RIJI Green’s holiday campaign sale- Freeing Families from Slavery

RIJI Green, a company that sells products made by survivors of human trafficking is having a holiday campaign for International Justice Mission (IJM). IJM is a non-profit organization combating modern-day slavery by prosecuting the perpetrators, providing aftercare for victims, and promoting functional justice systems. RIJI Green’s holiday campaign goal is to raise ,000 to fund IJM’s 10 rescue operations freeing families from slavery. Its 21st century and slavery still exist victimizing men, women, children and families.
How are families enslaved? When a family member such as a father, the head of the household gets sick and has no money to pay for a doctor, they would go to a loan shark. The family would ask for a small loan, which equates to .00US so the father could see the doctor. The family would sign a document promising they will repay the debt by working for the loan shark, but what they don’t know from being illiterate is the interests and fees are so high, they could never repay their debt. Therefore generations of family members from grandmothers to granddaughters are enslaved. This is common in places like India, Pakistan, and others. In America, when we have debt, our credit scores goes down, but our livelihoods and freedom are not at risk.
In the spirit of justice and holiday giving, RIJI Green is starting their holiday campaign by donating 50% of their profits to IJM from now till November 22, 2009. RIJI Green will give 15% of their profits to IJM till the end of the year.
Will you please join RIJI Green’s campaign to free families from slavery in 2010. Your purchase will have an echoing effect in creating a slave free tomorrow. At one point in America, one out of every eight Americans was a slave. History has shown we can overcome slavery. Will you join the movement to end 21st century slavery and make history? Shop and Empower survivors of human trafficking at www.RIJIgreen.com

Great piece on the methods of control used by human traffickers

Whenever we talk to people about the issue of modern slavery and human trafficking, one of questions people ask us most is “why don’t the victims just leave?”. The answer: because human traffickers use many powerful methods of force, fraud, and coercion that effectively act as invisible chains to confine the victims. But what are these methods? There are lots of great literature out there detailing these methods, but one of the most comprehensive and succinctly written piece I’ve seen is the blog entry by Amanda Kloer titled 10 Types of Invisible Chains Traffickers Use to Keep Victims in Slavery.

Please check it out!

Fundraiser for local shelter Courtney’s House

Recently, Sergeant Hines of DC Metro Police spoke at one of our meeting. During his presentation, he discussed the lack of shelters in the DC Area for victims of sex trafficking. Because of this lack, often times the safest place for police to send victims is the local jail.

Courtney’s House (www.courtneyshouse.org) is an up-and-coming DC shelter for child victims of sex trafficking. It will provide girls between the ages of 11 and 17 with a therapeutic and emotionally healing atmosphere away from the horrific world of sex trafficking. This is such an important cause. Please join us in supporting this effort by attending Courtney’s House’s first fundraiser event this coming Tuesday, June 2nd 2009, at Busboys And Poets in Shirlington Virginia. Please see below for details.

Also FYI, in the coming months we will be spinning up a community volunteer program to support Courtney’s House. Through this program, you will have many opportunities to contribute to the success of Courtney’s House, including and up to working directly with victims. Please be advised that volunteers who want to work with victims must have backgrounds in social work (or a related field) and will need to go through background checks and a training program. Please stay tuned for more details.

Lastly, Tina Frundt, founder of Courtney’s House, will be speaking at our June 18th meeting. For more info, please go to: http://www.meetup.com/wdcsms/calendar/10466788

Here are the details of this Tuesday’s event:
When:
Tuesday June 2nd 2009, 12 noon-12 midnight

Where:
Busboys And Poets Shirlington location (703-379-9757)
4251 South Campbell Ave.
Arlington, VA. 22206

Schedule for the day
12 noon – 3:00 pm: Visit the Courtney’s House table and learn more about the organization. Cash and check donations will be accepted and 100% of the funds go to direct victim services.
3:00 pm – 5:00 pm: A GEMS film, “Very Young Girls”, will be shown, followed by a
30-minute question/answer session with founder, Tina Frundt.
5:00 pm – 8:00 pm: 5% of the dinner shift will go to Courtney’s House. Tina Frundt
will also be available for more questions.
8:00 pm – 12 midnight: 5% of the dinner shift will continue to go to Courtney’s
House.

For more details, go to http://files.meetup.com/184719/CourtneysHouse_Busboys_%26_Poets_Flyer.pdf

With new president, continued focus on slavery

Some say the legacy of slavery has come full circle now that the first African-American president is being inaugurated on the steps of the Capitol that once required slave labor to be built. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/20/opinion/20tue4.html?partner=permalink&exprod=permalink

But slavery is not over. Modern-day slavery takes less conspicuous forms, but still looms over our society. Volunteers at DC Stop Modern Slavery group work hard to raise community awareness about the everyday presence of human trafficking.

On the eve of Presidential Inauguration of Barack Obama, 20 volunteers put up hundreds of posters all over DC.  Some of the volunteers came from other parts of the country such as Connecticut. These posters were placed in strategic locations throughout the DC area to be seen by the hundreds of thousands of people attending Inauguration festivities.  Below is an example of one of the posters we put up.

Going forward, we will host a postering activity once per month.  Please contact membership@stopmodernslavery.org if you are interested in participating.

Our group also wants to make the cause of fighting human trafficking more prominent on the new administration’s agenda. You can still vote on the cause that one of our members put on change.gov and express your support to this cause.

http://citizensbriefingbook.change.gov/ideas/viewIdea.apexp?id=087800000004yZj&srPos=20&srKp=087

Together we should aspire to work hard to finally make slavery history.