Wednesday, December 19, 2012

International Justice Mission Year 2012 Review

The International Justice Mission (IJM) reached some wonderful milestones in the fight against slavery. Here is a quick recap of what they worked to accomplish in 2012.



2012 milestones and shared victories
January 1 – Google joins us in the fight against slavery, and turns up the heat to fund mobilizing advocates in the U.S. and overseas in India.
January 17 – Your Voices Heard: The state legislature in New Jersey passed a crucial piece of legislation that will aid victims of human trafficking. This bill, called a safe harbor law, is an important step forward in the fight against slavery right here in our own country.
January 24 – With the President’s State of the Union address that night, Justice Campaigns advocates around the country begin mobilizing others to  ask the President to make slavery a priority. Goal set: 27,000 signatures (symbolizing the 27 million slaves around the world).
February 29 – We meet our goal of 27,000 signatures for President Obama, but decide to build on this momentum to mobilize even more voices (see a video from Holly).
March 11 – 72 Days for Freedom Campaign launches – Atlanta’s Passion City Church joins Justice Campaigns to turn the 27,000 number upside down and sets a new goal of 72,000 signatures asking President Obama to help end slavery..
April 5 – Your Voices Heard: West Virginia became the 49th state to pass a criminal law against human trafficking. The bill criminalizes both labor and sex trafficking and authorizes training for law enforcement to help them identify and investigate trafficking cases. Advocates throughout West Virginia had worked hard to lay the groundwork for this bill’s passing, including IJM state advocacy leaders Travis Wirt and Kendra Rogers, who worked to educate their state legislators about the bill and were invited to attend the bill signing.
April 16 – On IJM Justice Campaigns’ annual lobby day, advocates from 40 states around the country joined us to storm the Hill and make our voices heard to Congress. 
April 26 – 72 Days for Freedom is a huge success – and 72,000th person signs a letter to President Obama.
June 18 - On the same day the U.S. State Department issued the annual Trafficking Persons (TIP) Report, Gary Haugen, IJM’s CEO and President received the abolition movement’s highest honor. The U.S. State Department awarded Gary and nine others its annual anti-trafficking TIP Hero award. Gary also delivers the 73,000 letters to President Obama, along with Louis Giglio of Passion City Church.
June 20 – IJM Justice Campaigns announces Recipe for Change, its first-ever domestic supply chain advocacy campaign to end slavery in Florida’s tomato fields. Celebrity bloggers, food advocates and hundreds of others joined us to spread the word. Nearly 8,000 emails were sent to CEOs from major supermarkets that have not signed onto the Fair Food Program, and more than 3,000 tweets shared our message.
July 17 – Holly Burkhalter, our VP of Government Relations, testifies before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations along with Jada Pinkett Smith and David Abramowitz. As she describes in her letter from Washington, she expresses her excitement for the opportunity she had to speak with one voice collectively about the issues we care about. Meeting the Smiths wasn’t bad, either.
September 1 – Advocates around the country gather around major supermarket chain locations of companies who have not signed onto the Fair Food Program in Recipe for Change’s National Day of Action.
September 25 – Your Voices Heard: A the Clinton Global Initiative conference, the President of the United States delivers a speech that squarely addresses the issue of modern day slavery and includes several new initiatives to combat it. President Obama also issues an Executive Order to address slavery in U.S. government contracts, one of the main priorities identified in the  73,000 letters we delivered.
November 14 - The Senate Caucus to End Human Trafficking is formed, co-chaired by Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Rob Portman (R-OH). This Caucus will provide a multijurisdictional forum where members can come together to combat human trafficking. Senator Portman's championing in the fight against slavery was emboldened through the advocacy of thousands of Ohioans.
November 27: The U.S. State Department, the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (TIP) and the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center honors IJM President and CEO Gary Haugen as the second American to receive this year’s TIP Hero award. At the reception, they also unveil the film Journey to Freedom, which includes stories of anti-trafficking victims and heroes—a film played in U.S. Embassies around the globe.
November 29 - Your Voices Heard: The Senate and House pass the End Trafficking in Government Contracting Act, which requires government contractors to take full responsibility for the actions of their subcontractors and recruiters regarding labor trafficking.
As we wrap up this year and look back on these victories from 2012 which we share together, let’s be encouraged about our journey ahead. As Holly puts it, now the hard work begins, but 2012 has shown us better than ever that together we are capable of moving the needle.
We’re so grateful to be in this together with you—thank you for leading the fight to end slavery with us.
Gratefully,
IJM Justice Campaigns



Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Anti-Trafficking NGO Funding from the State Department

This post is more for budding anti-trafficking NGO's looking to raise funds for their organization. I'm sure all of the established anti-trafficking NGO's and most of the new ones already know about  the GTIP's grants. Here is a Q&A about the program, eligibility and other information.



Questions and Answers About the Office To Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons 2013 Request for Statements of Interest (RSOI)


Office To Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons
December 18, 2012


Questions and Answers from the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (TIP Office) webcast to provide information about the Solicitation: Request for Statements of Interest (SOI) from NGOs.

ELIGIBILITY

Q. Who is eligible to apply for funding?
A. U.S.-based non-profit and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), foreign NGOs, and institutions of higher education are eligible to submit SOIs under this solicitation. On a limited basis, for-profit organizations are also eligible to submit SOIs; however, they may not take a profit from grant-funded activities.
Public International Organizations (PIOs) are not eligible to apply under this solicitation. Foreign governments are not eligible to apply, although governments may be beneficiaries of funded programs, provided that funding does not pay salaries of government agency personnel and that such assistance is not restricted by U.S. law or policy.
Q. Why are PIOs not eligible to apply?
A. The TIP Office will continue working with its PIO partners and has already identified projects for PIOs outside of what is described in the solicitation.
The TIP Office will send invitation letters to select PIOs based on their demonstrated areas of experience to submit proposals for specific projects in countries identified by the TIP Office. The TIP Office will send these invitations on a rolling basis as funding is available.
Q: How can a for-profit business receive a TIP Office grant?
A: On a very limited basis, the TIP Office has provided grants to for-profit entities. These organizations do not make any profit from the funds provided. The Department of State’s Office of the Procurement Executive must provide additional approval for grants that are awarded to for-profit entities.
Q. Are small businesses, as defined by the USG, eligible to apply?
A. Yes, but as with for-profit organizations, small businesses may not take a profit from grant funds.
Q. Can organizations that currently receive funds from the TIP Office apply for additional funding under this solicitation?
A. 
Yes, but only for specific activities listed in the bullet points for the countries listed in the solicitation.

LOGISTICS

Q. How much funding does the TIP Office have for FY 2013? 
A. FY 2013 funds have not yet been appropriated by Congress. All awards under this announcement are pending the appropriation of funds.
Q. How much money will be allocated to each region or country?
A. The final amount allocated for each country and region will depend on the quality of the proposals received and on the nature of the proposed activities.
Q. What are the expected funding dates?
A. The TIP Office expects to award grant funds to successful applicants no later than September 30, 2013.
Q. How many full proposals did the TIP Office fund in FY 2012?
A. Last year, the TIP Office received more than 500 applications requesting more than $280 million in assistance – far more than our funding could support. By the end of the FY 2012 competition for funding, we awarded a total of nearly $17.7 million to fund 40 grants. Detailed information about our FY12 awards is available at: http://www.state.gov/j/tip/intprog/index.htm
Q. Where can I find specifics regarding previously funded projects?
A. Applicants are encouraged to look to our website, http://www.state.gov/j/tip/rls/other/index.htm for information on TIP Office-funded projects for prior years.
Q. Please explain why some countries were not selected for funding consideration.
A. Our foreign assistance priorities and funding decisions are guided by the trends and country-specific recommendations in the annual Trafficking in Persons Report. The 2012 TIP Report is posted on our website at http://www.state.gov/j/tip/rls/tiprpt/2012/index.htm.
The process of selecting countries for funding is very difficult and is done in consultation with other offices within the Department of State. The number of countries selected in the solicitation is restricted due to the limited amount of funding that our office administers. Please note that we will accept SOIs only for countries named in the solicitation.
Q. Can an organization apply to work in more than one country?
A. This solicitation is only for bilateral programs. The TIP Office will only consider proposals for the countries and program areas identified in the solicitation. Each NGO may apply to work in more than one country, but each country is a stand-alone project. In other words, if an NGO anticipates working in three separate countries with three separate projects, the NGO must submit three separate SOIs. Because some trafficking in persons is transnational, it is possible that, for example, a project in Country X may include some contacts with the source country, but the primary project is in Country X.
Q. Is there a limit to the number of SOIs that can be submitted by a single applicant?
A. No, there is no limit. Organizations are permitted to submit multiple applications; however, the Office intends to provide funding to a wide range of qualified, capable organizations that do well in the competitive review. Those who submit multiple applications are reminded to tailor each application to their organization’s particular strengths and country-specific experience.

