Archive for October, 2011

BRIC’s Complicated Bureaucracies and Our Complicity in Human Trafficking

What is it about the BRIC(K)(S) countries which are supposedly the economic powerhouses? They simultaneously have very complicated bureaucracies to work through in order for tourists to visit their lands.  Kazakhstan is among the list of eight nations which are coincidentally in the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) structure.  Some would like to add Kazakhstan and South Africa to make it spell BRICKS but the first four letters is what is traditionally known in the world of economics as the countries to watch as they continue to flex their monied muscles.

To get visas and the wait time tourists are resigned to go through is the following for these difficult-to-get-to countries:

1) India – $76

2) Russia – $140 – 90 day wait

3) China – $130

4) Brazil – $140 one month

5) Bhutan – $20 – 3 months

6) Iran – $30 3 months

7) Kazakhstan – $40 – one month

8 ) Saudi Arabia – $500 (if you want to do the hajj, you have to have money, obviously)

Here’s what was originally written about Kazakhstan and the seven other countries :

KAZAKHSTAN
Apply a month in advance.
Fee: $40

Why Go: Fictional Borat may have put Kazakhstan on the map, but it’s actually the ninth-largest country in the world by size and a place that combines Islamic, Western, and Soviet culture into an unusual mix. Adventure seekers come for the many mountains, which provide both trekking and skiing opportunities. Others come to explore the nomadic past of the Kazakhs and to see UNESCO World Heritage attractions, including petroglyphs and nature reserves that are home to such species as the rare Siberian white crane.

Why It’s Complicated: When it comes to visas, all the “Stans” can be tough, according to Habimana. For Kazakhstan, for instance, you need to write a personal letter of intent to the embassy in Washington, D.C., stating the purpose of your trip, the places you plan to visit, and your dates.

What to Do: Follow the instructions on the embassy’s website, and apply a month out from your trip (approval takes a couple of weeks). While the government enacted new rules in 2010 to try to simplify the process, what that means for tourists remains to be seen. Fans of bureaucratic garble will appreciate the official description of the changes, which are “aimed at further liberalization and streamlining of Kazakhstan’s visa regime.”

My young university friend just returned from the Not For Sale Global Forum in Sunnyvale, CA had many impressions that were exploding in her head after listening to about 50 speakers.  However, the main thing about the evils of human trafficking is that it revolves all around economics.  So, if there is any common thread among the BRIC countries, they appear to be one of the worst offenders when it comes to using people to build up their own economies.

We already know what happened to the Soviet Union when they forced their own people into labor camps to work off their being too wealthy (i.e. kulaks or Enemies of the People).  Those during Stalin’s time who were not of the correct political stripe or who told the truth were punished. They were forcibly sent to hardship posts in the gulags of Siberia and Kazakhstan. Unfortunately, many of the talented ones died.

So, the same can be written about these modern day, complicated countries that have too much paperwork and red tape to go through. The BRIC countries undoubtedly have bureaucrats who are pocketing the visa money. No surprise there with corrupt governments from the very top. They are also turning a blind eye to those traffickers who are bringing people in or out of their country illegally. Police are easily being bought off with huge sums of money so the trafficking of innocent people continues.

Westerners, who should know better, do not want to be a part of this complicity of trafficking by remaining unaware and silent on the subject.  How can we help? By traveling to these countries to see with our own eyes? As aforementioned, that becomes an arduous process money and time wise. Laws must be placed on the books, law enforcement must be mobilized to catch the predators in the BRIC countries and those victims who have been enticed and trapped free to return to their families and their lives before slavery. Maybe another way to avoid all the red tape is to be wise as shoppers and not buy products that have come out of BRIC economies?  Hmmm…I wonder if that will ever catch on in the U.S?

Hopefully we will not be part of the complications in human trafficking by our complicity of silence, ignorance and doing nothing?

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Seasons, cycles of life and human trafficking

Sugar beet harvesting is over in the Red River Valley. We live in a very shallow and flat valley to be sure.  Where I grew up in Minnesota and live currently we are oriented to very distinct seasons. Now we are fully into the fall season where the temperature doesn’t know whether to be cold, cool or warm. The trees have resignedly given up their leaves. We, as apprehensive northerners, are resolutely waiting for the 200 inches of snow that is promised by the seasoned weathermen.  Oh my, will it be too much to enjoy creating good x-country ski paths?

