Tag Archives: child slavery

Rug And Carpet Industry Battles Child Labor Abuse

rugmarklogoSeven North American rug companies recently joined RugMark to help put an end to exploitive child labor in the handmade rug industry.  Read More…

RugMark is making an impact. Perhaps the main reason why they may be leaving such a big mark is their single-minded mission. Rugmark is “devoted to building schools, programs and opportunities that give children back their childhoods by ending child labor in the handmade carpet industry in South Asia.”

That’s the kind of focus required to bring an end to child slavery and child labor abuses. Do your part. Purchase only RugMark certified carpets and rugs.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]
Tagged , , , ,

Today The Goal Is Modern Slavery Awareness

Say something.

Here is story about slavery in the United States I mention in the video.

Tagged , ,

Child Slavery, Coltan and The Congo

An estimated 2-million child-slaves work from sunrise to sunset to dig coltan by hand from the soil – and it is traded on the black market for US $400 a pound. – digitaljournal.com

With my feed reader overflowing with thousands of articles to sift through about modern slavery, I’ve recently turned to Twitter to find the stories that are moving others to speak out. The quote above came from a post cited by Chris Hogg in his twitter stream.

Slavery today, specifically child slavery, is being driven by the same motivation as it always has – profits. Coltan (Columbite-tantalite), it turns out, is ONLY in existence in the Eastern Congo and a small region of Tanzania. It doesn’t exist anywhere else. It is used in the production of capacitors.

Every day hundreds of thousands of Congolese child-slaves are forced to crawl into underground mines on their hands and knees to dig for the essential raw material make electronic gadgets like cell phones, iPods, laptop computers, play stations, wireless systems, DVD players, blackberries and pagers possible.

Clearly, I applaud the Dutch labour MP for his desire to see the end of child slave labor in the Congo. And there are alternatives to using the Coltan produced in Central Africa. Australia is also a major producer of Coltan and many electronics companies are now rejecting Coltan, opting to only purchase from legitimate sources. Unfortunately, I think real change will only come from finding an affordable alternative to Coltan. Thankfully, there is a movement to find alternatives to Coltan in capacitor production, including Niobium, multilayer ceramic capacitors and aluminum-polymer capacitors. I have no idea how long these methods will take to make their way into production or what their viability is.

In the meantime, children in the Congo are being abused daily to feed our addiction to ever cheaper technology. The Dutch petition was sent to all of the major multinational firms that produce cell phones. Let’s hope they act.

Tagged , , ,

Child Slavery – Today On Twitter

Testing a new site, Twilert, I decided to see what kinds of conversations might take place around Child Slavery on Twitter. Here’s what I found.

@canadagood : Interesting article on modern child slavery with a shout-out for Craig Kielberger’s http://www.freethechildren.com

@channelone : Cambodian Anti-Prostitution Activist Wins Human Rights Award: A survivor of child slavery and prostitu.. http://tinyurl.com/5s7cmh

@mkbwsu : ReTweet from @clifmimschild slavery: An Abomination

Conclusion: There wasn’t nearly enough conversation taking place on Twitter about this enormous problem today. I’m going to monitor this for a bit and see what turns up. If the days to come are like this one, something needs to be done to step up the conversation.

Tagged , ,

575 Child Prostitutes Saved

I believe child prostitution is the worst kind of child slavery. I know many people who don’t know that it still exists. I know people who would deny that it happens here in the United States.

But it does. Everyday.

It took five years to get 575 child prostitutes off the streets in United States. 575 children from ages 13-17.

575 children.

It took the FBI, U.S. Justice Department and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children to work together to do it. Operation “Innocence Lost” National Initiative was launched in June 2003.

This last sting operation, that ended this past weekend, took 46 girls and one boy into protective custody. The amazing thing is 10 had been reported to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. They were brought in from 29 different cities throughout the country. 73 pimps were arrested along with 518 adult prostitutes. To learn more about the Innocence Lost Initiative, please go to the FBI Innocence Lost website.

Sex trafficking is growing every day. The internet makes it easier for it to happen. It sickens and saddens me that this still goes on, everyday, everywhere on planet earth. You can help. You can educate yourself on the subject. You can write about it on your blogs, and if you come across it, you can REPORT IT.

Hundreds of dedicated men and women worked tirelessly to get this done. They saved 575 children. They gave 575 children their lives back.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.” – Margaret Mead

Tagged , , ,

The Day My God Died

One day you are a child.

The next day, you are a slave. Your childhood has ended.

These are people who have been taken from their homes against their will, transported to a new world in which they have no family, no friends, no one to help them. They do not even speak the language. They are at the mercy of their abductors, who frequently abuse them with severe beatings and withholding of food, to ensure their cooperation and break them. Eventually, they will all be broken.