CONTENT

Q. Can an organization submit a proposal that includes countries not listed in the solicitation?
A. SOIs for projects that are located in or focus on countries not identified in this solicitation or that do not address a priority objective for an identified country will be rejected during the technical review process.
Q. Do I need to submit a complete budget at the time of submitting the SOI?
A. No, only a total amount of funding in U.S. dollars is requested. No budget categories are required or requested for the SOI. If cost share is offered, then a total for cost share should also be provided. All cost figures must be in US dollars.
Q. The award ceiling is $750,000 for this solicitation for 36 months. Does this mean $750,000 each year for up to 3 years? 
A. No, the TIP Office will award projects that total up to $750,000 for the duration of the project. The maximum duration of a project is 36 months. The amount requested and the proposed duration should be consistent with the scope of the project. The average NGO award in FY 12 was less than $500,000.
Q. Does the award ceiling of $750,000 include indirect costs?
A. Yes. All costs requested, including indirect costs, must be included in this amount.
Q. If an applicant proposes a partnership with government, civil society, another NGO or a PIO, does the partnership agreement have to be finalized or in writing at the time of the SOI application?
A. No, partnerships that are referenced in a SOI do not need to be formal or in writing at the time the SOI is submitted. Proposed partnerships should be referenced in the SOIs to ensure that they are considered in the review. The TIP Office encourages SOIs that demonstrate strong partnerships, and in the second stage of competition, SOIs that are selected to submit full proposals are encouraged to submit letters of intent to cooperate.
Q. Can an organization submit a letter of intent? 
A. Please review the solicitation carefully to ensure that your application meets the requirements for a SOI, which may not be the same as a letter of intent. The solicitation provides a detailed description of what needs to be included in the SOI.

APPLICATION SUBMISSION

Q. What does an application include?
A. To ensure fairness, all applicants will have an equal chance to describe their proposed project. Detailed information on formatting requirements and more can be found in the solicitation. The Application Package must include:
1. Standard Forms 424 and 424B (Completed; Instructions provided)
2. Two-page Statement of Interest (See Content description)
  • In English, all in 12 Point font (Times New Roman)
  • Amount of funding requested in U.S. dollars. Cost share amount in U.S. Dollars, if it is proposed.
    • No budget categories are requested or required.
Please do not submit additional documents.
Please be sure to specifically designate the country you propose to work in on number 14 of SF 424.
Q. Is there any difference between submitting applications to www.grantsolutions.gov versuswww.grants.gov? Should applicants submit applications to both?
A. Applicants should not submit a SOI to both websites. While we will accept SOIs via either website, our Office encourages applicants to use www.grantsolutions.gov. Applicants should be aware that GrantSolutions requires a DUNS number to submit an application, while Grants.gov requires both a DUNS number and a current CCR registration, which takes approximately 3-5 business days (for U.S. based NGOs) to obtain and must be renewed annually. Regardless of the website used, all applicants are encouraged to initiate applications early in the application development process and to submit completed applications early to allow time to address any technical difficulties that may arise.
Q. What should I do if I encounter difficulty in using the GrantSolutions or Grants.gov websites?
A. For assistance with GrantSolutions.gov please contact Customer Support at help@grantsolutions.gov or 1-800-577-0771 (toll charges for international callers) or 1-202-401-5282. Customer Support is available 8 AM – 6 PM EST, Monday – Friday, except for federal holidays. Please note that December 25, 2012 and January 1, 2013 are federal holidays and the help line will be closed.
For assistance with Grants.gov, please contact the Contact Center at support@grants.gov or call the Contact Center at1-800-518-4726 (toll charges for international callers). The Contact Center is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, except federal holidays. Please note that December 25, 2012 and January 1, 2013 are federal holidays and the help line will be closed.

