Saturday, February 23, 2008

Help combat Human Trafficking here in the US and abroad

It always feels good to do good so do what you can today by learning more about ways to combat human trafficking - modern day slavery!! One way you can do this is by supporting organizations that provide economic empowerment to victims or by hosting an event devoted to raising awareness about the prevalence and the detrimental impact of slavery on women and children. It's not only a global problem, it's a local problem and it exists in EVERY community. Massage parlors, domestic servants, factory workers. Millions of people are exploited every day in this country and worldwide. This week, I co-chaired an awareness event that was sponsored by the Women's Law Caucus and International Law Society at NESL. The event was was a huge success in that it was educational, inspiring and above all raised much needed dollars for organizations that provide resources to survivors. A couple of organizations were at the event selling wares made by the survivors of trafficking and labor exploitation. I treated myself and a couple of loved ones to some really gorgeous items such a a beautiful red patchwork tote bag, a jeweled coin purse, a colorful screen printed pillow cover, and a journal all for less than $100 with all proceeds going to survivors! At the event, one of the organizations, TEN Charities, supports a Apne Aap school and shelter for women (and their children) who are exploited and essentially enslaved into prostitution. By day, the women and their children go to the shelter and learn skills in screen printing and sewing purses, bags, scarves and other types of handicrafts so that one day they can support themselves. By night, these women and their children return to the brothel to go to work serving customers. The children are present while their mothers service customers and are at high risk for also being abused. TEN Charities is a wonderful program that seeks to provide economic empowerment to these victims by providing a market for their handicrafts here in the US. They sold alot at our event as did another group, Sabiduria Oxlajúj Noj, who represents the collective efforts of a group of Guatemalan artisans producing high-quality clothing and accessories in New Bedford, Massachusetts. This talented group of women was brought together by a raid at their workplace. I bought a beautiful tote from them! You can check out their wares and purchase items online at You can also purchase items made by survivors in India from TEN Charities at or even sponsor a child or survivor for $25 a month or host a party in your home, school, church or office at Do what you can - the conditions in India are astonishing. Find out more about trafficking at or the US Department of State at