The "Jumbo Jet" Currency Of Human Trafficking
Freedom Day Announcement Banner - The date is significant in the UK as it marks the bicentenary of the abolition of the transatlantic slave trade, but we are encouraging everyone around the world to use this day as a focus for awareness on people trafficking, whether or not the date has any historic significance for you. Caption & Image Credit: STOP THE TRAFFIK
The "Jumbo Jet" Currency Of Human Trafficking
(an awareness of FREEDOM DAY, a day to begin the end of Human Trafficking - slavery)
Slavery costs five (5) Jumbo Jets full of people their freedom each day seven days a week and, really, no one is aware (based on a Boeing 747 capacity of about 400 seats). If a Jumbo Jet crashes and it wipes out all who are on board, everyone in the world knows it happened - investigations take place and answers are sought.
Slavery has NOT been abolished in this world. Slavery is a major business enterprise worldwide. Slavery is even a bigger business in overall dollars & cents than that of the software giant, Microsoft.
Frankly, this problem of Slavery/Human Trafficking is a larger problem than the war on terror. The United Nations, and major leadership countries of the civilized world seem powerless to do anything to stop it. Their (our) eyes are NOT on the ball.
We at MAXINE were made aware of the issue of Human Trafficking this last Sunday through a Christian based presentation delivered by Steve Chalke, founder of the Oasis Trust and a UK Baptist minister.
The recent release of the movie "Amazing Grace" highlighted the decades long struggle to win the hearts and minds of the people who benefited from the Trans-Atlantic slave trade out of Africa that ended just 200 years ago ... but the job is not done ... not by any stretch of the imagination.
Excerpts from the Stop The Traffik website -
The scale of human trafficking
By STOP THE TRAFFIK.ORG
Men, women and children are trafficked within their own countries and across international borders. Trafficking affects every continent and most countries.
Due to the hidden and illegal nature of human trafficking, gathering statistics on the scale of the problem is a complex and difficult task. There are no reliable national or international estimates as to the extent of trafficking. Figures are usually counted in the countries that people are trafficked into and often fail to include those who are trafficked within their own national borders.
The following statistics may represent an underestimation of trafficking, but are the most credible and frequently quoted.
At least 12.3 million people are victims of forced labour worldwide. Of these 2.4 million are as a result of human trafficking. A global alliance against forced labor, International Labour Organisation, 2005
600,000-800,000 men, women and children trafficked across international borders each year. Approximately 80 per cent are women and girls. Up to 50% are minors. US Department of State Trafficking in Persons Report 2005
An estimated 1.2 million children trafficked each year. UNICEF UK Child Trafficking Information sheet, January 2003
The majority of trafficked victims arguably come from the poorest countries and poorest strata of the national population. A global alliance against forced labor, International Labour Organisation, 2005
Trafficking is the fastest growing means by which people are caught in the trap of slavery. Anti-Slavery
Human trafficking is the third largest source of income for organised crime, exceeded only by arms and drugs trafficking. UN office on drugs and crime
It is the fastest growing form of international crime, already generating 7 billion dollars per year in criminal proceeds. There are even reports that some trafficking groups are switching their cargo from drugs to human beings, in a search of high profits at lower risk. UN office on drugs and crime
People are trafficked into prostitution, begging, forced labour, military service, domestic service, forced illegal adoption, forced marriage etc.
Types of recruitment; include abduction, false agreement with parents, sold by parents, runaways, travel with family, orphans sold from street or institutions.
What is trafficking?
“Trafficking in human beings” shall mean the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation.
Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs.
On 25th March 2007 the Abolition of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade will be remembered in many countries around the world. STOP THE TRAFFIK will use this anniversary as a catalyst for a initiative whose goal is to cry for freedom for every human caught in trafficking around the world, with a particular focus on children and young people. The conviction that freedom is a human right drove both black and white abolitionists in the 18th and 19th centuries. That same conviction drives the STOP THE TRAFFIK coalition in the 21st century.
200 years ago, William Wilberforce realised the shocking news - Britain’s slave trade was a growth industry, and the backbone of Britain’s economy at that time. A man whose convictions compelled him to act. That same spirit that whispered in his ear to end the slave trade whispers in our ears today. On March 25th 2007 there will a worldwide shout for change – we will raise our voices so that everyone may hear - we will shout with joy to celebrate the traffic that has already been stopped, and shout the call for the release of every trafficked. We will fight for those who cannot fight for themselves.
William Wilberforce was one man who mobilised a swell of voices to speak out against injustice and make a difference that impacted the world. You can be a voice that influences others and get the group or organisation that you belong to to become a member of STOP THE TRAFFIK.
The abolition of the Slave Trade Act (1807) was achieved by a mass movement made up of those who were enslaved, anti-slavery campaigners and ordinary members of the public, black, white, male and female. http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/, http://www.wikipedia.org/, http://www.setallfree.net/ are excellent websites detailing biographies of a broad range of abolitionists.
Premila from India
It was Premila’s 18th birthday in her small village in rural Bihar. Her parents, desperate to escape their impoverished plight, signed their daughter over to a nightmare. For the paltry sum of 800 rupees (US $18), she was sold to a man living in faraway Punjab state. He claimed there were no “good women” in his village and therefore he was forced to buy a wife. “Wife” is a term used very loosely. There was no marriage ceremony. She was raped by her “husband” and his male relatives for a few years.
Eventually, a new investment opportunity presented itself and Premila was sold to a well-known prostitution ring in the nation’s capital, New Delhi. The sex trafficking trade runs rampant in Delhi and Premila brought a relatively good price: 5,000 rupees (US $109). She joined thousands of other women who exist in impoverished, disease-ridden, dangerous conditions.