COMPETITIVE REVIEW

Q. How does J/TIP decide which proposals to fund? 
A. All SOIs received will first undergo a technical review. Those SOIs which pass the technical review are forwarded to the relevant U.S. Embassy for review and comment. This information is then taken into consideration by a regional interagency review panel composed of experts on human trafficking programming and the relevant region. Panel recommendations are then submitted and reviewed by the Ambassador-at-Large to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons.
Q. Please clarify the role of U.S. Embassies in the 2013 competitive review process.
A. All U.S. Embassies have been informed of the FY 2013 solicitation and the Embassies in the selected countries have been encouraged to post information about the solicitation on their websites. Embassies will review and comment on proposed projects that meet the technical requirements. Full proposals will be shared with the embassy in the country where the work is proposed to take place.
To preserve the fairness and integrity of the competitive process, please do not contact embassy personnel regarding your application.
Q. How many applicants do you expect to invite to submit a full proposal?
A. We are not certain of the number that will be invited to submit full applications in stage two of the competitive process. The decision will be made after review of the SOIs. However, this is a two-stage competition; Not all applicants selected to submit a full proposal will be selected for funding.
Q. When do you expect to notify applicants if they are requested to submit a full proposal?
A. We expect to notify applicants in the spring that their SOI was selected for the second stage of competition. Applicants will have 30 days from notification to submit a full proposal.
Q. What does the TIP Office require for full proposals?
A. Applicants that are evaluated highly in the first stage of the competitive review (SOI process) will be invited to submit full proposals. At that time, selected applicants will receive additional information about the second stage requirements.
Q. Where can I get additional advice about preparing the SOI or full application?
A. The TIP Office makes every effort to ensure a fair, transparent, competitive grants process. In keeping with this commitment, we cannot advise applicants on the content of their proposals or provide suggestions regarding proposals.
No one from the Office, or any other Department of State office or bureau, including Embassy personnel, is permitted to advise you on the content of your application. Persons with questions about the requirements of the solicitation may contact Chelsea Lord (lordc@state.gov) or Zach Winters (wintersz@state.gov).

The Office of Website Management, Bureau of Public Affairs, manages this site as a portal for information from the U.S. State Department.
External links to other Internet sites should not be construed as an endorsement of the views or privacy policies contained therein.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Inspiring Abolitionist Quotes


Not all of these quotes are specifically directed towards the abolition of slavery, but they have inspired me in the abolitionist cause. If you have any other great quotes, please share them in the comments section below.

Thank You,
AbolitionistJB


United States Declaration of Independence
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, 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. "

Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
(1929 - 1968) Doctor, Reverend, Civil Rights Leader 

"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."

"Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed."

"He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it."

Frederick Douglas
(1818 - 1895) Former Slave, Abolitionist Leader 

"They would not call it slavery, but some other name. Slavery has been fruitful in giving herself names ... and it will call itself by yet another name; and you and I and all of us had better wait and see what new form this old monster will assume, in what new skin this old snake will come forth." 


"No man can put a chain about the ankle of his fellow man without at last finding the other end fastened about his own neck."

"Money is the measure of morality, and the success or failure of slavery as a money-making system, determines with many whether...it should be maintained or abolished." 


Abraham Lincoln
(1809 - 1865) 16th President of the United States 

"Whenever I hear anyone arguing for slavery, I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally."

"And by virtue of the power, and for the purpose aforesaid, I do order and declare that all persons held as slaves within said designated States, and parts of States, are, and henceforward shall be free; and that the Executive government of the United States, including the military and naval authorities thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of said persons. "

Margaret Mead
(1971 -1978) Author, Anthropologist

" Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."

William Wilberforce
(1759 - 1833) British Politician, Abolitionist

“If to be feelingly alive to the sufferings of my fellow-creatures is to be a fanatic, I am one of the most incurable fanatics ever permitted to be at large.”

