Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Great PSA on How Victims May be Conned into Slavery

Children and adults become slaves in many different ways, but most often they, and/or their families, are tricked into slavery. Human traffickers will con families into giving up their children by telling them stories such as, "we will provide an education for your child and they will be able to work and learn a trade so they can send money home."  The families, which are often destitute, believe this to be the opportunity of a lifetime for their children to succeed.

Teenagers are conned by the same lies and believe they're setting out to make a name for themselves in the world. They're offered the chance to become a model, actress, get a job in America, receive an education and leave their poor circumstances behind.


These children are often taken to different cities or even countries than they and their families were originally told they would go. Parents have no idea where their children are and often never hear from them again. Sometimes the human traffickers will tell the parents that their children died and were buried in a far off country or city.  Many are taken to a foreign land and immediately the traffickers take away their passports, money and identification.


There is hope in educating families and teenagers of the dangers of human trafficking and slavery. Groups such as the International Justice Mission and Free the Slaves have had success in breaking the cycle. In countries such as India and Asia they work with local non-profits to provide the children with education, legal counsel, and therapy to rebuild their lives. They help reunite them with their families and villages where they become village leaders. Empowered with education, the ability to read and knowledge of the truth behind traffickers, they help their village become slave-free and drive out future human traffickers coming to prey on their town.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

42 Freed from Slavery at Indian Brick Kiln

I received the following in an email from the International Justice Mission today.

This time last week, 42 men, women and children were living as slaves in a brick kiln. But now, they are free.
International Justice Mission Chennai got the call late at night. A government official several hours away was planning a rescue operation to free families trapped in forced labor slavery. He had attended an IJM training about the laws against slavery earlier this year, and he was calling IJM for advice.
Over the next several hours, IJM staff offered guidance. Working through the night, with his training materials as a guide and supported by the team on the phone, the government official found and freed eight families from slavery.
Since 2010, IJM Chennai has trained more than 1,000 government officials just like this one. “It might seem like training government officials is just a drop in the bucket, but it actually has a ripple effect,” explains Saju Mathew, IJM’s Director of Operations in South Asia. “When government officials outside the districts where we work start spreading freedom, we know transformation is happening."

SOURCE: | PO Box 58147, Washington, DC 20037
All text and images © 2012 International Justice Mission.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Mosaic Stop the Traffick 5K Race Report

It was a fun time at the annual Mosaic Stop the Traffick 5K race last weekend.  Hundreds of participants hit the pavement and helped raise over $12,000 for the Dallas non-profit Mosaic Family Services in the process.  The funds will be used by Mosaic as they continue providing for the needs of North Texas trafficking victims.

At the event Mosaic passed out the flier below about statistics of trafficking victims in North Texas served by Mosaic. The State Department estimates over 14,000 people are trafficked into the United States each year.  Other reports state that 25% of all trafficking in the U.S. comes through Texas.

(Click image to enlarge)
In North Texas, Mosaic Family Services has provided shelter, counseling and legal services for over 300 survivors of human trafficking. These are survivors who were forced into of domestic servitude, prostitution, stripping, factory labor, agricultural labor and more.  They continue to work diligently to work with law enforcement and service agencies to combat trafficking in North Texas and provide the necessary support for trafficking victims.

A big thank you to all those who helped plan, sponsor and participate in the event.  And a special thanks to the boys in my Scout Troop 1062 of the Rowlett,TX Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints for getting up at 6am on a Saturday to provide water stations and cleanup at the event.