Premila was sold yet again to the streets of Mumbai for 35,000 rupees (US $762). It was here in Mumbai that she was finally rescued. Returned to her hometown of Khathiar, Bihar, she was a broken woman. She will never re-marry. She will likely die young.
Source: Dalit Freedom Network
Tourist guides call Poipet the ‘Wild West’ of South-East Asia, on account of its roaring sex trade and gambling scene. People also come here to buy or abduct children. Girls as young as five are trafficked over the border into Thailand.
Sokha* and Makara* were sold to a trafficker who promised good jobs for the girls in Thailand. Sokha explains that her mother was ill with a liver complaint. The family needed money to pay for drugs to treat her, and they also hoped to buy some land to build a home. But, reality turned out to be very different.
There were no ‘good jobs’ for the girls, Sokha’s mother died within a year, and the family couldn’t afford to buy land. Sokha, now 17, says, ‘I felt cheated. The traffickers used us for slave jobs, and whilst they earned lots of money we only got enough to feed ourselves each day.’
She explains how she and Makara, 16, were given jobs selling fruit, but it did not pay enough. Soon their bosses forced them into sleeping with men to pay their way. When they were sold they were 14 and 15 years old.
A Tearfund partner provides young girls with sewing skills, counselling and the loving support of a local church. The girls’ parents met staff from Tearfund partner, Cambodian Hope Organisation (CHO), and gave them photos to pass on to an organisation in Thailand that rescues girls from prostitution.
They found – and duly rescued – Sokha and Makara. By then, the girls’ ordeal had been going on for nearly a year. Sokha says, ‘It’s good to be home. We are grateful to CHO who have brought us back to our home, provided us with counselling, taught us the skill of sewing, and brought us into the church.’ When asked what they hope for in the future, Sokha says she hopes to set up her own sewing business and employ and help girls in her situation. ‘We were scared all the time in Thailand,’ she says. ‘Now I’m happy, getting support, living with my family and free to work when I want.’
Mary a 19-year old female came into the United States from Mexico. She was referred to the Salvation Army by a domestic violence shelter where she presently resides with her 11-month-old son.
Mary was persuaded to come to the US with the promise that she would have a better life and be provided a job. Mary was verbally abused and raped several times by her perpetrator - which was the source of her son's conception.
Mary reported that she previously had a miscarriage due to the abuse and at times was not allowed to seek medical attention. She was escorted to her job in a factory where she packaged vegetables, but was never paid for her employment. She reports that she was given a white powder (which was suspected to be cocaine), and only later she determined to be drugs. Mary was not allowed to leave the apartment in which she was staying unless she was going to work. The perpetrator threatened her saying that if she attempted to escape she would be deported or hurt by the immigration department.
Mary is currently being provided shelter, therapeutic counselling, clothing, food and legal advocacy services. Although the authorities have determined Mary to be a victim of human trafficking, the US Attorney's Office has decided not to prosecute the case. She was therefore denied the expedient route to obtaining legal status and is now applying for a visa, which would allow her to stay in the country for up to 3 years after which she could apply for permanent residency.
SOURCE: Salvation Army
Prjua and Ajay, India
Prjua, aged 9 and her brother Ajay, a boy aged 7, lived on Thane train station in Mumbai, India with their parents who were both alcoholics. Prjua and Ajay were regular attendees of the Asha Deep Day Centre, run by Oasis India, where they learnt to read and write and were given the opportunity to play. After attending daily for 3-months they disappeared. The project staff went to look for them. Prjua and Ajay’s father told how a man had come and offered money for them and that he had sold them for the equivalent of $30. That was the last the father and the staff of Asha Deep Day Centre heard of them. In that area of Mumbai every 2-3 months children disappeared, kidnapped or sold into prostitution, forced labour, adoption or child sacrifice.
SOURCE: Oasis India
This last case study is really eye opening. It appears as just a small mention at the end of the study but child sacrifice is STILL a very important ritual performed by some tribes in India.
We in the western world do not want to believe that this sacrifice ritual happens in this world anymore, but as Steve Chalke elaborated during his presentation on Sunday, buildings will not get built in the major cities in India without the labor of members in tribes that continue to believe that a human has to be sacrificed in order to appease their GODS for placing the buildings (modern technology) on the land. A blind eye is turned so that modern development can progress. Unwittingly, outsource projects from the West end up killing children in India.
This is beyond shocking to the average Western mind. An "Apocalypto" world still exists and human child sacrifice is still practiced and facilitated through human trafficking in the world's largest (most populous) democracy - India.
This one story almost pales in comparison to what is happening within the enterprise of producing chocolate.
Most of the cocoa fields that produce nearly half the world's chocolate are located in the Cote D'Ivoire, Africa. 12,000 children have been trafficked (slavery) into cocoa farms in Cote D'Ivoire.
When we buy chocolate ... we are being forced to be oppressors ourselves as we have no guarantee that the chocolate we eat is 'traffik free'!
Our only option is the responsibility of consumer choice - just as with the Tuna industry's response to dolphins being caught and slaughtered on a wholesale level ... "Dolphin Free" labeling - request that major chocolate producers label their products when the products are produced with cocoa sourced from "Traffik Free" fields!
At MAXINE, we say get educated and involved. This activity against Human Trafficking will do more for humanity and the world than most any other effort. Find or sponsor a Freedom Day in your area. Use this organizer's pack as a guide.