“So enormous, so dreadful, so irremediable did the Trade's wickedness appear that my own mind was completely made up for Abolition. Let the consequences be what they would, I from this time determined that I would never rest until I had effected its abolition.”

Booker T. Washington
(1856 - 1915) Emancipated Slave, Education Reformer

"If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else."

"I shall allow no man to belittle my soul by making me hate him."

"There are two ways of exerting one's strength: one is pushing down, the other is pulling up. "

Jimi Hendrix
(1942 - 1970) Musician, Poet 

"When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace."


Mary Angelou
(1928 - ) Poet, Author, Civil Rights Activist

"History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again."





Jonathan Blanchard
(1811 - 1892) Pastor, Educator, Abolitionist

The slave-holder's rule contradicts this fundamental truth of God's word, that "God has made of one blood all the nations of emn," and if of one blood, they are of equal blood."



Ralph Waldo Emerson
(1803 -1882) Author, Poet, Philosopher

"When a resolute young fellow steps up to the great bully, the world, and takes him boldly by the beard, he is often surprised to find it comes off in his hand, and that it was only tied on to scare away the timid adventurers."



John Wesley
(1703-1791) Pastor, Abolitionist

"Let me do all the good I can, to all the people I can, as often as I can, for I shall not pass this way again."

Edmund Burke
"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."

Fabien Cousteau
“During challenging times and when impassioned to act, human beings can be capable of miracles.” 

Rob Morris
“Ending human trafficking is not idealistic or naive. It is audacious. And it is people of audacity who change the world.” 

Cornel West
“To get up in the morning & do the monumental tasks that face us, our labor is best fueled by love.”

Hannah Song
“The Underground Railroad wasn’t started by secret ninjas but everyday activists.” 


Scriptures
"Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy." - Proverbs 31:8-9

"The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners." -Isaiah 61:1

“[Christ] inviteth them all to come unto him and partake of his goodness; and he denieth none that come unto  him, black and white, bond and free, male and female; and he remembereth the heathen; and all are alike unto God, both Jew and Gentile.” - 2 Nephi 26:33

"But if anyone has the world's goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in him?" - 1 John 3:17

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

IJM Celebrates 15 Years of Justice

15 years ago, IJM began in response to one massive problem: poor children and families around the world desperately needed a defender.

Today, because of your partnership, we have thousands of reasons to celebrate -- from girls rescued from brothels, to families freed from slavery; from traffickers and rapists held accountable to justice systems changing to protect the poor.

Over the next 15 years, we are embracing a bold vision to protect millions. Thank you for walking with us -- as we celebrate 15 years of justice, we celebrate this movement of friends and supporters.




Friday, November 16, 2012

Report: Phones Become the 'Frontline' of Human Sex Trafficking


This same technology will be used to fight sex trafficking, Obama previously warned

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The New IJM Advocacy Handbook


I received the information below in an email from the International Justice Mission. This is a great resource with a free printable PDF of The Advocate's Handbook. It's a wonderful resource for anyone wanting to get involved to help end modern-day slavery.

My favorite section is the Lobbying section with tips and guidelines on how to setup a Lobby Meeting, This includes a sample meeting request form, discussion points, etc... This is something I have not done yet myself, but using this guide I plan to.  What makes this even more effective is using the "report card" follow-up sheet to really learn from the experience and make improvements for future Lobby Meetings.

There are a number of other great ideas and tools, but I also found the "100 Postcard Challenge" to be an intriguing idea. It's on page 45.

Advocates Handbook

Have you seen The Advocate’s Handbook?

We are so grateful for everything you do to advocate on behalf of victims of modern-day slavery, so we wanted to make sure you were equipped with all the tools you need! The Advocate’s Handbook will help you raise your voice and build an advocacy campaign that will help end modern-day slavery.

