Archives for April 2013

Child Labor Perpetuates Cycle of Poverty

Not only does child labor lead to a perpetual cycle of poverty for a family, it also depresses the economy. A study by the ILO (International Labor Organization) found that it would cost $760 billion to end child labor, but the benefits to the economy would be more than six times that–an estimated $5.1 trillion in economies where child laborers are found. –GoodWeave International (GWI)

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Trafficked and Re-Trafficked

Children trafficked into one form of labor may later be sold into another, as with girls from rural Nepal, who are recruited to work in carpet factories but are then trafficked into the sex industry over the border into India. -ILO/IPEC, Helping Hands or Shackled Lives? Understanding Child Domestic Labour and Responses to It

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Recipe for Trafficking

 

“Take one desperate woman, ripe for exploiting. Remove her opportunities. Soak her in poverty for a lifetime. Throw in a fistful of organized crime.

Mix her up. Turn her out, and there you have it.

One woman, pummelled, panicked. One woman, freshly trafficked.”

Stop the Traffik

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Made In A Free World

Made In A Free World is using social media to stir up awareness that will lead to action. The Topic? Modern-day Slavery and Human Trafficking.

So, here’s the challenge. Create a board on Pinterest that answers the question: “What does a Free World mean or look like to you?” The most creative pinner (as decided by the judges) will win one Change for Good box filled with awesome Fair Trade products from Trade As One. Pin to Win!

Follow These Easy Steps:

  • FOLLOW Made In A Free World on Pinterest
  • CREATE a Pinterest board and title it: “Made In A Free World”
  • FILL your board with at least 10 pins and a minimum of 2 pins must be repinned from the first 5 boards on the MIAFW page
  • TAG all of the pins on your board with the hashtag #MadeInAFreeWorld 
  • COMMENT on Made In A Free World’s contest pin with a URL to your board when you’re done

Once all of the boards are submitted, the panel of judges will pick a winner based on originality, creativity, adherence to the rules, and demonstration of FREE spirit. The contest ends Tuesday, April 30th.

This is an easy way to use a little creativity through words and pictures to be a voice for the voiceless. Every impression that causes someone to pause, consider, and take action, matters. Slaves cannot free themselves, that’s why we can’t be silent. We, the free, are their only hope. I invite you to join me in getting involved, and don’t forget to tell a friend.

Let’s get slavery out of our system!

Learn More:

Embracing a Free World: Do You Know Your Slavery Footprint?

Visit Made In a Free World online and follow on Twitter @madeinafreewrld

Visit Slavery Footprint online at: www.slaveryfootprint.org

Join me on Twitter @DestinysWomen

(c) By April McCallum, Destiny’s Women™ – “Championing the Life, Freedom & Destiny of Women”

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300,000 Children at Risk of Being Sold for Sex Every Year

 

The Department of Justice states that as many as 300,000 children are at risk for sexual exploitation each year in the United States.

It’s a staggering statistic. The reality of hundreds of thousands of innocent children hidden in the shadows only to be bought, sold, used, and abused for profit and pleasure, every year is unconscionable. It also means they are in desperate need of our voice!

Founder and executive director of Rebecca Project for Human Rights, Malika Saada Saar says, “Americans are right to get angry at the violence against women and girls in developing nations: the Congo rape camps, the widespread practices of female genital mutilation in West Africa and the infanticide of females in China.

Our digust at the violence committed against women and girls is heightened by the culture of impunity that allows the perpetrators of these crimes to go free without condemnation or punishment. That culture also turns victims into criminals, such as the girls in Thailand who are beaten and raped and then ostracized by their families and society.

But our indignation must be turned inward, too. Here in the United States, there is a similar culture of impunity when young American girls are sold for sex. There are 100,000 to 300,000 children between 11 and 14 who are vulnerable to being sold for sex by pimp-captors every year in the United States, according to government statistics.” Read the Full Article: U.S. Should Stop Criminalizing Sex Trafficking Victims.

The Rebecca Project for Human Rights advocates for justice, dignity and policy reform for vulnerable women and girls in the United States and in Africa. You can find them online at rebeccaproject.org and on Twitter @rebeccaproject.

Now that you are aware, help spread the word, and if you see something, say something!

The National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC) is a national, toll-free hotline, available to answer calls and texts from anywhere in the country, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every day of the year. Phone 1-888-373-7888 or Text text BeFree (233733) Visit Polaris Project to learn more about Human Trafficking.

Source: U.S. Dept of Justice: OJP Fact Sheet–HumanTrafficking

Join me on Twitter @DestinysWomen

(c) By April McCallum, Destiny’s Women™ – “Championing the Life, Freedom & Destiny of Women”

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Human Beings as Commodities

Human trafficking is the fastest growing global crime, second in size only to the illegal arms trade. It involves the movement of people through violence, deception, or coercion for various purposes, among them sex, forced labor, and even body parts. The book, Stop the Traffik speaks to the issues of organized immigration as a crime (aka trafficking in persons or human trafficking) and the exploitation and violence that victims are subject to.

