Archive for the ‘Womens’ Health’ Category

Slavery is a Problem Now More than Ever

September 26, 2012

Girls at work in a red light district in India

There are more than 30 million slaves in the world today. More than any other point in human history, according to the UNCHR and UNICEF. Yesterday, the U.S. President gave a speech at The Clinton Global Initiative where he vowed he would use all resources to end the global trafficking of children and women. We don’t often realize that the clothes we might wear or the chocolate we might eat are made by young people sold into slavery.

In South Asia alone, millions of people from India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Pakistan are trafficked for forced labor or prostitution. The traffickers are often the people the children know well–neighbors or relatives.

From the map, we can see the highest incidence of trafficking in Russia, Central Asia, Eastern Europe, and then in South Asia and Latin America. A mainstream movie like Taken opened our eyes to the seamy underbelly of trafficking in glittery Paris, while Slumdog Millionaire showed us what it means to poor, powerless and young in urban India. So, what can anyone do to make a difference and stop this ongoing crime? Many sites have a step by step guide of what we can do to be more aware of people who are traffickers and those who are trafficked. A major step is lobbying congressmen and industries to enact laws and measures that will target traffickers. With stricter laws and more rigorous border patrol at high-risk areas it’s harder for people to be trafficked out of a country without their consent.

Check out the Not For Sale campaign, where you can see what might be done


CNN Freedom Project–Nepal’s Stolen Children

July 12, 2011

Anuradha Koirala, Nepalese activist and CNN hero, with Demi Moore, on a documentary about sex trafficking in Nepal for CNN's Freedom Project

For those of you who haven’t already seen this on CNN, I urge you to see this on CNN’s website. This whole year, CNN is launching an awareness campaign to shed light on global sex trafficking, which is a sadder, larger problem than many realize. Anyone who saw the movie, Taken with Liam Neeson taking down an entire Albanian prostitution ring in Paris, will be a little aware of the problem in Paris, but it’s an expanding, ongoing issue all over the world, and CNN focuses on what happens in Nepal, where young girls, usually starting as young as six years old and ranging into their 20s, are drugged or smuggled across to India to work as prostitutes. Smugglers often lie to the girls and women, saying their taking them to join their family in India or that they’ll help them find a job. It’s incredible to watch Koirala at work, tactfully questioning complacent border patrol guards, intimidating potential smugglers, winning the trust of young girls who tearfully confess that they’re being kidnapped and held against their will. The documentary is powerful look at an example of grass-roots activism that transforms the lives of young women who are by-and-large voiceless and relatively invisible in Nepal and India today.