Friday, September 28, 2012

How to Spot a Victim of Domestic Violence



Health-Care Pro Discusses the Many Warning Signs

In the United States, women are assaulted or beaten once every nine seconds; worldwide, one in three women have been battered, raped or otherwise abused in her lifetime, according to women’s advocacy organizations.
“That means most of us – while grocery shopping, at work or at home – come across several women a day who have either been abused, or are currently enduring abuse,” says Linda O’Dochartaigh, a health professional and author of Peregrine (www.lavanderkatbooks.com). “It’s a terrible fact of life for too many women, but if there is something we can do about it and we care about fellow human beings, then we must try.”
There are several abuse resources available to women who are being abused, or friends of women who need advice, including:
 TheHotline.org, National Domestic Violence Hotline, open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, 1-800-799-SAFE (7223)
 HelpGuide.org, provides unbiased, advertising-free mental health information to give people the self-help options to help people understand, prevent, and resolve life’s challenges
 VineLink.com, allows women to search for an offender in custody by name or identification number, then register to be alerted if the offender is released,  transferred, or escapes
 DAHMW.org, 1-888-7HELPLINE, offers crisis intervention and support services for victims of intimate partner violence and their families
Perhaps the best thing friends and family can do for a woman enduring domestic abuse is to be there for her – not only as a sympathetic ear, but also as a source of common sense that encourages her to take protective measures, O’Dochartaigh says. Before that, however, loved ones need to recognize that help is needed.
O’Dochartaigh reviews some of the warning signs:
• Clothing – Take notice of a change in clothing style or unusual fashion choices that would allow marks or bruises to be easily hidden. For instance, someone who wears long sleeves even in the dog days of summer may be trying to hide signs of abuse.
• Constant phone calls – Many abusers are very controlling and suspicious, so they will call their victims multiple times each day to “check in.” This is a subtle way of manipulating their victims, to make them fearful of uttering a stray word that might alert someone that something is wrong. Many abusers are also jealous, and suspect their partner is cheating on them, and the constant calls are a way of making sure they aren’t with anyone they aren’t supposed to be around.
• Unaccountable injuries – Sometimes, obvious injuries such as arm bruises or black eyes are a way to show outward domination over the victim. Other times, abusers harm areas of the body that won’t be seen by family, friends and coworkers.
• Frequent absences – Often missing work or school and other last-minute plan changes may be a woman hiding abuse, especially if she is otherwise reliable.
• Excessive guilt & culpability – Taking the blame for things that go wrong, even though she was clearly not the person responsible – or she is overly-emotional for her involvement – is a red flag.
• Fear of conflict – Being brow-beaten or physically beaten takes a heavy psychological toll, and anxiety bleeds into other relationships.
• Chronic uncertainty – Abusers often dominate every phase of a victim’s life, including what she thinks she likes, so making basic decisions can prove challenging.
About Linda O’Dochartaigh
Linda O’Dochartaigh has worked in health care is an advocate for victims of child abuse and domestic violence.  She wants survivors to know that an enriched, stable and happy life is available to them. O’Dochartaigh is the mother of three grown children and is raising four adopted grandchildren. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Update from NGO Free The Slaves



This month marks an important milestone in American history: it has been 150 years since President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation.
On September 22, 1862, Lincoln ordered the release of slaves in Confederate states during the Civil War.
This anniversary is what educators call a "teachable moment." That's because outlawing slavery didn't end it. There are more slaves in the world today than when Lincoln was president.
It's up to us to finish what Lincoln started, and we can start by spreading the word that slavery is about more than history.
The Free the Slaves website is a key tool for building awareness -- with Education Packs for teachers and students, a timeline about the history of slavery, first-person transcripts and films where modern slavery survivors speak out, and details of our innovative frontline solutions to help slaves break free and stay free.
Here's something to think about: what would you advise Lincoln to do about modern slavery if he were president today? Start a conversation about that at schools, churches, dinner parties, book groups and community gatherings. It will let your friends know that slavery still exists, and that they should join you in helping to end it.

We have an amazing success story to report, an example that demonstrates our model of battling slavery through community action is working. One man's escape in India has been leveraged into freedom for 27 adults and 24 children.
The man, Ram ji, escaped from a brick factory and sought advice from a local community vigilance committee. These committees, trained by Free the Slaves and our local partners, work like a neighborhood watch for traffickers.

