Monthly Archives: January 2011

How much would you pay for a person?

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Wednesday night International
Justice Mission (IJM), along with the Presidential Leadership Academy hosted a
movie screening of the documentary “At the End of Slavery”. The movie, produced
by IJM documents the state of human trafficking in East Asia, Africa and Europe
today, and included detailed personal testimony by victims of slavery about the
horrors they faced. In addition to investigation and after care counseling for
victims, IJM runs sting operations to convict traffickers and put them in jail.
The movie showed one of these operations where an IJM investigator in Cambodia
set up an appointment to purchase three girls aged 9 to 14 from a local
trafficker. When the man arrived to the exchange point with the 3 girls, he was
arrested by Cambodian police and the girls were taken in by IJM social workers
before being sent back to their families. At the end of the movie, we were told
what happened to the three girls that were freed from prostitution. One of them
moved on to work for the orphanage that took her in when IJM could not locate
her family; the second went back to school and is on her way to pursuing
studies that will allow her to be a social worker and rehabilitate other girls
who have gone through her trial. The third girl, however, upon being reunited
with her family, was sold back into prostitution by her own mother. To me, this
goes against every natural instinct that one should have toward his or her own
children, and it makes me wonder what it takes for some to count the life of
their own daughter as less valuable than themselves to the point of selling
them into a life of rape and violence.

 

The worst part though, is that this
happens all the time. Every day, children are sold by their own parents for as
little as $30. Seems like nothing, right? I spend about that much on lunch
every week. It isn’t that much, and interestingly enough, it only costs $30 a
month to keep a kid in school, out of trouble and free of starvation. If you
don’t believe me, check out this website:

 

http://www.cfcausa.org/

 

The CFCA was ranked #1 on Charity Watch’s most
efficient child sponsorship agencies
, and it’s probably the easiest step
you could take toward saving a kid from a life of slavery and abuse.

Everything Comes at a Cost

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“Look at the shirt you’re
wearing; find the tag. Maybe you bought it at Macy’s, or maybe the Gap -but
that shouldn’t matter too much. Where was it made? India; Vietnam; Cambodia;
China? If you answered yes, then chances are that some element of that shirt was
produced by the unpaid toil of another human being.  But it isn’t just
your shirt. Consider your cell phone. Microchips and other components found in
cell phones require numerous minerals for their production. These minerals
-found in remote areas of Southeast Asia and Africa -are most often extracted
from the ground using slave labor. And that’s only the beginning of the cell
phone supply chain. New slavery -a term coined by the director of Free the
Slaves, Kevin Bales -oppresses 27 million people in the world today (4).”

 

The above selection is from an
essay I wrote last semester titled “New Slavery: the State of Human
Trafficking in our World Today, and the Realistic Approach to Combating
it.” In my essay, I explore a few of the different industries that exploit
real people for financial gain. 200 years ago, a slave was an investment. They
cost about the equivalent of a tractor in today’s money, and therefore it was
in the best interest of the slave-owner to keep their slaves in good, working
health. Today, however, because of the exponential growth in world population,
a human being can be purchased for as little as $8 (note: that isn’t a typo).
This means, that it is no longer in the best interest of a slave-owner to keep
their slaves in good health, as the cost of upkeep is higher than the cost of
simply buying another one.

If you want to know more, my
organization, International Justice Mission is hosting a movie showing on
Wednesday the 26th of January (2 weeks from 2 days ago) at 8pm in the HUB movie
theater. The movie is a documentary called “At the End of Slavery”,
and you can watch the trailer for it here:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yLcJg66pUWc