Sometimes I wonder why we live in this extreme climate, but then Astana, Kazakhstan by comparison seems even more hazardous to one’s health.  I know this statement is not a good advertisement for a place so young on the map, such as Kazakhstan. Astana means “capital” in Kazakh but perhaps it will eventually be changed to the president of the country’s name…just like the new university’s name where I used to teach six months ago.

Lately I’ve written a lot about human trafficking and there is much to learn about this terrible topic. It affects many people’s lives and disrupts families that normally should be together.  Today I gave a talk about this subject to a group of people who already know much about what is going on, it was like “preaching to the choir.” Tomorrow I’ll give the same talk to university students about human trafficking. What will their responses be?

I tried to encourage my former Kazakh students to be “change agents” when I was teaching back in Kazakhstan. One out of ten of my students is actually doing something about helping victims of human trafficking in Kazakhstan. I’m very proud of Aigerim.  Who will respond to my message where we need to bring hope and shelter to the victims of this terrible crime? Human trafficking goes on unabated in Kazakhstan, while sex trafficking seemingly is prevalent in the oil cities of Williston and Dickinson in western North Dakota.  “Men camps” have popped up all over with few women around except for the young Sioux Indian girls who are trafficked off the native American Indian reservations.

I took solace in what I read today, some promises that will keep me going. At times I DO feel overwhelmed with the evil that is out to defeat and discourage us.

“We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.”

We are in a season of life where we would like to know what is the next step to take. What seems more predictable than our future is getting back to weather [always a safe subject to talk about in MN]. Yes, I found comfort in this newspaper clipping that I ran across, printed on April 23, 1967.  Titled “The Belief.”

“By late April the countryman is thinking of June and haying, of summer and the growing season, even of September and golden October.  The hillside birches still show only a gauzy green haze of leaftips, the swamp mables blush with half-opened blossoms and mornings are still frosty; but he can see corn knee-high in his newly plowed fields, oats ripening on the lower forty, strawberries ripening in the kitchen garden.  Today’s weather, good or bad, can’t greatly change this view of the world the countryman knows.  Whether he is optimist or not, he has confidence in the soil and the seasons.

The closer one lives to the land, the less one distrusts time. It is only when one is alienated from the earth and its eternal sequences that doubt takes root.  Few of the pat answers and instant solutions have validity when you are dealing with the soil.  You see the slow but certain growth of trees, the persistence of grass, and you are aware of the tenacity of life. The earth’s urgency is toward growth and renewal, and one season follows another despite man’s diversions and interruptions.  You can’t hurry spring, and you can’t interdict summer.

The countryman lives with these truths, no matter how they are phrased. He lives by them.  They shape his life.  So he looks about him now with confidence and with hope.  Another growing season is at hand, deliberate as always, and he lays his plans, not for tomorrow, but for June and July and next September.”

My two grandfathers were farmers, my Dad used to be a farmer yet even now his business cycles with the change of seasons.  I’m wondering about the Kazakh from the past, who also watched the seasons closely as nomad shepherds? How far away the “modern, 21st century” Kazakhs have been removed by living in the glitzy cities of Astana or Almaty.  Both give off a false impression that all is well with their wealth from oil revenues in the western part of Kazakhstan.

Is it really?  (to be continued)

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My Dream…Their Nightmare

This morning I awoke abruptly from a dream. My husband said I was murmuring something in my sleep.  Apparently it was when I challenged someone to tell the truth in my dream, I was also doing it audibly.  I don’t dream very often so this was startling to find out that I had someone else hear what I was trying to say.

To back up a bit to give some background to my dream, it was on our farm involving the mailman putting something into our mailbox.  Only this time it wasn’t our usual mail carrier, it was two men instead.  A few minutes later they returned to talk to a Hispanic lady who was staying with us.  She was sitting on a bench next to a hedge in the front yard.  I suspected something wasn’t quite right because the mail person had returned to our yard only this time it was presumably a couple.  They had urged repeatedly for the young woman to get into their car. She was refusing but was about to relent.  I motioned to my husband to come with me to the car to back me up.

We approached the car of these strangers to ask what was going on.  I looked directly at the woman and it was very difficult for me to speak forcefully, “Tell me the truth, why do you want to take this woman?”  The woman from the car was standing outside of it and she just smiled at me. No answer.  I again asked the man who was at the steering wheel and he simply smiled at me.  That is when I woke up.  My dream…

Their nightmare for those girls or boys who are abducted into slavery.  I just watched the trailer to “The Day My God Died.”  Unsettling what is going on in India and Nepal.  But on an upbeat note, I’ve received a link to what positive things are happening in Tibet, a website advertising “Made by Survivors.”  Believe me, I need more positive and encouraging notes the more involved I get in this issue of human trafficking. Anyone else who has gotten absorbed in this knows what I mean and there is an immediate bond with those who are like-minded.

