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HOPE Helping Oppressed People Escape

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June 2010

Welcome to the launch of HOPE, an online magazine, brought to you by concerned Christians of all ages, backgrounds, races and skills. It is our prayerful hope and desire to shed light on injustices around the globe that deeply sadden our great God and affect us all in a variety of ways. The primary mission of HOPE is to make the public aware of the presence of human trafficking and other injustices in the U.S. and all over the world and to keep our communities up to date on the latest news, legislation and opportunities to get involved, in hopes of persuading others to use their strengths and skills to combat these injustices and form effective partnerships. This first issue will focus mainly on basic information about the different forms of human trafficking, how, why and where it takes place, and what you can do to join in the fight to eradicate modern day slavery as we know it today. As you read through these pages, we urge you not to afford yourself the luxury of becoming discouraged by the complexity of this global crisis. While it is an enormously complicated and political issue, the fact remains that women and children and even men are being exploited and abused for someone else’s gain every day in every corner of the world and there is something that every one of us can do about it right where we are. Even the smallest acts add profoundly to the great force that is necessary to turn the tide of this horror in favor of those being victimized and those at risk instead of rewarding oppressors and abusers with a manner of ease in which they carry out the undoing of the vulnerable and (therefore) of us all. We do not underestimate the impact that awareness can have on a community, but awareness alone will bring about little change. Therefore, we encourage you to prayerfully consider what you might have to offer (and we all have something of value to offer to this cause), so please be sure and read over the listing of organizations that need assistance and other suggestions on getting involved. Whether you give of your specific skills or knowledge, money, time or resources, there is one thing each of us can do right now: Pray. Please join us in praying daily for all the efforts of this cause and for the restoration and protection of victims and those at-risk. Thank you for caring about this issue and for your desire to seek justice for those who are unable to fight for it themselves. Karen King “Learn to do good; Seek justice, Rebuke the oppressor; Defend the fatherless, Plead for the widow.� Isaiah 1:17

For those who would like to submit to our next magazine, or if you have any questions, please contact Karen King at: kdk4real@verizon.net Editors: Karen King, Jill Bryson, Julia Bryson, Lara Abila, and Lily Armstrong Design Assistant: Kimberly Pamplin


THE CRY OF 27 MILLION by Karen King, Editor Around the globe today, there exists approximately 27 million slaves whose choices are not their own. They labor endlessly and endure great suffering right under the noses of the more fortunate, so that others may enjoy increase at the expense of their freedom and dignity. Modern-day slavery, commonly known as Human Trafficking, still exists even in the Land of the Free and according to the US Department of Health and Human Services; it is the second largest crime industry in the world, as well as the fastest growing (second only to drug trafficking). (Human Trafficking: A Growing Crime to Hit the State Courts. http://207.242.75.69/ cgibin/showfile.exe?CISOROOT=/ federal&CISOPTR=46)

The Cry of 27 Million

The U.S. State Department’s Annual Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report of 2009 defines Human Trafficking as: “The recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services, through the use of force, fraud or coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage or slavery.” And also: “Sex trafficking in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such act has not attained 18 years of age (in this case, consent, force, etc. are irrelevant).” ( TIP Report, 2009. http://www.state.gov/g/tip/ rls/tiprpt/2009/123123.htm ) Of the many different forms of Human Trafficking, those listed in the TIP Report are: Forced Labor, Bonded Labor, Debt Bondage and Involuntary Servitude among Migrant Laborers, Involuntary Domestic Servitude, Forced Child Labor, Child Soldiers, Sex Trafficking and Prostitution, Children Exploited for Commercial Sex (CECS), and Child Sex Tourism. ( TIP Report, 2009. http://www.state.gov/g/tip/

Photographs on the cover and in the following article are by Kay Chernush for the U.S. State Department.

