Wednesday August 20, 2014 at 9:59

First Human Trafficking Commission Meeting

This summer, I have been interning for Santa Clara County Supervisor Cindy Chavez, researching for her newly formed…

First Human Trafficking Commission Meeting

This summer, I have been interning for Santa Clara County Supervisor Cindy Chavez, researching for her newly formed…

Wednesday July 23, 2014 at 12:18

Biking for Change

A quick story of advocacy published in the Arizona Daily Sun to light up your afternoon:

“Friends bike across country to fight human trafficking Bike Fundraiser

L to R Jono Mullins, Tommy Kenney, Brent Kozel, Dustin Alewine and Dan Johnson are riding their bikes across teh country from Chicago to Orange County, Calif. with the goal of raising money and awareness about human trafficking. http://www.bike…

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Tuesday July 15, 2014 at 15:50

Samsung Breaks off Ties with Chinese Supplier

It is easy to say that child labor is rampant in the production of all sorts of goods that we consume and use on a daily basis, but it is so much harder to trace that child labor in the supply chain and refuse to support it.

Samsung Breaks off Ties with Chinese Supplier

It is easy to say that child labor is rampant in the production of all sorts of goods that we consume and use on a daily basis, but it is so much harder to trace that child labor in the supply chain and refuse to support it.

Friday July 11, 2014 at 1:23

Photos That Bear Witness to Modern Slavery

Photos That Bear Witness to Modern Slavery

“I want to shine a light on slavery. When I was working in the field, I brought lots of candles with me, and with the help of my interpreter, I imparted to the people I was photographing that I wanted to illuminate their stories and their plight, so when it was safe for them, and safe for me, I made these images. They knew their image would be seen by you out in the world. I wanted them to know…

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Tuesday July 08, 2014 at 11:54

Just Missing? Or is this Human Trafficking?

Just Missing? Or is this Human Trafficking?

A girl has gone missing in Washington and it looks like this is a sutation of human trafficking. Keep your eyes out and hold her in your heart. King 5 News posted an article about her:

Police Fear Missing Washington Girl May Be Trafficking Victim

by Wayne Havrelly / KGW

Posted on July 7, 2014 at 8:23 AM

CAMAS, Wash. — Anji Dean’s family can’t believe no one has seen or heard from her since…

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Saturday July 05, 2014 at 2:32

acro-uprising:

Nikita Zhestovskiy, Anatolii Volf, Igor Tarapat and Erlan Ibraev, RUS2014 World Age Group Competition, LevalloisDay 1Photo by Joel Olivier

acro-uprising:

Nikita Zhestovskiy, Anatolii Volf, Igor Tarapat and Erlan Ibraev, RUS
2014 World Age Group Competition, Levallois
Day 1
Photo by Joel Olivier

Reblogged from acro uprising..

Wednesday June 25, 2014 at 15:25

FBI Crackdown on MyRedbook

FBI Crackdown on MyRedbook

MyRedbook, essentially a site where clients can scroll through women to buy, has been notorious for its perpetuation of human trafficking. Traffickers post their victims on the site, along with bogus descriptions and concocted ages, allowing them to reach clients easily. Finally, the site has been seized by the FBI as a part of a national crackdown on sex trafficking, rescuing a slew of victims.

Image

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Thursday June 05, 2014 at 0:20

I’ve Seen Death

I’ve seen death
Death isn’t the fairytale 
in which the person gets swept up
into a funnel of blinding light
to be carried off to heaven
for an eternal life of twirling and relaxing
Death happens in the dark
Death looks like a black swamp spitting out of the mouth
Death smells rotten, as if all the bad is leaking out of the crevices
in which it hid for so long
Death numbs the fingers, whitens the face
Death grabs onto color and runs away with it, leaving emptiness
Death is garbled words and incoherent grunts
Death is blank stares
Death sounds like phones ringing, doorbells ringing, ears ringing, hands wringing
Death is a series of visits—from those who are wanted, those who are needed, and those who barely fit into the picture
Death is a loss of words
Death is a flurry of memories
Death is the fluctuation of emotion
of manic laughter and inconsolable tears
Death is anticipation
of life after death, 
of life minus the dead
Death tastes like food, too much food, food no one feels like eating, but does anyway
Death is a list of to-dos
of calls to make
of arrangements to make
of preparations to make
Death does not embody life
Death takes only the mere shadow of a person’s life
Death cannot take away the living, it can only take away the almost-dead
But death can touch the very much alive
with its all-consumning presence
Death is an omnivore
Deaths spares no one
Death grasps us all 
Sometimes death shows mercy
Sometimes none at all
I’ve seen death
and I hope to never see it again
But I know right now
that as a human being, I will have to experience 
death time and time again.
written June 2, 2014, the day my Opi passed away