I’ve also gotten positive feedback and comments from my blog readers which helps encourage me to keep posting about this surreal topic of others’ nightmares.  But I am tired of “starting the conversation.”  I don’t think we should just talk about this issue of human trafficking. Everyone I know agrees that slavery is wrong, yes, holding people against their will is illegal.  WE NEED TO DO SOMETHING!!! I’m encouraged by a former student of mine who wrote the following:

Dear Teacher, so glad to see you in action. You inspire me and people at the shelter to go on as we aren’t alone in our fight. Yes, its a sort of constant war with trafficking evil and the worse enemy is public opinion. Also the authorities are unwilling to accept the existence of human trafficking in our country. What I do on my classes at the private language school – I give them discussion topics about human rights in Kazakhstan, or just tell about work with the shelter as a part of news exchange, constantly! My students are business people from national companies and they represent the huge part of society. Need to collect my thoughts and write you a long discursive reflection of what I experience and learn in my work day by day. I cannot post on WordPress as it is locked in Kazakhstan, so your blog is the only opportunity for me to share with other people and mostly in Kazakhstan! “Governments listen to other Governments or International Organisations” said one nice person. Well, hope you are doing ok and enjoy life in US?! write soon, yours, Aigerim

I wish I could attend the Global Forum on Human Trafficking in the Sunnyvale, CA this upcoming week.  I know several people who are going to this two day conference which is being sponsored by Not For Sale.  Maybe next year, for now I will do my little bit to keep people aware of what is happening around the world but also in our little corner of the world in Minnesota.  It’s not pretty.

Two more comments I have received recently, don’t know who these people are. They read this blog:

“My eyes have been opened to this atrocity recently. I received this link from a friend of mine about girls in Nepal http://www.thedaymygoddied.com/trailer.html Thanks for the stats!”

“Human trafficking might not be something we think about on a daily basis but this crime affects the communities where we live the products which we buy and the people who we care about. Its happening to people just like you..Human trafficking doesn’t discriminate on the basis of race age gender or religion.

Department of State estimates that up to 800 000 people around the world mostly women and children are literally sold into slavery each year-a number that does not take into account the number of people trafficked within their own countries. The vast majority of these victims are sold as sex workers most of them underage and many of them under the age of 10. Our business model is to provide a free pair of new shoes to poor people in Argentina South Africa or Ethiopia for every pair purchased. The Emancipation Network offered some of its silk bags and jackets produced in India by survivors of and those at-risk for human trafficking. Our founder Sarah Symons started this company in 2005 after she saw the documentary Born into Brothels spokeswoman Charity Rutan said.”

I have looked up on google who Sarah Symons is. She has been actively involved in righting this wrong, this nightmare lived out by too many vulnerable people. Similar to the one in my dream at the beginning of this blog that could have succumbed had my husband and I not intervened.  We need to get in the way of the perpetrators by not only starting the conversation but forcefully asking for the truth of this nightmare to end.  We all need to DO something so there is NO MORE SLAVERY…N O W!!!!

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Slavery Footprint and Ugly Factoids (Part III)

Facts are dangerous. Especially true once you become better informed about slavery around the world. Unfortunately, slaves may also be working in a restaurant or a health club or spa near you. (read David Batstone’s book “Not For Sale” to see where his passion to end human trafficking started) Once you are finished reading this blog post or after taking the Slavery Footprint survey, you will realize that the very clothes you wear, the food you eat and the computer that you are reading this from were probably prepared by slave hands in far off countries. Here are the ugly factoids I picked off the website “Slavery Footprint” and the survey you too can take to find out how many slaves work for you.

Fact #1 – Twenty-seven million (27,000,000) slaves worldwide – roughly combines the population of New Zealand and Australia.

Fact #2 – Pakistan uses boys in bonded labor starting at age 13, their contracts end at age 30.

Fact #3 – In 2007, “Save the Children” reported that 250,000 children live and work at Pakistan brick kilns. They are in complete social isolation.  That’s more than the population of Irving, CA, Baton Rouge, LA or Orlando, FL.

Fact #4 – More than 200 children are forced to work in India’s carpet belt of Ultar Pradesh. That makes it a pretty large operation combining Honda, Sony, Proctor and Gamble, Boeing each hire fewer employees.