“Criminals take advantage of the fact that human beings are the world’s most precious ‘commodity’. Let’s finish what Wilberforce started. We can stop the traffick. And we MUST.'” –Daniel Bedingfield

Learn More: Visit Stop The Traffik’s Website

Buy the Book: Stop the Traffik: People Shouldn’t Be Bought & Sold

Learn About: Abolitionist William Wilberforce

“You may choose to look the other way but you can never say again that you did not know.” -William Wilberforce 

Join me on Twitter @DestinysWomen

(c) By April McCallum, Destiny’s Women™ – “Championing the Life, Freedom & Destiny of Women”

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Exchanging One Misery For Another

 

“Women and girls may themselves take the initiative to migrate in the hope of earning a decent income, escaping a miserable life, or supporting a family back home. In such cases, they are sometimes aware that they are going to work in commercial sex, considering this to be an acceptable short-term remedy to a desperate need to earn a living. They very rarely, however, are aware of the nature of the demands that will be made upon them, the conditions in which they are likely to be held, or the possible long-term repercussions of the activity.” International Labor Organization (ILO)

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NOT TODAY Movie: Child Trafficking in India

NOT TODAY opens in theatres today. It is a movie about child trafficking and exploitation.  One of its many awards includes “Best Justice Film” from the 2013 Justice Film Festival. As many are now aware, “human trafficking” is the new terminology for modern-day slavery. In any form, slavery condones the buying and selling of human beings. This is a film about India, but it’s also a film about humanity everywhere.

With the financial freedom to travel abroad, the young Caden Welles takes off for an adventure with his friends to Hyderabad, India. What he finds there is not a dream vacation, but a nightmare. Like so many of us who are exposed to the realities of human degradation through culturally embedded caste systems, sexual exploitation, forced labor, and/or child trafficking, he is forever haunted, forever changed.

NOT TODAY is a contemporary coming-of-age story, and through this journey, viewers are afforded terrifying, yet all-too-common examples of modern-day slavery, lined with lessons in courage, understanding, and faith, all wrapped in a rich cinematographic masterpiece.” Dr. Ana Steele, President Dalit Freedom Network USA

Watch the Trailer of NOT TODAY the Movie  

Executive Director, Matthew Cork says, “Dalits are not considered human. They get no education. They are used and abused and have no recourse or avenues toward justice. There is no protection from law enforcement; no access to the courts; no political voice, no hope of upward mobility.”

I know we live in a frenetic fast-paced world that thrives on sound bites and is always pushing toward the next thing, but if you would, re-read that last paragraph. Imagine it was referring to you, or the people you love. 

Cork is asked: “Can one movie change everything in India?” “No. But what if that one movie could open the eyes of millions and challenge them to join in this meaningful fight? There is a longing in the human heart for freedom. It is a universal longing.”

All of NOT TODAY’s partners are currently working to bring awareness, justice, and freedom to enslaved people around the globe.  Partners include A21 Campaign, International Justice Mission, Abolition International, and more. 

My challenge to you: Let’s work together, through the power of one, to begin to change each “no” into a “yes”. Yes, we believe in justice, equal justice for all of humanity. That includes fair laws, access to the courts, and legal protection for every person. Yes, we believe in education, the hope of upward mobility, and freedom from abuse for all. Yes, we believe girls have a right to live, receive education, and to prosper. Yes, we believe in a future hope that is good, the right to our voice, and freedom for all human beings, period.

As the movie byline reads: “None of us are free if one of us is enslaved.”

You may also be interested in:

Dalit Freedom Network: Touching the Untouchable Women of India

Untouchable — National Geographic Magazine  

Visit the website of NOT TODAY: The Movie or Follow on Twitter @NotTodayMovie.

How a Movie Ticket Can Help Save a Child From Slavery by Actor John Schneider

The movie was produced by Friends Church Yorba Linda, a congregation committed to educating the Dalits and ending human trafficking in India. Want to bring Not Today to YOUR City? Bring It!

Join me on Twitter @DestinysWomen

(c) By April McCallum, Destiny’s Women™ – “Championing the Life, Freedom & Destiny of Women”

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Bridges in Our Lives

I am where I am because of the bridges that I crossed. Sojourner Truth was a bridge. Harriet Tubman was a bridge. Ida B. Wells was a bridge. Madam C. J. Walker was a bridge. Fannie Lou Hamer was a bridge.” –Oprah Winfrey

The same could be said by each of us about the people God has placed along the path throughout our life’s journey. Reflection makes us grateful.

Who were the “bridges” in your life?  What specifically made them a bridge for you? What words would you use to describe them? What words would they use to describe you? What are the lasting imprints they left on you? How will they be remembered in the archives of your story?

Some people stay in our lives forever, but most come and go through different seasons. Often the ones we remember most are the ones who gave us just the right encouragement or advice at just the right time. Maybe they didn’t use many words, but modeled for us what it meant to be brave, bold, creative, discover our voice, or follow our dreams. Or, maybe they were the ones who simply “showed up” when no one else did. Maybe they held our hearts, helped us heal, forgive, understand, or just listened.

Whatever our story, they were there. And, they were there for us. Because of them, we knew that somehow it was going to be okay. When we didn’t quite have enough of our own, they shared with us their courage, faith, love, and hope.

I’m so grateful for the people who were “bridges” in my life. I count them as blessings… like flowers in my internal garden that stand just a little taller and are just a little more fragrant than all the others. And in turn, they made me stand just a little bit taller and a little more fragrant. They lift our heads, our voices, our aspirations, our belief in God, and in ourselves, while quietly helping us not to settle, but believe there is “more to be had”.

It is important to reflect on the people who were bridges at significant and pivitol times in our life because it keeps us grateful. They are valuable and irreplaceable parts of our story. Likewise, it is important to be vigilant so that we don’t miss the opportunity to be a bridge in someone else’s life. Our blessings are meant for us at very specific times along our journey, but they are also meant to be shared and passed along to others on theirs.

Are you a bridge in someone else’s story today?

 
Join me on Twitter @DestinysWomen

(c) By April McCallum, Destiny’s Women™ – “Championing the Life, Freedom & Destiny of Women”

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Your Calling

What is the thing that will never be “just a job” to you, because for you, it is your calling…

“What is it that makes your heart sing? What is it that inspires you to stay up all night, make personal sacrifices, and work tirelessly just for the privilege of being involved?” -Kimberly Sowell

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