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rls/tiprpt/2009/ ) Among the victims of these many forms of human trafficking, 80 percent are women and children and 70 percent of those are forced into sexual slavery, which would include child sex tourism and child pornography, forced prostitution, etc (Human Trafficking: A Growing Crime to Hit the State Courts. http://207.242.75.69/ cgi-bin/showfile.exe?CISOROOT=/federal&CISOPTR=46). It does not require a PHD in Psychology to understand the ramifications of such abuses when the children and teens that currently populate our world and hold its future in their shackled hands are preyed upon in the most gruesome of ways. What people have a more difficult time understanding is the manner in which the victims of trafficking are obtained and consistently subdued. In the U.S., the average age of entry into prostitution is 12-14 years of age for girls; 11-13 for boys ( http:// www.usdoj.gov/criminal/ceos/prostitution.html ). At these tender ages, they are easy to manipulate, especially those with low self-esteem, family problems or a history of previous abuse, and if they are lured into a life of prostitution at an early age, they will become dependent on the pimp, making it easy to secure her as his property for the remainder of her life. Runaways are at the greatest risk of becoming victims, but any child or young adult from any combination of socioeconomic status and situations can be targets. Pimps and traffickers scan the malls, train/bus stations, homeless shelters, after school programs, online chat rooms, night clubs and the streets looking for vulnerable youth and they are diligent in the craft of carefully pinpointing the easiest targets. Another reason children are targeted is because they are high in demand for adults looking to purchase sex, pornography and child sex tourism. This is a frightening indication of the cyclic state of physical and emotional degeneration that we, as a nation and as a world, have already arrived at and the wheel continues to turn in the wrong direction. There are many scenarios of obtaining a victim for sex trafficking. Some are kidnapped, some are sold or prostituted out by their own family members, and many are recruited by a pimp or trafficker who initially showers her with attention, compliments, gifts, etc. in an attempt to gain her affection and trust. Some pimps cleverly assume the role of father-figure, knowing that this is all too often an answer to many of these unsuspecting girl’s hopes and dreams. Many of these predators will spend months “courting” his victim, going to great pains to make her feel special and loved. He knows full well what her deepest needs and desires are and he uses them against her at just the right moment. When that moment arrives, he unleashes a violent reality on her world. She will endure a seasoning period of rape, torture, beatings, threats, humiliation, hunger and more until she has been sufficiently beaten down into full submission. The maintaining of control over her is no less brutal. The only difference for these girls who are now burdened with the label of “prostitute” is that they have learned the rules of the game and one of those rules for a victim of sex trafficking is that every flicker of hope in her heart must be extinguished if she is to bear another moment of her existence. Thoughts of a better life, hopes for being truly loved, dreams of the freedom to make her own choices will only bring about emotions that she cannot afford to feel. Tears and emotions are forbidden in her world and will only bring her more beatings, a higher quota to meet, or maybe some time locked in a trunk or a closet. This is where she resigns herself to “the life” (as it is often called on the streets) and tries to make the best of it, which often means trying to please her pimp at all costs or putting herself on the line to protect him and win his momentary affection or to avoid beatings that will continue to come no matter how far her loyalty stretches. It is important for us all to understand the real face of prostitution, so that we do not lose sight of who the real criminals are. More often, young girls and women are sent to jail or juvenile detention for prostitution while the adult men who create the demand for it drive off toward home to their wives and children. And the pimps who abuse them count their stacks of money and laugh at every one of us because they are raking in more taxfree cash in a month than many hard-working, American citizens will make in a year by exploiting someone’s precious daughter or son. (Rest assured that all or most of the money a girl will earn goes directly to her pimp. Few ever see a dime.) Meanwhile, good citizens fight and fundraise to cut down on crime and stop the spread of AIDS, only to have pimps, traffickers and pedophiles refill every hole we dig and since they rarely suffer suf-


ficient consequences (if any at all) for their actions, there is little standing in their way of defiling America and threatening the future of the world. As previously mentioned, other forms of Human Trafficking exist in the U.S. and across the globe. Domestic servitude is of great concern as well. Most of America’s temporary work visa programs only increase an applicant’s vulnerability, due to the fact that the focus is placed on the employer who is bringing the worker to his/ her home while little or no emphasis is put on the best interest and protection of the worker. There are approximately four thousand foreign workers brought into the U.S. each year with no contract requirements. The employers simply must give a statement that they will provide “reasonable” living and working conditions, but are not held accountable by our government to actually do what they say they will. From the moment the worker exits the airport, there is no one who will be checking on them to verify their safety and fair treatment. The employer then has free reign over the worker and this is where the nightmare begins for some of these unfortunate souls. Like victims of sex trafficking, these workers are controlled and kept quiet through beatings, torture, humiliation, hunger, and threats of deportation or harm and few ever receive a dime for their toil. (The Slave Next Door, Kevin Bales) Those who prey on the hopes of vulnerable workers seeking a better life are not limited to international employees or diplomats. They can just as easily be the middle-classed neighbor on your very street whose lifestyle mirrors your own in many ways, save one: That he or she is holding a fellow human being captive for use as a slave. Sandra Bearden was a twenty-seven year old mother of four, living in a middle-class suburb of Laredo, Texas who is now serving a life sentence for human trafficking and slavery. In her search for a maid and childcare helper, Sandra visited a poor village in Mexico and found a twelve year old girl named Maria. Sandra offered Maria a job in her home and promised her parents that Maria would attend school and have many wonderful opportunities. Maria’s parents trusted Sandra, who was also a native of Mexico, and they unknowingly sent their daughter into a reign of terror that continued for seven months. Sandra wasted no time inflicting violence on Maria to get her to work hard and fast. She sprayed pepper spray into her eyes, broke a broom over her back