Fact #5 – Bonded labor is used for much of the Southeast Asian’s shrimping industry, which supplies more shrimp to the U.S. than any other country.  Laborers work up to 20 hours a day to peel 40 pounds of shrimp.  Those who attempt to escape are under constraint and threat of violence or sexual assault.

Fact #6 – Every day tens of thousands of American women buy make-up.  Every day tens of thousands of Indian children mine mica which is the little sparkles in the make-up.

Fact #7 – Rubies are believed to be Burma’s second largest export after teak wood and are commonly mined using forced labor.  Mines are controlled by either the government or army who oversee workers in terrible conditions for little or no pay.

Fact #8 – Coltan is an effective superconductor found in electronics.  A U.S. State Dept. official was interviewed about coltan mining in the Democratic Republic of Congo. He pointed to the reporter’s smartphone and said “The likelihood that one of these was not touched by a slave is pretty low.”  [That’s more diplomatic than saying, “That smartphone you are using was made by a slave from Congo.”]

Fact #9 – In China, soccer ball manufacturers will work up to 20 hours in a day for a month straight.  Even the toughest American coaches wouldn’t ask that from their squads.

Fact #10 – 1.4 million children have been forced to work in Uzbek cotton fields.  There are fewer children in the entire New York City public school system.

Ten questions get to the heart of what we should all be very much aware of, the facts placed on the side of the “Slavery Footprint” survey are just to stir our imaginations as to the deprivation and sadness that must be in so many families around the globe.  The likes of which most Americans haven’t a clue about. I would say that if there are any anti-American feelings, it is because many Americans would prefer to think about their own problems and not reach out to those who are at the very bottom of the food chain.  Ugly facts are hard to ignore once you DO know the truth.

You can do something about it, read my past posts to see what websites my grab your attention.  Go to YouTube and watch Stellasvoice or listen to 19 year old Natalie’s interview.  Don’t just sit there, DO something!!!

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Slavery Footprint and Uninformed Persons (Part II)

I will continue on the theme of the Slavery Footprint survey which will help explain how this all started for me in Kazakhstan.  That country is so unfamiliar among Americans, they typically mix it up with either Russia or Afghanistan if they DO have a sense of where it is on the globe.  Simultaneous to this and as little known is the topic of slavery and human trafficking among most Americans.  So when you combine the two topics I have a passion about, you come up with a lot of blank faces or confusion.  The following are two fictionalized composite conversations I have had with some uninformed persons:

Uninformed person UP: “Where did you say you lived and taught again?”

Kazakhnomad – KN: “Kazakhstan, for three and a half years. Kaz–Akh-Stan. Difficult to spell, even more arduous to pronounce.”

U.P. “Is that close to Afghanistan?” [for some reason everyone knows how to pronounce that country]

KN: “Not really, the closest neighbors to Kazakhstan are Russia to the north and China to the east.”

U.P. “So, what did you think of teaching in Russia?” [the most irksome question because it means they either didn’t listen to me or they don’t know that Kazakhstan has been an independent country from the former Soviet Union for 20 years.]

KN: “Yes, it is perhaps easy to confuse Russia with Kazakhstan.  However, the Kazakhs look Asian in appearance while they speak a Turkish kind of language which is their native language. It’s true, they DO speak Russian simply because they were under Soviet rule for 70 years.  In order to survive, they learned to speak and read Russian.”

Here’s another made up conversation that I encounter concerning human trafficking:

U.P. “You mean we still have slavery? I thought that was abolished two hundred years ago with Wilberforce and other abolitionists!!!”

KN: “No, today there are about 27-30 million slaves in the world as we speak.  Slavery is worse than ever.”

U.P. “Yes, we hear about far off, obscure countries that have slavery, maybe stone age tribes that are not connected to the 21st century.”

KN: “I first encountered the slavery/master mentality when I lived in Central Asia. But I also saw glimpses of it in my past travels to Hong Kong, living in the Philippines as a Peace Corps volunteer, and teaching two years in China.  Mostly though, the master/slave attitude is prevalent in Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan because of age old traditions that marginalize women. They also are using many men from Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan to help build skyscrapers with their oil money they have in Kazakhstan. Sixty percent of the slaves in Kazakhstan are men, they need shelters and rehabilitation for them.”

U.P. “These unfortunate people who are supposedly slaves by your definition and who live in poverty should be thankful to foreign organizations who provide employment opportunities. These people can move up in life to be employed by some tobacco or cotton plantation or on some construction site.”

