Wednesday, June 29, 2005

End slavery.

Less than two weeks ago, we celebrated Juneteenth. Unfortunately, June 19, 1865 was not the end of slavery in the US. Slavery continues in many forms throughout the US and the world. Nowadays it's often called 'human trafficking', but it's still slavery. And it is a betrayal of human rights. Here's what you can do to help end slavery once and for all:

* If you believe someone you know may be a trafficking victim (enslaved person), contact the Department of Health and Human Services' Human Trafficking Hotline at 1 (888) 373-7888.
* Also report rafficking crimes or get help by calling the toll-free hotline 1-888-428-7581 (voice and TTY).
* Para registrar su queja o obtener ayuda, llame gratis a 1-888-428-7581 (linea directa y de TTY para personas con incapacidad auditiva).

* Learn how to identify enslaved people in our present society. Ask the following:
Is the person free to leave the work site?
Is the person physically, sexually or psychologically abused?
Does the person have a passport or valid I.D. card and is he/she in possession of such documents?
What is the pay and conditions of employment?
Does the person live at home or at/near the work site?
How did the individual arrive to this destination if the suspected victim is a foreign national?
Has the person or a family member of this person been threatened?
Does the person fear that something bad will happen to him or her, or to a family member, if he/she leaves the job?

* Understand the link between human trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation. "We estimate that of the 600,000-800,000 people trafficked across country borders every year, almost 70% are forced into the commercial sex industry. Half of all victims are children. Many are forced to work in brothels, illegitimate massage parlors, as "escorts," or in pornography. When people support such industries they are fueling the demand for commercial sexual services that fuel the demand for trafficking victims."

* Support state laws against human trafficking and slavery. "It is helpful for states to pass laws of their own to further educate and involve local law enforcement officials.

"No slavery can be abolished without a double emancipation, and the master will benefit by freedom more than the freed-man." - Thomas Henry Huxley (1825–95), British biologist and educator.


Karama said...

Here's what Kailash Satyarthi is doing to end slavery and forced child labor in India. You can support his work by buying carpet and rugs from The Rugmark Foundation.

Karama said...

And here's more information on and solutions to slavery and human trafficking.

Karama said...

See also my letter in Open Letters for Change.

Anonymous said...

Can you update the slavery and human trafficking link?

Karama said...

Thanks for your interest, Anon, but the it seems to be lost for now. A shame. Despite that, I hope you enjoyed your visit to So What Can I Do. Please come back again soon, an spread the word.