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and a bottle over her head and worse. Sandra’s back yard was lined with an eight-foot concrete wall to keep Maria hidden from the rest of the world. When Maria’s work was completed for the day, the child was chained to a pole in the backyard without food or water, except for the occasional dog feces she was forced to eat, and there she would wait for the next day of her nightmare to begin all over again. After seven months of hell, Maria’s day of rescue came when a neighbor working on his roof spotted the girl whimpering in her shackles and called 911. She had not eaten in four days, she was covered in cuts and bruises and suffered from dehydration and severe sunburn. Later, during the trial, the policeman who found Maria wept in the witness box as he testified about the severe pain that she was in and the fear in her eyes when he arrived on the scene. Sandra Bearden was brought to justice for her horrible crime and that is a good thing, but Maria received nothing but bus fare to carry her broken spirit back home to her poverty-stricken village where there would be no means for counseling or any other desperately needed services to help this child and her family recover. (The Slave Next Door, Kevin Bales) This world is plagued with slavery and injustice from one end of the globe to the next and though the American people should never tolerate slavery on U.S. soil, we cannot ignore the injustices that are taking place in the rest of the world either because they affect us as well, especially as a body of Christ. The horrors of human trafficking and other injustices in foreign countries are equally and many times exceedingly tragic and violent. There are no easy answers. America has its flawed systems that leave some vulnerable to exploitation and these systems are in need of alteration if we hope them to be in alignment with God’s will and with our Declaration of Independence, which states that “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” Though opinions will differ, there is much that we can do when our purpose is united. It is another matter entirely to persuade other governments to do the right thing when these governments practice the evils of communism, when they war against their own people, when they dehumanize and oppress the female members of their society, and when they are covered in the blood of corruption, driven by greed and self-preservation. But to say that nothing can be done to change the course of destruction of these global crimes would be equivalent to labeling our God as a powerless god who does not truly mean what He says. Around the globe today, there exists approximately 27 million sons and daughters, mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters whose choices are not their own. They cry out in their distress asking not “Where is our God?”, but “Where are God’s people?” What will you do today to answer their call for help and to put your trust in God’s power and His command to “do justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. (NKJ, Micah 6:8)?”

______________________________________________________________________________ Aricle by: Karen King


Source: www.whitehouse.gov

Change in Action: President Obama Declares January as National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month

“We must join together as a Nation and global community to provide that safe haven by protecting victims and prosecuting traffickers. With improved victim identification, medical and social services, training for first responders, and increased public awareness, the men, women, and children who have suffered this scourge can overcome the bonds of modern slavery, receive protection and justice, and successfully reclaim their rightful independence. Fighting modern slavery and human trafficking is a shared responsibility. This month, I urge all Americans to educate themselves about all forms of modern slavery and the signs and consequences of human trafficking. Together, we can and must end this most serious, ongoing criminal civil rights violation.�

...do hereby proclaim January 2010 as

National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, culminating in the annual celebration of National Freedom Day on February 1

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Ways that you can get involved: 1. Report any suspicious activity or suspected victims of trafficking to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline at 1-888373-7888. (See How To Recognize Victims/Signs of Trafficking) 2. Enter the hotline # into your cell phone and do not hesitate to call when you see something suspicious (that’s what they are there for). 3. Call your Congressman and ask what is being done to establish strong, effective human trafficking legislation on state/federal levels. If your state does not have laws that specifically address human trafficking or if your state does not have an anti-trafficking task force, request that one be established and offer to be a part of it. 4. Donate to or volunteer for local organizations (see list of organizations) doing outreach, fundraising, victim support, etc. 5. Contact local law enforcement and tell them you are concerned about human trafficking in your area. Ask what you can do to assist them. 6. Hold an awareness event/film screening at your home, school, church, etc. (See Suggested Resources for some ideas of films to show.) 7. Purchase Fair Trade products, such as coffee, tea, chocolate, clothing, jewelry, etc. and ask retailers to offer Fair Trade merchandise. You can also host a home party with Fair Trade products from local retailers (some will send you a kit with everything you need).


