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holiday gifts…fighting human trafficking

December 4, 2009

So there are some startling statistics I just read about human trafficking. I guess when you really don’t want to know how depraved this world can be, you choose to avoid the knowledge that surrounds you. Sorry if this post is not the most cheery.

At least, I’m about to make you so happy you haven’t bought all your Christmas gifts just yet!

There’s a way to help those who have fallen victim to these awful crimes against humanity this Christmas /holiday season:

Visit MadebySurvivors.com to support human trafficking victims. There are so many beautiful things. If you’d like to see more than just this seasons’ holiday-themed gifts try its parent site. Look for the gray bar for bags, jewelry, paper gifts, and more.

The Emancipation Network (TEN) is responsible for all this wonderful aid . Here is an excerpt from their page:

“TEN provides an economic alternative to slavery and exploitation for women and youth at high risk for being trafficked. We work with existing prevention programs providing education and slavery. In one case, we provided funding for one of our partner programs in Thailand to expand their handicrafts program to include mothers and the rest of the community

Often a wage as little as a hundred dollars a year is enough to keep families from selling their daughters. Sadly, in some parts of the world, girls are not intrinsically valued. But when women become artisans, wage-earners, and business-owners, their status is greatly enhanced in the community. For example, one of our partner programs in Cambodia, AFESIP found that survivors where initially ostracized when they set up a workshop. But after several months of operation, they were accepted as contributing members of society.

What defines high risk? In some villages, there are almost no teen girls anywhere to be seen – all have been sold, or have gone voluntarily into prostitution for lack of other alternatives. In some cases, selling a daughter can make the difference between barely scraping by and complete destitution. In the worst cases, people have sold relatives or neighbors out of greed, to buy a new roof or TV set. The more girls are sold in a given area, the more this practice becomes socially accepted, and in the worst cases, girls are even bred for prostitution, or groomed from early childhood for this purpose. The death of a parent or the trafficking of another sibling puts a girl at particularly high risk for being trafficked herself. Low caste, refugee status, and poverty are also risk factors.

Children born into brothel communities are at the highest risk, and we focus many of our efforts in red light communities in India.”

Please look at their site to learn more about this organization.

I know I’m going to be able to find at least one great gift here–such beautiful handicrafts!!

all photos courtesy of TEN and madebysurvivors.com

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One Comment leave one →
  1. December 9, 2009 4:23 pm

    It is good to hear of people making a difference. I am appalled at the degree to which many young defenseless girls are endangered by their own families and the wider world culture which generally looks on and does nothing.

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