Archive for the ‘bonded debt labor’ Category

Not for Sale is hosting the 2012 Global Forum, “Justice for the Bottom Billion”, November 1&2 in Silicon Valley.

Featured Speakers:

  • Jeremy Affeldt – Pitcher, San Francisco Giants
  •  Leila Janah – Founder, Samasource
  •  Sarah Ferguson – Duchess of York
  •  Nancy Duarte – Founder & CEO, Duarte Inc.
  •  Francis Chan – Pastor and Best-Selling Author
  •  Jaida Im – Founder and Executive Director, Freedom House

The Global Forum is more than a conference. It is a personal, face to face gathering that will leave you inspired, equipped, and more plugged in as an abolitionist than ever before. You’ll hear what is going on in the movement to end slavery, recent developments and new strategies to fight human trafficking, as well as intimate break-out sessions from some of the leading abolitionists around the world.

Register or find out more information at Not For Sale Global Forum

“Not My Life is the first documentary film to depict the horrifying and dangerous practices of human trafficking and modern-day slavery on a global scale.
Filmed on five continents over a period of four years, Not My Life unflinchingly, but with enormous dignity and compassion, depicts the unspeakable practices of a multi-billion dollar global industry whose profits, as the film’s narration says, “are built on the backs and in the beds of our planet’s youth.”

Today is National Human Trafficking Awareness Day, and it’s got me thinking and reading about the issue more than usual.  I found an excellent site with FAQs about Human Trafficking, and it’s worth checking out.  However, I had another thought regarding the FAQs of a trafficking victim.  I don’t know because I’m not a victim of human trafficking, but I strongly suspect that the frequently asked questions of slavery victims are quite different than the questions from most of us seeking information about this topic.  My intent is not to be disrespectful to victims in my ignorance, or even overly dramatic. But I do hope to provoke thought.  Naturally, I don’t attempt to offer answers at this point.

These are my guesses, and please click here to add your own guesses at victim FAQs:

  • Will I be beaten (by the men who rape me) tonight?
  • Will my children ever be able to go to school?
  • How come God never seems to hear me?
  • If I try to escape, will they kill my family?
  • How can I get enough johns to avoid getting beaten by <insert pimp’s name>?
  • Am I going to get AIDS from this guy?

As I mentioned above, here is a link for the site that prompted my post

Please leave a comment with your reactions or your own guesses at victim FAQs.

Today, January 11th, 2012, is National Human Trafficking Awareness Day in the U.S. Many organizations are sponsoring events to mark the day, hosting speakers, prayer vigils, fundraisers, etc. There is even an international group of remarkable women climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro as part of The Freedom Climb.  I was thinking last night about how I might want to observe Human Trafficking Awareness Day so that I could be aware throughout the day that slavery still exists not only around the world, but in Silicon Valley where I live.  I don’t think I’m going to be able to attend one of the public events in my area, so I’m going to have to participate online, and in my own private way.  I plan to make a couple of posts here in the blog, partly to keep the issue in front of me, and also to spread awareness to readers.  I’m currently reading A Crime So Monstrous by E. Benjamin Skinner, so I’ll spend some time reading and thinking about the issue tonight before bed.  I’m also going to be talking with one of my kids tonight, and the topic will come up, if only briefly.

But it occurred to me as I was considering options for helping raise awareness of human trafficking, that there’s one group of people that don’t need to be made aware of the problem — the victims.  A man in India who works in a brick factory because of bonded debt slavery, and can’t protect his wife or send his children to school, doesn’t need to be told that slavery exists.  A girl kidnapped from Mexico and smuggled to San Diego to be commercially raped multiple times a night until she is either rescued, or becomes too old, sick, and unattractive to be profitable to her pimp, doesn’t need to be reminded about human trafficking.

So don’t bother to tell the victims of modern slavery that today is National Human Trafficking Awareness Day, because they don’t need to know.  They are aware every moment of every day that they don’t have the freedom to go where they want and live as they choose.  Someone more powerful than them is exploiting them for profit, and it’s going to take someone else more powerful — you and me — to not only rescue them, but to help them with the rehabilitation that will be required to give them new hope.

Please click here (or on the speech bubbled next to the title of the post) to leave a comment with your choices and observations about National Human Trafficking Awareness Day.

Slavery still exists today.  Human beings are bought and sold as property, and in many cases, are treated worse than you’d treat your livestock.  The National Underground NatlUndergroundRailroadFreedomCenterLogoRailroad Freedom Center has an article on the basics of slavery today.  Read it. Educate yourself.  Get involved in some small way, even if it means starting a conversation with a friend or family member.  Read a book about modern slavery.  Watch a movie about human trafficking.  Make a donation to one of the organizations listed on the right.  Find out if slavery exists in your community.

Note: This post was originally written in June 2009.  Since then, I have seen other writers who argue there may not be sufficient factual basis to substantiate the claim below. Underneath the original post, I will provide links to alternate views on the topic.  In one sense, it’s academic.  There is plenty of evidence that human trafficking is a huge problem worldwide, so it doesn’t make that much difference if it’s #3, or #1, or some other number.  It’s a problem, and it needs to be addressed.  On the other hand, I don’t want to perpetuate inaccuracies in the name of a cause.  Truth is one of the most powerful weapons for justice, so it ultimately undermines the abolition movement if I spread misinformation.  – Carl – January 2012


We’re number three! Illegal sales of weapons and drugs are the most lucrative criminal enterprises worldwide.  Human trafficking is third.  Perhaps worth more than $12 billion a year.

I’ve heard this statistic other places, but I specifically got this and other helpful information from the following excellent site:  (Note: As of January 2012, the new website for this group is but the I can no longer find the post which contained the information above.)

“Trafficking in human beings is now the third-largest moneymaking venture in the world, after illegal weapons and drugs. In fact, the United Nations estimates that the trade nets organized crime more than $12 billion a year” (Victor Malarek, The Natashas: Inside the New Global Sex Trade, 2003). The Natashas


Human Trafficking is modern day slavery.  It comes in many forms.  Forced prostitution, bonded debt labor, child soldiers, domestic servitude.  Can’t believe it’s still around?  Actually, it’s bigger today than ever before. 

Why? Well, it’s complicated. The highly interconnected global economany, ease of transporting people across borders, sophisticated criminal networks, grinding poverty and disenfranchisement of potential victims, and demand for cheap goods and services combined with thoughtless spending by the wealthy — all of these are probably significant social and economic factors. 

But slavery couldn’t exist if there wasn’t an incredible capacity in the soul of a human to completely disregard the soul of another.

Let’s shine a red light on human trafficking and stop it in our generation.