Organizations

working to combat human trafficking

and/or provide victim services:

International Justice Mission

– www.ijm.org

– www.sharedhope.org

– www.courtneyshouse.org

– www.bridgetofreedomfoundation.org

– www.fairfund.org

– www.polarisproject.org

– www.ncmec.org

– www.gems-girls.org

– http://www.notforsalecampaign.org

– www.freetheslaves.net

Shared Hope International Courtney’s House

Bridge To Freedom Foundation Fair Fund

Polaris Project

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children

GEMS (Girls Educational and Mentoring Services)

Not For Sale Campaign

Free The Slaves

RIJI Green

– www.rijigreen.org VA Stop Modern Slavery – http://www.meetup.com/virginiastopmodernslavery/ (VA SMS is a volunteer-run community group dedicated to eradicating all forms of human trafficking in VA in a variety of ways)

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Suggested Resources: • FILMS - Very Young Girls (to order: http://www.gems-girls.org/shop)

- Not for Sale . . . The Documentary

(to order: http://notforsale895.corecommerce.com/Books- amp-Media-c14/ )

• BOOKS

- The Slave Next Door by Kevin Bales

(to order: http://www.freetheslaves.net/Page.aspx?pid=497 )

- Just Courage by Gary Haugen (to order: https://secure3.con vio.net/ijm/site/Ecommerce?store_id=1101 )

- The Good News About Injustice by Gary Haugen (to order: https://secure3.convio.net/ijm/site/Ecommerce?store_

id=1101 )


Potential Indicators of Trafficking/Identifying Victims A victim may:

* Have unexplained absences from school for a period of time, and is therefore a truant * Chronically runs away from home * Make references to frequent travel to other cities * Exhibit bruises or other physical trauma, withdrawn behavior, depression, or fear * Lack control over her or his schedule or identification documents * Is hungry-malnourished or inappropriately dressed (based on weather conditions or surroundings) * Have a “boyfriend” who is noticeably older (10+ years) * Make references to terminology of the commercial sex industry that are beyond age-specific norms; engages in promiscuous behavior and may be labeled “fast” by peers * Have few or no personal possessions * Have few or no personal financial records * Ask about their whereabouts and/or do not know what city they are in * Owe a large debt and are not able to pay it off * Have their communication restricted or controlled. They may not be allowed to speak for themselves, a third party may insist on translating, or they may seem watched or followed. * Lack the freedom to leave working or living conditions * Not be in control of their own money * Work excessively long and unusual hours * Not be allowed breaks during work * Have numerous inconsistencies in their story * Exhibit unusually fearful or anxious behavior after bringing up “law enforcement” * Be seen performing odd tasks at odd hours (e.g., washing a car at 10pm at night in the cold) * Avoid eye contract * Have a loss of sense of time or space

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An Introduction to

Fair Trade

Photo courtesy of Amy Hansen and TransFair USA


Photo Courtesy of Jennee Payne and TransFair USA

What is Fair Trade? According to the Fair Trade Federation (www.fairtradefederation.org ), “Fair trade is a system of exchange that seeks to create greater equity and partnership in international trading system…” This means a number of changes and opportunities such as food companies supporting local providers and farmers for their raw goods and crops, establishing rights for laborers (specifically children), and promoting producers of countries with limited social or economic systems. Fair Trade is an economic movement to widen the span of the global market and support beyond the front-running nations and corporations to include those individuals, businesses, and countries that have the potential to produce or contribute to it. Because slavery exists in many of the world’s product chains of the goods we purchase, Fair Trade became vital to the survival and well-being of farmers across the globe (especially in corrupt or impoverished lands, such as the Ivory Coast, where chocolate is frequently made with slave labor) who were not receiving sustainable wages for their product. Fair Trade cooperatives guarantee that no forced labor occurs in production and that workers receive livable wages and working conditions. Farmers are also given additional premiums to reinvest into their communities, which allow these once poverty-stricken areas to better help themselves. We as consumers hold more power than we realize with every dollar that we do or do not spend. By such small measures as purchasing Fair Trade products, asking our local retailers to supply more Fair Trade options, and holding corporations who use slave labor accountable, we can become a part of the solution. Article by: Jill Bryson

For more information or to locate other organizations that work to further Fair Trade: Fair Trade Original Fair Trade Foundation TransFair USA World Fair Trade Organization FAIRTRADE Mark Tradecraft European Fair Trade Association

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HOPE