Human Trafficking - How your choices can make a difference - By Tara Dodson
Human Trafficking-Just the thought of these two words can send chills down one's spine. Horrifying stories of survival are on the news and the internet. Yet, every year millions of men, women, and children continue to be trafficked in the United States and around the world. The profits from human trafficking are in the multi-billion-dollar range. Though, human trafficking goes virtually undetected because the victims fear for their lives and the lives of loved ones.
What is human trafficking?
Humans are recruited, harbored, and transported into a situation and forced to work against their will. The traffickers typically take advantage of people in communities with economic vulnerability, and severe discrimination. Under these conditions, people are prone to psychological or emotional suffering, economic hardship, lack of a social safety net, and/or political instability which opens them up to being targeted by traffickers. Typically, the victims of trafficking are trying to escape these conditions, trying to improve their lives, and support their families, and are therefore easily tricked into trafficking. The traffickers lure them in by offering them better jobs. The victims end up borrowing money from their traffickers in advance to pay for the jobs, travel, and accommodations. Unfortunately, the victims don’t realize until it’s too late that the work and working conditions are not what they were promised. Then the victims are forced to stay and pay off their debt to the traffickers. Victims can be of any age, gender, and race or immigration status as they can live in cities, suburbs, and rural areas. Children don’t have to cross borders to fall victim to such circumstances and can be simply brought into an exploitative condition forcing them to work. Through the use of force, fraud, or coercion they lure their victims into unsolicited labor or commercial sexual exploitation. Human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery where victims are forced into unwanted labor, trafficked for sex and pressed into domestic servitude.
- The US. State Department estimates approximately that there are 20 to 30 million slaves worldwide
- Up to 800,000 people are trafficked across international borders every year
- International Labor Organization estimates that 81% of these victims are trapped in forced labor
35% of them are children
75% are women and girls
- The US. Department of Labor has assessed that approximately 150 goods from 75 countries are made by forced labor
In 2000 the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 was passed in the United States as a result of the international community creating the Transnational Crime Commission that banned trafficking, resulting in the Palermo Protocol. This protection among many others has increased the U.S. and international governments in efforts to protect trafficked foreign national victims. Even with protections human trafficking, forced labor, and modern slavery continues to grow. The cases that make it to court are complicated and lengthy requiring additional resources for prosecutors and the victims. Sadly, the victims experience severe trauma that requires intense therapy, recovery, and rehabilitation.
There is hope for these victims and organizations across the globe are making a difference in their lives by supporting them through jobs, education, training, therapy, and shelter.
Her Future Coalition- has set out to serve the victims of such crimes through a well thought out program that helps fight modern-day slavery helping the victims to become independent and free. They have successfully improved the lives of women and children from India, Nepal, and Thailand by placing them in academic programs making them survivors and no longer victims. Children who grow up in a cycle of slavery, rape, brothel, and slum communities are destined for exploitation. It can take months or even years for these women and children to understand the magnitude of their despair.
Her Future Coalition has successfully educated over 750 children. 100 of these children have completed their education through grade 10, and none of them have been trafficked into slavery or re-trafficked.
100% of the profits made by the sale of the jewelry from Her Future Coalition goes to support these young victims. The money also helps shelter & educate the children and gives them an opportunity for a more positive and future where they can support themselves and be free.
Batey Girls- was established by the nonprofit organization; Batey Rehab Project, to provide economic opportunities for women and girls at risk of sex trafficking and domestic violence in the Dominican Republic. Their program was inspired by the true story of a nonprofit founder who witnessed parents selling their teenage daughters for sex. This program was created by the women and girls of Batey Milton providing an opportunity to begin new lives and break free from the cycle of poverty. You can proudly wear their jewelry brand, knowing that you are part of their mission to empower women and girls both internationally and here in the USA. 100% of all jewelry sales profits go directly to the 501c3 organization; Batey Rehab Project. For every piece sold they are able to grow and expand their impact and employment opportunities for women and girls.
What can you do to help?
Be a conscious consumer. Buy Fair Trade Products. Chances are if you are "getting a bargain" on your purchase, you might be supporting slave labor practices. Check out this site to see if you are supporting slave labor in your purchases: https://slaveryfootprint.org/
At Give Back Goods we carry fair trade products from around the world. Through the purchase of the jewelry offered by Give Back Goods you are supporting the power to educate, train, and employ girls & women who have been or are at risk for human trafficking. These girls and young women have overcome trafficking, child marriage, and other severe abusive situations, and have been given another chance through employment, job training, education & counseling.
You can also donate directly to Her Future Coalition here: Her Future Coalition- Donate
Tara Dodson is the creator of the Living Full Circle Blog and will be our guest blogger each month for Mindful Mondays where she hopes to inspire us to make sustainable choices in our daily lives while at home, traveling, and in the workplace.
She is the mother of three, has an endearing partner, and has traveled internationally since she was a child. She enjoys spending time with her family outside whether it is in the garden, biking to the beach, hiking, or doing a beach cleanup. She serves her local community by working for public service by day, provides sustainability consulting to businesses and organizations on the side with her business, Full Circle Resource Management, LLC, and as co-founder of Keepers of the Coast, she creates coastal educational and sustainability programs.
As a recent graduate from Southern New Hampshire University with an MBA in Sustainability, her background is embedded in conservation, sustainability, and traveling. With over 15 years of experience, she hopes that you will join her on this journey of inspiration.
With each purchase through Give Back Goods you are supporting important causes like clean water, prevention of human trafficking, environmental causes, animal causes and much more. You also support poverty-stricken communities throughout the world through Fair Trade wages & practices. Give Back Goods goal is to give 10% of their profits each year to their partner organizations. With your support, they hope to be able to accomplish this in their second year of business. Another very special part of Give Back Goods is that when you make a purchase you are literally participating in a sustainable approach to decreasing our impacts to our natural resources like overused land for landfill space, impacts to our forests and pollution of our oceans.
We appreciate your support in helping us GIVE BACK!