Tuesday May 27, 2014 at 12:30

I love being a girl.
I can feel what you’re feeling
as you’re feeling it inside
the feeling
before.
I am an emotional creature.
Things do not come to me
as intellectual theories or hard-shaped ideas.
They pulse through my organs and legs
and burn up my ears.
I know when your girlfriend’s really pissed off
even though she appears to give you what
you want.
I know when a storm is coming.
I can feel the invisible stirrings in the air.
I can tell you he won’t call back.
It’s a vibe I share.

I am an emotional creature.
I love that I do not take things lightly.
Everything is intense to me.
The way I walk in the street.
The way my mother wakes me up.
The way I hear bad news.
The way it’s unbearable when I lose.

I am an emotional creature.
I am connected to everything and everyone.
I was born like that.
Don’t you dare say all negative that it’s a
teenage thing
or it’s only only because I’m a girl.
These feelings make me better.
They make me ready.
They make me present.
They make me strong.

I am an emotional creature.
There is a particular way of knowing.
It’s like the older women somehow forgot.
I rejoice that it’s still in my body.

I know when the coconut’s about to fall.
I know that we’ve pushed the earth too far.
I know my father isn’t coming back.
That no one’s prepared for the fire.
I know that lipstick means
more than show.
I know that boys feel super-insecure
and so-called terrorists are made, not born.
I know that one kiss can take
away all my decision-making ability
and sometimes, you know, it should.

This is not extreme.
It’s a girl thing.
What we would all be
if the big door inside us flew open.
Don’t tell me not to cry.
To calm it down
Not to be so extreme
To be reasonable.
I am an emotional creature.
It’s how the earth got made.
How the wind continues to pollinate.
You don’t tell the Atlantic ocean
to behave.

I am an emotional creature.
Why would you want to shut me down
or turn me off?
I am your remaining memory.
I am connecting you to your source.
Nothing’s been diluted.
Nothing’s leaked out.
I can take you back.

I love that I can feel the inside
of the feelings in you,
even if it stops my life
even if it hurts too much
or takes me off track
even if it breaks my heart.
It makes me responsible.
I am an emotional
I am an emotional, devotional,
incandotional, creature.
And I love, hear me,
love love love
being a girl.

— I am an emotional creature by Eve Ensler (via mazzykeepsintouch)

Reblogged from Say Hello.

Tuesday May 27, 2014 at 12:27

“Don’t tell me not to cry, to calm it down, not to be so extreme, to be reasonable. I am an emotional creature. It’s how the earth got made, how the wind continues to pollinate. You don’t tell the Atlantic Ocean to behave.”

— Eve Ensler (x)

Reblogged from ♥ ♥ ♥.

Tuesday May 27, 2014 at 12:10

Reblogged from Red Letters.

Friday May 23, 2014 at 23:55

The Oppression of Our Women

The Oppression of Our Women

This is not specifically human trafficking related, but I thought I would share a poem I wrote in Spanish about the oppression of our women…It is one thing to control or abuse or sell a woman, but when you realize that woman is someone’s mother, someone’s daughter, someone’s sister, everything changes.

women-oppressed

Las Madres Oprimidas

Todas personas tienen una madre

Y a todas alimenta una madre

De una…

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Thursday May 22, 2014 at 22:03

Thursday May 22, 2014 at 21:36

“Just because I took some little girls who were in western education, everybody is making noise,” he says. He laughs. “Let me tell you: I took the girls…I repeat, I took the girls, and I will sell them off. There is a market for selling girls,” he says. [Watch a video of his statement here ].

Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau, from the video he released this month

Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau, from the video he released this month

This is Abubakar Shekau, leader of the Boko Haram, the militant group that has been terrorizing Nigeria for over a decade now. The group, whose name roughly translates to “Western education is sin,” attacks Christians as well as Muslims who do not practice the Islam that they believe in. It  attacks schools, mosques, and churches. It has bombed bus stops and police stations, killing an estimated 1500 people just this year.