KN: “With our western sensibilities and code of ethics, yes, employment means honoring a contract where the employee would be treated fairly and would get the wages they had been promised.  Sadly, there is trickery involved where the desperate person is told one thing and then the next thing they know their documents and freedom have been stripped from them, they become slaves…”

U.P. “Hopefully those victims of trafficking will be freed and helped to get a job. Very sad indeed.”

KN: “Saddest of all are all the children in India, China and Africa who are used to help make products for us.  They are missing out on their education to better themselves and have hope for their future.”

So, you see as an embattled educator my mission is to inform people about a region of the world I care about deeply and make people aware of the ugly concept of slavery which is lived out daily in desperate places all over the world.  Even in my own home state of Minnesota or in the neighboring state of North Dakota, slavery is going on.  I found out that in western North Dakota many young girls from the Indian reservation are being brought to the “men camps” near Williston and Dickinson and they are forced or tricked into being “prostituted women.” These girls are forced into this smarmy “occupation” because there is wealth from oil money in western North Dakota and too few women around.  Oil money has perverted many morals in Kazakhstan as well.

What is to be done about the demand? Where are the morals or ethics in protecting those who are powerless?  What can those who become informed about slavery in the world DO about it?

(to be continued)

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Methodology of “Slavery Footprint” Survey

Yesterday I lost my gold watch necklace on the university campus where I was tracking around in the rain and fallen, colorful autumn leaves. We were plotting our strategy about how to help young students become aware of human trafficking in an upcoming event in November titled “The Dark Truth.”  The truth is, losing a sentimental piece of jewelry that my husband gave me over ten years ago pales in comparison to what others around the world have lost. Globally many slaves, and even in my home state of Minnesota, have lost their innocence, their freedom, their chance for education, their family and all their possessions.  What’s a gold watch compared to everything else I could lose if I were a slave?

I took the survey on the Slavery Footprint website again just to remind myself what it means to not be free. The survey has 10 factoids next to each question, I will write out in a later post.  Last time I took this survey I had a score of 22 slaves work for me based on my home, what I eat and wear, jewelry, what’s in my medicine shelf, my cosmetics, the electronics that I use, etc.  Today I got a 29 score.  Not good since after losing a gold watch, I thought my score would have decreased instead of increase.

The following questions in the survey and subsequent scores have been sorted out by many different organizations that have collaborated on their statistics.See how the creators of Slavery Footprint Survey explained their methodology:

Methodology

How did you come up with the total number of slaves working for me?

Your TOTAL SLAVERY FOOTPRINT represents the number of forced laborers that were likely to be involved in creating and manufacturing the products you buy. This is determined based on information regarding the processes used to create these products as well as investigations of the countries in which these stages of production take place for known slave labor (within these specific processes.) This number is compiled from multiple individual product scores (see below).

In order to create individual scores, we first chose to investigate slave labor usage in the supply chains of more than 400 of the most popular consumer products. We used the following definitions of slave labor:

How do we define Slavery? (Forced Labor):

Anyone who is forced to work without pay, being economically exploited, and is unable to walk away. Note: Forced Labor, also known as involuntary servitude, may result when unscrupulous employers exploit workers made more vulnerable by high rates of unemployment, poverty, crime, discrimination, corruption, political conflict, or cultural acceptance of the practice. Immigrants are particularly vulnerable, but individuals also may be forced into labor in their own countries. Female victims of forced or bonded labor, especially women and girls in domestic servitude, are often sexually exploited as well.

After investigating the slavery usage in individual product components, based on the most common places in which they are mined, grown or made, we assigned scores to each of these 400+ products. These scores were based on a complex algorithm that determines the minimum number of slaves (forced laborers) used to produce each product.

Weights, Measurements, and Reports

Each score therefore represents the likelihood of slavery used in production. This likelihood was developed from investigations and research drawn from the following sources:

The five main reports we used were:

1. Department of State “Trafficking in Persons Report 2011” The most comprehensive worldwide report on the efforts of governments to combat severe forms of trafficking in persons.

2. Department of Labor (DOL) “List of Goods Produced by Child Labor or Forced Labor 2010” A list of goods from countries that the Bureau of International Labor Affairs has substantiated used of forced labor or child labor its production.

3. International Labor Organization’s (ILO) “Committee of Experts Reports 2011-2003” The Committee of Experts undertakes investigations of government reports on ratified conventions. The Committee’s role is to provide an impartial evaluation of violations of international labor standards.

