Slavery is alive today in the shadows of our culture. I’m participating in Dressember because I believe in everyday advocacy. I am hoping that by raising awareness and talking about it, we can all help to shift this culture that looks the other way, or believes that we are powerless.
The first step to change is being aware of the problem. The next is finding ways to support programs that are already working toward that change. And the hardest of all, will be self-education so that we don’t accidentally support the conditions that make it the only option for people around the world.
I’m going to do my best at raising awareness, and invite you to help by sharing on Facebook, Twitter and Email!
But, first some details…
According to the US Government definitions of slavery, there are several different types:
- Forced Labor. Immigrants are the likely victims of this, as they pay for their passage to another country.
- Sex Trafficking. It is what it says, forced sex workers, coerced or forced into work through fear tactics and manipulation.
- Bonded Labor. This is more straight forward, paying off a debt through employment, often in less than safe conditions.
- Debt Bondage. Just like bonded labor, but usually through more organization when an employee relies on the employer for being in another country.
- Involuntary Domestic Servitude. Servants who are isolated and work in domestic areas away from other workers.
- Forced Child Labor. Children are victim to sex trafficking, bonded and forced labor.
- Child Soldiers. Yes, it is what it says. There’s a high likelihood that kids in this area are sexually abused, both boys and girls.
- Child Sex Trafficking. This one requires quoting, “According to UNICEF, as many as two million children are subjected to prostitution in the global commercial sex trade. International covenants and protocols obligate criminalization of the commercial sexual exploitation of children. The use of children in the commercial sex trade is prohibited under both U.S. law and the Palermo Protocol as well as by legislation in countries around the world.”
Now, if that list doesn’t make you want to cry, and angers you to want to take action, you can do an online training, “Human Trafficking Awareness Training.”
Still with me? Okay, time for more…many of us, myself included, assume slavery does not exist in America. But, it does. Mostly in the sex trafficking area, but others as laborers. We have one of the lowest percentages of slaves per capita, just .02% (60,000) according to a Washington Post article.
CNN Money reported in 2014 about slave labor in America – specifically in the areas of agriculture, construction and hospitality.
Business Insider did an article on Sex Trafficking. I’ve read about it before, but this is an good overview of the topic and how easily young teen women fall into it.
There are several organizations working to combat the circumstances that enable slavery today around the world. Dressember was started by Blythe who wanted to engage her love for fashion with social activism. It’s really quite brilliant in that it encourages us to participate in the dialog and raise money for these organizations.
This year’s campaign is raising funds for International Justice Mission, and A21. While I did setup a campaign page to officially register, I encourage you to go directly to each organization and give what you can to the one that does the work you believe in the most.
And, feel free to follow along with my on Instagram: @holli.with.an.i as I post a selfie a day to prove I’m wearing a dress a day!