But last month, Boko Haram took its terrorizing acts to a new level–a level of human trafficking. One night, they raided the Government Girls Secondary School, an all-girls school in Chibok, Nigeria. Allegedly, people knew that it was going to happen (they stopped and asked for directions), but with such a corrupt government and limited communication, no one was able to assemble troops or some sort of defense for the girls (Amnesty International actually declares that the military knew Boko Haram’s plans and failed to take action).  Petrified of the burning buildings, the students escaped with the Boko Haram soldiers, convinced that they were coming to their rescue. When they were loaded into trucks and buses, that was not the case. 276 girls were abducted. 276 young women, working to get an education. 276 women who had broken the gender barriers, the cultural barriers, the religious barriers, and achieved something that so few women in their situation are able to do–get educated. These are the girls destined to be doctors and lawyers and teachers. They are the ones working to break the incessant cycles of poverty and illiteracy. Yet Boko Haram believes that, in that very act, they are engaging in a filthy act and threatening Islam.

Kidnapped schoolgirls are seen at an unknown location in this still image taken from an undated video released by Boko Haram

Kidnapped schoolgirls are seen at an unknown location in this still image taken from an undated video released by Boko Haram

But what these girls are really doing, are threatening extremism. Boko Haram recognizes something that not enough people do. They recognize the power of education. They see it as the true weapon that it is. They know that if young women are taught about the world, are given the tools to make their own decisions and direct their own lives, the suppressive acts of fundamentalist extremism will be undermined. As New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristoff writes, “The best tool to fight extremism is education, especially of girls — and that means ensuring that it is safe to study. The greatest threat to militancy in the long run comes not from drones but from girls with schoolbooks.” It is true. Boko Haram, in that sense, is very right. They rightfully fear women’s education.

boko haram-kidnapping

–the kidnapped girls

04KRISTOF-master675

–and the worriers left behind

 

 

Yet they have taken this fear to horrific levels. They have already been treating these girls as slaves, forcing them to do labor for them, perform sexual acts, even auctioning them off to their soldiers for marriage at $12 a girl. It is undeniable that Boko Haram is brutally subjecting these young girls to all forms of human trafficking. And as Shekau said in the quote above, he is planning to not only work these girls for his own benefit, he is planning on selling them on the rampant black market of modern day slavery. Just think: if he is selling them, that intrinsically means that there are people on the other end, willing to (even wanting to) buy them.

And of course it does not stop there. As aid groups from around the world have stepped in to search for and rescue the girls, Boko Haram has fought back. Yesterday, a two-pronged bombing targeted aid workers. 118 died simply because they were trying to save girls who have been kidnapped and some sold into slavery!

The painful cry of a mother whose daughter is still missing

This is fundamentally a human rights abuse. Mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, cousins and neighbors are grieving the seeming loss of their loved ones. Nigerians have been protesting in the streets, calling for their government to tell them the truth, to acknowledge the sheer significance of the kidnapping and to take a stronger stand against Boko Haram. But most importantly, they are calling for the freedom of the girls. Their cries and hashtags of #BringBackOurGirls have echoed around the world, uniting people of all nations in an attempt (even if it is just with the tap of a phone) to ring the bell of justice and free these enslaved girls.

i only fear that this will become a media campaign, like KONY 2012, and like the former, will die out (whether the girls get rescued or not). People are so fixated on these 200+ girls that they are not recognizing the fact that girls are kidnapped and enslaved every day. That every morning that we roll out of bed and grab that cup of coffee, there are small children enslaved in the tomato fields of Florida and the brick kilns of Pakistan, that there are young women serving 20 clients a night in brothels in Fremont and India, that there are prisoners put on dead row in China so that their organs can be trafficked. Yes, we need to stand up for these girls. We need to raise our voices in unison and cry out for their freedom. But we cannot forget the other 27 million human beings around the world who have been dehumanized to the place of slavery.

 

Boko Horam’s Hostages “Just because I took some little girls who were in western education, everybody is making noise,” he says.

Tuesday May 20, 2014 at 10:32

This week, the students of Students Against Modern Slavery stood up, using the power of imagery to speak out against human trafficking. Take a stand as well. Take a photo of yourself with a fact about human trafficking and post it to social media–it is up to us to spread the word about this horror.

 

Students Speak Up This week, the students of Students Against Modern Slavery stood up, using the power of imagery to speak out against human trafficking.