4. Transparency International‘s “Corruption Index 2010” This index is used to measure and quantify the levels of public sector corruption in 178 countries around the world.

5. Freedom House “Freedom in the World 2010 Combined Average Ratings – Independent Countries” The Freedom in the World 2010 survey contains reports on 194 countries and 14 related and disputed territories. Each country report includes a narrative on the following information: population, capital, political rights (numerical rating), civil liberties (numerical rating), status (Free, Partly Free, or Not Free), and a 10-year ratings timeline.

Additionally, we utilized published data pertaining to forced labor issues. This included vetted data drawn from a variety of international sources. The following inclusion criteria were used:

Drawn from ONE Internationally credible source with expert review (i.e. ILO, International Office for Migration, World Health Organization, United Nations Security Council)

Referenced in at least TWO multi-national reliable sources (i.e. CNN, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International)

Reported on by at least THREE disparate and unrelated local news sources (i.e. The Guardian, Swedwatch, Jakarta Post, Enough Project)

Note: This data set will continue to be expanded based on emerging research and the results of further investigations that meet the aforementioned inclusion criteria.”

(to be continued to find out why this is connected to Kazakhstan!!!)

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Tyler Perry’s “Madea Goes to Jail” movie

Some critical readers may think human trafficking has nothing to do with Kazakhstan. Unaffected, privileged Kazakhs in high places especially would just as soon I don’t continue to write on my blog about slavery in Central Asia.  Why am I featuring this sordid topic on what initially was supposed to be my perspective on Kazakhstan?  Maybe it IS relevant…maybe not. I remain undeterred, even though my message on this blog has veered from higher education in Central Asia, the truth will out itself eventually.

Trafficking is happening all around us, slavery is alive and well today, not only in Kazakhstan, but every place that has grueling poverty.   Perhaps those in places of power in Kazakhstan want the rest of the world to think their country has oil money and political influence. These clueless, “important” people want Kazakhstan to appear like Dubai by looking at the modern architecture in the major cities of Almaty and Astana. However, the age old slavery problem exists behind many of these walls and in the mentality of those in power. Prosperity exists for a few but if you go just an hour outside of either of these cities into the rural areas, the lack of education, joblessness and poverty is there.

Sadly, the U.S. has NOT “arrived” yet either.  We have our wealth but we also have desperate people who are not living out their dreams in the land of opportunity.  Though that has been our American cultural tradition, hope and opportunity.  Every day I’m finding out that we have slavery and human trafficking in my home state of Minnesota.

Last night my husband and I watched another movie by Tyler Perry that has a mostly black cast.  “Madea Goes to Jail” is funny in places and too close to the truth painful in others. Even Viola Davis had a role in this Tyler Perry  movie  where she was working a prison ministry in jail.  (Viola Davis will probably get an Academy award for her prominent part in “The Help.”)  Other cameo shots were Dr. Phil, Whoopi Goldberg, Sharpton and other women from “The View.”  Those were the funny parts, the other ugly parts showed a black woman named Candy who was caught up in prostitution and was to be the slave to her pimp.  You’ll have to check this movie out to see what happened to Candy.

What can people do to help out with this raging problem and epidemic of human trafficking? See below some simple ideas to pursue that I got from the “Not for Sale” website.  Right now I am reading “Not For Sale” by David Batstone.  Some of the stories as told by those who have been enslaved and fortunate enough to escape are terrifying and riveting.  I challenge YOU to do something, to become aware of what is happening around the globe. JUST DO SOMETHING to help eradicate slavery globally and in your own backyard!!!

30 seconds – Follow @Not_For_Sale on Twitter – twitter.com/not_for_sale

One minute – Join the underground e-mail list – Not for Sale campaign.org

3 minutes – Download the Free2Work Application – free2work.org/app

5 minutes – Fuel the Abolitionist movement – Not for sale campaign.org/donate

1 hour – Research slavery in your own backyard – slavery map.org

1 day – Bring Not for Sale to your community – Not for Sale Campaign.org/tour

2 days – Attend the Global Forum on Human Trafficking – Global forum on human trafficking.org Sunnyvale, CA, Oct. 20-21

3 days – Read “Not for Sale” book by David Batstone, go to notforsale.org

1 week – Train in smart activism at NFS Academy – NFSacademy.org

1 month – Commit $28 to Emancipation as a Backyard Abolitionist

6 months – Become a full-time fellow for NFS

1 year – Lead your local community Abolitionist Network

Lifetime – Together we can END slavery!!!

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