The committee asked Ram ji if he would help everyone escape the factory by returning and preparing them for a mass rescue.
Despite the danger, Ram ji went back. And when authorities raided the factory, 51 people put slavery behind them. One survivor summed up the excitement simply: "I'm running to freedom!"
Free the Slaves South Asia Director Supriya Awasthi was on hand to ensure authorities did a thorough job. She helped children climb into rescue trucks.
"As I lifted those kids," Supriya says, "I knew they would remember this day, and they would never get on another truck to be taken off to slavery."
You can see more photos and read Supriya's account of this rescue on theFTS blog. She's now following-up with villagers to ensure they don't fall back into slavery. Free the Slaves has supported 10 similar raids in northern India in the past year. You can learn more about our community-centered approach on our India webpage.

This summer brought a watershed victory for the corporate transparency and anti-slavery movements. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) now requires companies to investigate their supply chains and disclose if their products contain minerals from conflict areas in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) or surrounding areas.
If their products do contain "conflict minerals," companies must report what they're doing to ensure the profits don't go to abusive armed groups.
The new rule is important because conflict minerals not only fuel one of history's deadliest wars. Free the Slaves research has documented that rebel groups and army commanders force Congo residents into slavery at many mining sites.
Free the Slaves worked with other activists, corporations and investment firms to support the new reporting requirements. Congress directed the SEC to develop the new rule as part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.
Four minerals are targeted for corporate disclosure: tin, tungsten, tantalum and gold. All are commonly used to manufacture electronic devices – from cell phones and televisions to computers and high-tech components.
"It's an historic day, both for Congo and for the movement toward responsible investment at large," says Free the Slaves Programs Director Karen Stauss. The next step: persuading Congress to require companies to investigate their supply chains for all forms of slavery, not just Congo conflict minerals.
You can learn more about the impact of Congo slavery, and your connection to it as a consumer, in our mini-documentary: Slavery in Your Pocket.

It's remarkable how people find creative ways to support the work of Free the Slaves. Sometimes, those contributions come from surprising places.
We received several letters over the summer from sixth graders at the Mariposa School in Agoura Hills, California. The students had partnered with a professional musician to create a jazz CD called "One Step Closer: Mariposa 6th Graders Jazzing for a Better Future."

"We are students trying to make a difference in the world," wrote Joe, one of the students, in his letter to Free the Slaves. "New sun, new day, new beginnings."
The CD raised money for a variety of causes, including $600 that the students themselves decided to send to Free the Slaves.
"We chose our organizations by calling a big meeting," explained Max, another student. "We thought you were definitely the best charity for slavery."
A big thanks to musician Robert Kyle, teacher Paul Astin and students of the Mariposa School. Your efforts will make a difference for people in slavery around the world.

If you work for the U.S. government, you've probably heard of the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC). It allows you to automatically make charitable contributions to nonprofit organizations directly from your paycheck each month.
We're proud to say that Free the Slaves has again been approved for these donations from federal government employees. Our CFC number is 11482.
Recurring donations, no matter how large or small, are vital so Free the Slaves can budget for ongoing frontline work in India, Nepal, Ghana, Congo, Brazil and Haiti.
If you're a federal employee, please consider making a recurring contribution.
If you're not a federal employee, you can still make a monthly gift to Free the Slaves through our website donation page. Contributions are tax deductable. Thanks!
FIND OUT MORE: FREETHESLAVES.NET | FTSBLOG.NET | TWITTER | FACEBOOK 

Free the Slaves 1320 19th Street NW, Suite 600, Washington, DC 20036 USA (202) 775-7480 info@freetheslaves.net
Content Copyright ©2012 Free the Slaves. All rights reserved. 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Upcoming Run 4 Justice 5K in Dallas

Announcing the Run4Justice annual 5K race in the Dallas-Fort Worth Area on Saturday 10/27!  This is a great local event put together by the 121 Community Church and the International Justice Mission.

Last year over 1,300 people participated in the race. Having run in my share of 5K's, that is a lot of participants. This year they expect to have over 1,500 runners, which is great for raising awareness and funds to combat human trafficking. 

121 Community Church has a longstanding relationship with IJM and this event was the brainchild of one of our Local Mission Pastors looking for a way to educate & mobilize people in DFW to address oppression around the world, and particularly in Cambodia.  

