Archive for March, 2013

Students’ Reactions to “The City Bleeds Red” blog

bloodAn American girl wrote on her blog about her travels around the world for almost one year.  I had my composition students read her blog if they wanted to write their reaction to it for extra credit. Only three guys from Korea chose to do so. Otherwise, there were books to read on line, articles to look at or my own blogs to reflect on in preparation for their third paper on human trafficking. They looked at this link, I invite you to do the same and then react by adding a comment of your own at the end of this blog entry.

Reactions to “The City Bleeds Red”

Student #1 – This blog entry is by far the most convincing and heart-breaking story I have ever read. Because of this essay I have to reconsider whether the color red is really representing the word ‘passion’ , not, as the article said, “young children having to sit under a bed while their mother is doing “business”. Red is the color of innocence being taken by force, trafficked into new lands and robbed of all hope and future. Red – the color of parentless children being raised by pimps just waiting for them to get to the proper age so they can be put into business. Red – the color of corruption; police being paid every week by pimps so they don’t take action. Red is the color of deception, mistrust and injustice”. This was very touching and really moving paragraph. The whole essay tells what is going on within India. And I feel such pity for those young girls as their freedom, wills, visions, and dreams are shattered by the pimps or other disgusting people. I had no idea that India was in this much trouble with CSWs (Commercial Sex Workers) and other sex traffics. This article really awakened me and bought my attention to India. I think people in India really need help and I am eager to do something about it.

Student #2 – “This city bleeds red.” This sentence is very striking expression that depicts the sad reality of the city. Most of CSW have to have body relationship with 13-15 customers a day, and they get paid $2 per customer. As a result, their appearance looks older than their age and they get a disease. What the horrible reality! Their life and human rights is brutally being trampled underfoot by the minority wicked people. These facts always make me upset, however, there is no apparent solution. So, Katy Westrom and her co-workers always pray for improving poor people and children’s life. The victims of human trafficking need to real love and pray, not crude helps. Therefore, I really respect Katy and her people.

Student #3 – In this writing, the writer describes the Mumbai’s situation a red color that is negative part. In Mumbai, really a lot of commercial sex workers (15000~20000). And they even do their sex work about 13-15 customers a day and only got the $ 2 USD. I am really glad how I am one of the luckiest guys in the world. During the blog review, I realized really a lot of people are suffering from human trafficking especially prostitution. When they as victims suffer from the human trafficking, their life is completely ruined. For example, in this writing, there is a woman who is 35 years old but has both HIV and Tuberculosis. However, she looked like she was 75 years old…and she is not the only one woman who suffered from severe human trafficking. In Mumbai, more than 200,000 women are CSW’s. I felt how their life is so difficult as well. However, when there is a negative part, there also a positive part exists. Now the house where the writer was working used to be a brothel, but now today it is a safe place for children. Also like the writer of this blog, we don’t have a lot of work but love. Pray for them, Pray for their life is a one way to reduce their difficult life.

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American student’s response to “Two Kyrgyz Women”

My composition I class is currently looking into different aspects of human trafficking in order to write their third paper for me.  I’m starting to get their impressions and reactions in their extra credit assignments, some are getting emotionally connected to this difficult topic.  The following is what my American student wrote after she read “Two Kyrgyz Women.”  Fortunately “TKW” is on free ebooks, so she was able to read this on-line. My student knows that sex trafficking hits close to home for her.  This is because she had a childhood “friend” who was part of a trafficking ring as the “pimp” and now sits in prison because she was caught.  Another girl she knew was one of the trafficked girls, it could have been my student.  This tragedy seems entirely too close to home when it affects my Minnesota students.  So, for my one student reading about this woman’s pain in Kyrgyzstan was very real to her.

When I first started to read the book I saw that she depended a lot on her family and tradition. That no matter how bad life gets, you can always depend on family. She also went on to say that her father and mother constantly told her that one day she will get married and have a husband of her own. She always stated that she wanted to stay at home and never leave but her parents continually stated that one day every girl gets married. She had many fond memories growing up, from the lake Issyk Kul and all the swimming she would do there. She traveled a lot from her dad’s business and remembers the many places they lived. She then went into taking about all things that led up to her circumstances. From the marriage of her brother and the joy of his first child, to the start of a new journey for herself in Bishkek at a Technological University, and how proud her father was of her to accomplish such an undertaking.  As well as the effect of her father’s death, and how not only she but her whole family was starting to struggle financially.  Shortly after her father’s death she was soon to be married; her mother was shocked to hear that she was to be married so shortly after her father’s death. She refers her to wedding not as her wedding but as her kidnaping. She says it was so well thought out and much less expensive than a regular wedding. Her soon-to-be husband’s uncle and other men went and spoke to her about how wonderful the man she was to marry was, the perfect one for her. Her mother gave in and they were off to be married. She goes into saying how the night of their wedding what had gone on and how all his family was eager to know what had happened. As well as what her husband expected her to give to him the night of their wedding and how she lost her virginity that night. I have seen this more times than not, that men find women they want to marry because they just want the intimacy, so they marry the women so they can do whatever they want to the women as husbands and wives so they don’t have to face consequences. When in reality they don’t really love the women they only want their own satisfaction to be filled.  I know one woman in particular that her husband constantly depend stuff from her and was still never happy even though she gave him everything he wanted. They are now divorced and they have a wrecked home. He is off living with his girlfriend he had been seeing while still married and their two children are messed up with alcohol and drugs at the age of 15 and 19.  

