this industry would also encourage drug abuse among victims, giving leverage to another big problem.

– Women in systems of human trafficking do not want the industry to be legalized or decriminalized. These women are the ones facing this horror. They know what’s it like. If they say it shouldn’t be legalized, then it shouldn’t be legalized. Enough said. (Can you tell which side I’m on? Lol.)

So now you guys decide what you think about this issue. Should human trafficking, namely prostitution, be legalized or not?