For more details and to register for the race, go to http://www.run4justice.com/


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

National Call-in Day to Pass TVPRA


Today is the National Call-in Day to Pass the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act! Thank you to those of you who have already committed to calling your senators. Today, thousands of abolitionists around the country will raise a groundswell of support for this life-saving legislation to fight trafficking at home and abroad.
Calling will take about 2 minutes per office — just visit IJM’s National Call-In Day webpage to find the contact information for your senators, along with a sample script to help you with your calls.
To make sure the message is heard loud and clear, we want to generate 3,000 calls, coming from all 50 states—so we need your help! When you make and log your calls, I hope you’ll invite your friends to do the same. The more voices we have, the more powerful this day of action will be!
Thank you for raising your voice on behalf of those in slavery.


Thursday, August 2, 2012

New App helps Combat Human Trafficking in South Africa


Not For Sale is joining forces with Mxit, Africa’s largest social networking service, to combat human trafficking in South Africa.

With over 40 million users in South Africa alone, Mxit is Africa’s largest social media platform in Africa--larger than Facebook or Twitter. Not For Sale and MixIt have developed an educational platform on human trafficking that will be utilized as a survey for mobile phones.

Using the format of 11 ‘yes’ or ‘no’ questions on human trafficking, users of Mxit are
encouraged and incentivized through gamification (offering airtime, credits etc.) to take
the survey produced by Not For Sale. At the end of the survey, if users feel or know
someone affected by trafficking, a toll-free number is provided for them to report
instances.

Since 2010, Not For Sale South Africa has assisted law enforcement in over 70 cases of
human trafficking. The most prevalent forms of human trafficking seen in South Africa
are sexual exploitation, domestic servitude, forced marriage, and agricultural labor.
Though, sexual exploitation makes up 75% of those having survived trafficking.

Internally, most victims come from poor regions or rural areas and informal settlements.
They are lured by hopes of a possible job in the city. Recruiters are often individuals
known intimately by the victim. Internationally, women and girls living in poor regions
of countries like China, Russia, Thailand, and Bulgaria are trafficked to South Africa for
sex. Of the cases Not For Sale South Africa has assisted with since 2010, 60% have been
foreigners.

With access to Mxit’s user base of close to 40 million mobile customers, we expect up to
150,000 people to answer the survey in the next couple of months. This will allow Not
For Sale to reach a significant number of individuals with up-to-date information and
resources on human trafficking, in areas where such information is usually inaccessible.
This outreach will significantly increase the general understanding of human trafficking
in South Africa, while utilizing data to create economic opportunities that will prevent
human trafficking in South Africa before it begins. This project is piloting in South
Africa; however, Not For Sale and Mxit have plans to extend the platform to a number of
other African countries.

http://www.notforsalecampaign.org/ 
Not For Sale
270 Capistrano Road, Suite 2
Half Moon Bay, Calif.
www.notforsalecampaign.org
For More Information Contact:
Jessica Henry 415-794-9049
Jessica@notforsalecampaign.org
About Not For Sale
Not For Sale creates tools that engage business, government, and grassroots in order to incubate and grow
social enterprises to benefit enslaved and vulnerable communities. There are over 30 million slaves in the world
today, more than at any other point in history. Human trafficking is the fastest-growing criminal industry
worldwide and generates more than $32 billion per year.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Bangladesh trafficked women recount ordeal in India


A group of Bangladeshi women who were illegally taken into India three years ago have been describing their ordeal at the hands of human traffickers.
Most of these women were forced into prostitution in the Indian cities of Mumbai and Pune.
Around 48 women and a child were rescued by an Indian non-governmental organisation which handed them over to Bangladeshi authorities at the weekend.
It was one of the largest groups of Bangladeshi women ever to be returned.
The women said they were tricked into being taken across the border.

"A girl in the village gave us something to eat and said we could go for a picnic to neighbouring India. Later on we realised we were drugged. We crossed the border by walking through paddy fields in the night," Monica, 22, told the BBC.
"When we came to our senses, we realised that we had been sold to an Indian agent."  CONTINUE READING...