There is a room, hidden and cramped and dirty. In this place the bidding and sale of humans is done. Those who desire slaves to live in human bondage and be forced to do their bidding, can make an offer.For an agreed amount of money, typically only a few hundred dollars, the buyer can leave with his new purchase: a human being. Too often a child.

What is this world, this place? Is it a history lesson that tells of 19th century enslavement of Africans in the New World known as the United States?

No. This is our world, today, the here and now. We live in a world where slavery is alive and well.Hundreds of thousands of people are trafficked and sold into slavery every day, all over the world – including the United States of America. Many of these are children, and most are sold into the sex trade.

This is the reality for far too many children and young adults in the world today. Human trafficking has surpassed drug trafficking to become the second biggest illegal trade in the world, only behind arms.

Last night I was invited to a screening of a documentary called “The Day My God Died.” This film, narrated by Tim Robbins, focuses on the real human suffering of a handful of young Nepalese girls who were trafficked over the border into India and sold into brothels. These girls were eventually rescued – after enduring years of a hell that included rape, beatings and being forced to have sex with up to 50 men each day, all for the profit of their captors.

As the documentary tells us, many of these survivors refer to the day they were trafficked into slavery as the day their god died. Many endure numerous abortions during their captivity, carry out pregnancies from their rapists, and contract HIV/AIDS. One teenager tells of her ordeal the first day she arrived at the brothel: being beaten when she refused to have sex, and eventually raped by numerous men until she stopped resisting. She was seven years old at the time.

Another young woman in the film, Jyoti, returns to the brothel where she was held after her rescue, in order to help find and rescue other girls. Jyoti shows the secret hiding rooms where the brothel owners keep the girls, and says, “Once the door closes behind you, no one ever knows you’re there.”

Don’t let the door close forever on these girls. Watch the documentary yourself.

For more information about the Nepalese organization that helps prevent trafficking, find these girls once they have been sold into the sex trade, and provides a home and rehabilitation after their rescue, visit:

Maiti Nepal – the organization in Nepal; or
Friends of Maiti Nepal – its supporters in the United States; or
Make a Donation Here

Thank you, and namaste.
Shelley

More information can be found in Shelley Seale’s upcoming book, The Weight of Silence: Invisible Children of India.

Tagged , ,

Open Your Eyes To Modern Slavery (Call And Response)

“Never forget, justice is what loves looks like in public.” These are the words of Dr. Cornel West.

“The first feature rockumentary to expose the the world’s 27 million most terrifying secrets” is set to open nationally on October 10, 2008.  Click the banner below to watch a trailer for Call And Response.

I have not seen this film yet, only the preview. But I know that it’s this kind of work that can help open the eyes of the world to the painful truth that of modern slavery. The truth that in 2007, “Slave Traders made more money than Google, Nike and Starbucks combined.

Make plans to go see this movie. I know it will be painful. I know it would be easier to NOT go see this film. Do it anyway. Open your eyes to the reality of modern slavery.

100% of the profits are going to fund global projects on the front lines of the issue.

Tagged , ,

Child Slavery In The Soccer Ball Industry

The international Labor Rights forum is reporting evidence that indicates the use of child labor and debt bondage in the production of soccer balls in India.

“While the sporting goods industry made a commitment to stop child labor in their supply chains when the problem was first identified in Sialkot, Pakistan in 1997, this report shows that bonded child labor continues in the industry and has shifted to India,” said Trina Tocco, Campaigns Coordinator at the International Labor Rights Forum.

via Modern Day Slavery In Soccer Ball Production In india.

This practice was exposed in the 1990’s, but it appears that initiatives to combat these practices are not working. View a photo gallery showing child labor in soccer ball production. The photos appear to be from July, 2007.

View a detailed PDF report from the BBA in India.

Tagged , ,

In Your Eyes: The Wrecking Aims At Child Sex Trafficking

Viddyou.com: chosenrecords

The Wrecking views their music as a means to end child sex trafficking and other crimes against children. Their CD, “A New Abolition,” releases August 19.

Tagged , ,

ABC Tackles Child Slavery Issue

I am watching “How To Buy A Child In 10 Hours” on Nightline as I type this. It is consistent with everything I’ve seen in the course of writing this blog. The report, by Dan Harris, is focused on Haiti, which has over 300,000 children trapped in child slavery. As the story indicates, the irony is hard to miss. Haiti is an independent nation as a result of a slave rebellion that took place from 1791-1803.

This is a compelling story. Please watch it.

Tagged , , ,