2012-2013 High school essay contest: Honorable mention

March 28, 2013

Human trafficking is proliferating everywhere across the world. While countries such as India, Mexico and Bangladesh most commonly come to people’s minds regarding the matter; modern slavery is just as significant inside the US borders, and in all 50 states. Estimates of tens of thousands of people are trafficked as slaves in the US alone (Tupper). The types of human trafficking are forced labor, sex trafficking, bonded labor or debt bondage, involuntary domestic servitude, forced child labor, child soldiers and child sex trafficking (Ritch). The most widely known, and clearly the most dominant sector of human trafficking is commercial sex (Ritch). Countless women are being kidnapped, sold, or pushed helplessly into the world of sex slavery. Thousands of young girls and women, most commonly from Thailand, The Dominican Republic, Mexico, the Philippines, India, Haiti, and Guatemala, are shipped to the United States to be bought and sold as sex objects (Danner-McDonald). Statistics show that the age of victims who are children range from 9 to 19, the average being 11, the age of a child who would be attending 6th grade (Vigilano)…

The truth is, most of us benefit from human slavery without even noticing it. We benefit from cheap prices of goods that are kept low from modern slavery and buy things that were made by unpaid workers in sweatshops without knowing it (Tupper). Our job is to be aware and educated about these things to prevent contributing to human trafficking invisible to the naked eye. The Internet is full of information about what companies use human slavery as a means of production and what companies don’t. While we can’t change everything, we can make realistic decisions of replacing shops that use human slavery with shops that verify fair trade.

– Excerpted from “Fighting with love against human trafficking” by Jean Ahn, Bethany Christian Schools (Goshen, Indiana), Grade 12.


Mennonite speaks out for farmworkers

March 3, 2012

From the Gainesville Interfaith Alliance for Immigrant Justice:

The transformative interchange began during the question-and-answer session at the end of the Chamber’s breakfast, after a lecture on “The Publix Culture” delivered by keynote speaker and guest of honor Dwaine Stevens, Publix Media and Community Relations Manager for North Florida.  During the session, two guests posed questions regarding Publix’s refusal to meet with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) and join their Fair Food Program, which, among other history-making human rights achievements, would guarantee living wages for the Florida workers who harvest Publix’s tomatoes and would help end modern day slavery in Florida’s fields.

The first such question came from Dr. Richard MacMaster, a member of Emmanuel Mennonite Church and organizer with Interfaith Alliance for Immigrant Justice, who had awoken at 5:00 AM that morning and driven all the way from Gainesville, Florida to hear Mr. Stevens speak.

Dr. MacMaster asked Mr. Stevens why Publix – a company that prides itself in family values and giving back to the community – is continually unwilling to meet with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers and join their Campaign for Fair Food.  read more | audio

Immigration resources | Bread for the World: farmworkers and immigration


How Many Slaves Work for You?

February 3, 2012

Emily Wilson-Hauger, public policy intern, writes about the connection between our consumer choices and modern-day slavery in the latest Third Way Cafe.

Photo credit: jk_scotland/flickr

A friend recently posted a link on her Facebook feed that read, “How many slaves work for you?” The Slavery Footprint survey simply asked me to quantify my consumption of clothes, electronics, household items, appliances, food, and other tangibles.

How many slaves work for me? 40! Even with a lower number than the average 20-something in America, how could a socially conscious person, who tries to live simply, rely on 40 slaves for the things I use every day?

Read the entire article here and let us know what you think in the comment section or on twitter or facebook.


Voices from the Americas: A Friend to Migrant Women caught in the Sex Trade

August 15, 2011

MCC Latin America Policy Analyst Adrienne Wiebe writes in her blog:

“Women working in the bars along the highway, often come for a meal, and I just started talking with them. Many of the local people are very judgemental and look down on these women. But I began to see their reality, and offer them friendship.” says Maria.

Many Central American women attempting to get to the USA end up in the sex trade. “Often they are paid to come with the promise of a job, but they cannot leave until they repay their expenses to the bar owner. Others end up working at the bars because they have no money left and can’t continue travelling north, and this is the only work they can get.”

Read more

Human trafficking resources | Latin America/Caribbean resources


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