            The author went on to talk about many stages in her life, from the birth of her second child a little girl, sending her boys off to school, and constant coming and going of her husband who later returned with a Mazad car and spent more time away than with her and the children. She went through a lot during this time and did a lot on her own to make everything the best she could. She later had an encounter with her husband’s long-time girlfriend which caused even more heartache. Shortly after that her husband had to pay twelve thousand dollars because of an accident that was caused when he drove his car too fast.    She goes into a long story that leads up to her abduction; she thought that she was sent to Dubai to meet her sister-in-law Nurgal. Only to find out that she was there to pay back Adele seven thousand dollars.

            She talks deeply of the many horrible things she had to endure the whole time she was imprisoned. It is so sad to me to see all these women taken advantage of something that is so valued. It is something that should be saved for the one man you love and marry.  But people don’t care as long as they are making money and can buy whatever they want and are getting the satisfaction they want, they are happy at the expense of others. It most always starts with a lie that most everyone believes, they are made to make it seem so real and that it’s going to help them earn money or help their family. So when they have no idea what is to come, it hurts me to read all the many things she had to endure the time she was imprisoned, especially knowing she had children waiting at home for her. How can someone take a mother away from her children so they can be satisfied for their own profit?  I can’t imagine all the hurt she had to go through day after day, the regret of living and all the “what ifs.” This book by Marinka Franulovic has definitely made me more aware of things that are happening in our world today, I even know thirty miles from here. People need to be aware of these things so we can help other women escape or help women before they too become victims.

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Slaves Freed from Brick Factories in India

I had my composition students watch the trailer of the documentary “Dark Side of Chocolate” yesterday. I am happy that the full 45 minutes is up on YouTube.  I also had them watch a Ted.com video of Sheryl WuDuun talk about what she knows of human trafficking.  She and her husband Nicolas Kristof co-authored a book titled “Half the Sky.” Both clips certinaly got the attention of my students.  The following should stir the students’ blood after reading this latest blog from IJM (Intl. Justice Mission). I have seen similar stories or read somewhere about the brick factories in India and how people are tricked into working there…very sad!

IJM Bangalore: A Runaway Brother’s Call For Help Brings Rescue

Fri, 03/01/2013

IJM Bangalore helped rescue the children trapped in forced labor slavery
The siblings were enslaved in a brick kiln outside Bangalore, far from their home village in a neighboring state.

BANGALORE, INDIA – This week, a family of six was set free from slavery in an Indian brick kiln. Over the last couple of weeks, several of the siblings had escaped, making the brick kiln all the more dangerous for those who were left behind.

Tricked Once, Trapped For Good

On February 11 2013, IJM Bangalore got a desperate call for help. The caller was a young man named Prasham.* Prasham had escaped from a brick kiln where he and his siblings had been held captive for about six months.

Prasham relayed a terrible story. The three brothers and their sister were lured into the brick kiln with a hefty advance – a large amount of money that was more than their family had ever dreamed of. The siblings agreed to repay it through their work, but when they arrived they quickly realized they had been tricked. They were paid pennies for their work – about $5 a week. They were trapped.

The labor intensive process of baking clay bricks under the hot sun was back-breaking. Prasham told of a time when his sister was sick, and yet the owner forced her to keep working. He said one of the owner’s men, a watchman, beat his sister, and threatened Prasham when he tried to stand up for her.

Prasham said that the brick kiln owner let the brothers and sister take a short leave in January, to go home for an important Indian holiday. When the siblings didn’t return to the kiln, the owner traveled to their village to track them down. Prasham and his sister successfully hid themselves, but his little brothers, 9 and 13, were taken by the owner.

The two young boys were locked up in a small shed every night, let out only to work. They were forced to work even if they were sick, and if they spoke of illness they were kicked. But somehow, the boys managed to escape.

Two Brothers Escape, Another Held Hostage

At the end of February, IJM learned that situation in the brick kiln had worsened. The brick kiln owner allegedly went to a nearby brick kiln and kidnapped Prasham’s older brother. The brash owner locked them up and threatened to keep them hostage until Prasham and his brothers returned. Prasham said that the owner and his managers called him, telling him that they would “break my brother’s hands and legs if we don’t return back to the brick kiln.”

IJM moved quickly and took the case to the government official who has the authority and responsibility to root out forced labor slavery in his district. Within two days, on February 26, 2013, IJM staff and government officials were en route to the brick kiln.

The brick kiln owner at first denied that he was harboring Prasham’s older brother. But when the government official leading the operation demanded that the owner produce the young man at once, the owner changed his story. The owner said the young man was on his way back to the brick kiln. But the IJM and government rescue team found the young man on the road, being led away from the kiln.

Freedom At Last

The government official heard the stories from all of the brothers and sister, including the older brother who had been locked up for two days. The official determined that all six deserved release certificates, legal documents that declare them free and entitle them to certain government benefits.

A police report was also filed, to ensure the siblings remain safe while evidence is collected to build a case against the brick kiln owner.

An IJM social worker escorted the family back to their village, in the neighboring state, and they will now join IJM’s aftercare program. IJM will follow up to make sure they remain safe and are able to restart their lives in freedom by getting back to school or finding good jobs.

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