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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

I am very disturbed. I hope you are too. Please read and repost.

One of my favorite shows is Law and Order: SVU. Occasionally, they have episodes featuring human slavery. It always bothered me, and yet, I couldn't find anything to show it was really happening. Boy, was I wrong.

Tonight, we had David Batstone from the Not for Sale Campaign. Not only is human trafficking alive and well, it's much more serious than I'd ever imagined. I am heartbroken and speechless. So I'm sharing what I can in hopes that you'll all do the same. But since I truly am speechless, I'm just stealing from their site and sharing...

27 million people are enslaved today.

The slave trade is the third largest criminal activity in the world, just under drug trafficking and arms trade.

200,000 people are enslaved in the United States.

80% are female. 50% are children.

Each year, 800,000 to 900,000 people are sold across borders.

The slave trade is a $32 billion industry.

Here's David's story:

I read in a local paper that one of my favorite Indian restaurants in the Bay Area had been trafficking women from India to wash dishes, cook meals and other tasks. The story came out when a young woman, Chianti Pratipatta died of a gas leak in an unventilated apartment owned by the proprietor of the restaurant, who forced Chianti and others into slavery under threat of reporting their illegal presence to the authorities.

This was happening in my country at a restaurant I frequented. My shock turned into a consuming passion that took me around the world to learn more about how slavery flourishes in the shadows.

I also learned about the solutions. I met heroes. Modern-day abolitionists fighting trafficking and slavery on the front lines. And I knew I had to do something. The Not for Sale Campaign combines technology, intellectual capital, abolitionist groups and a growing network of individuals like yourself - joined together to end slavery in our lifetime.

Welcome to the movement.

- David Batstone

Things you can do NOW to help:

1. Go to Paste Magazine and join Our Stage. It's free, and they'll donate $2 to every person who signs up for our stage.

2. Sign the petition at World Vision www.worldvision.org/nochildsoldiers .

3. Educate yourself with the book Not for Sale by David Batstone.

4. Watch the movie Trade , which opens this weekend. Lionsgate is donating 5% of all box office receipts for the first week (maybe longer, I forget) to anti-slavery campaigns.

Thanks for taking the time to read and repost.

1 comment:

Kay Day said...

I'm going to link to this. Thanks.