Saturday, January 10, 2009

Not For Sale: Help End Human Trafficking


Reality Tours eNewsletter
CONTRIBUTE TO
GLOBAL EXCHANGE

Dear Friends,

Global Exchange Reality Tours have helped thousands connect firsthand with other peoples and cultures, and to return home with a deeper understanding, a sense of empowerment, and the tools to affect change. We would like to share with you some examples of upcoming delegations, and enthusiastically invite you to join us in the powerful and transformative experiences of GX Reality Tours.

As we enter into a new year, we at Global Exchange Reality Tours would like to share with you some information about a series of very important advocacy delegations centered on issues of human trafficking and modern slavery. In partnership with the Not for Sale Campaign, Global Exchange is organizing trips to Cambodia, Thailand, Peru and Uganda to educate and mobilize an international abolitionist movement.

As we, the people, strive for the creation of a more just and equitable globalisation, the existence of a booming international trade in human life can no longer be tolerated or ignored. Please help us shed light on this global issue by reading this newsletter and by spreading the word about these important educational delegations. You can also find information on actions you can take today to help end human trafficking by visiting Not for Sale.

To contact Reality Tours directly about these delegations or to learn more about actions against human trafficking, please contact Alessandro Isola (alessandro@globalexchange.org).

In this newsletter you will find:

  1. An introduction to upcoming Reality Tours / Not for Sale delegations focused on human trafficking

  2. Delegation Dates & Information

  3. A word from Mark Horner, GA state director of Not for Sale

  4. Reality Tours Firsthand: Angel Daniels, Cambodia participant 2008

  

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Reality Tours & Not for Sale Present: Advocacy Delegations on Human Trafficking 2009

Accurate statistics are difficult to compile, but it is believed that between 600,000 and 800,000 human beings are trafficked across international borders each year, 80% of them women and children. It is estimated that approximately $9 billion dollars in profits are generated annually through slavery and trafficking, placing human trafficking among the three most profitable criminal enterprises along with drugs and arms trades. Many people think of slavery as a heinous practice long abandoned by humanity, but today there are roughly 27 million human slaves in bondage, many in the United States itself. 1.2 million children are trafficked each year for the purposes of forced labor, and it is estimated that 1.8 million children are working today in the global sex industry. The numbers are staggering, and the act of confronting them and the shattered lives they represent can be an overwhelming prospect.

Yet we are not powerless in the face of this monstrous industry, and the first step towards bringing it to a halt is education. In partnership with the Not for Sale Campaign against human trafficking, Global Exchange Reality Tours is facilitating a series of delegations geared specifically to confronting the realities of the trade. Focusing on 'hot spots' within the world of human trafficking such as Cambodia, Thailand, Peru and Uganda, delegates will receive a comprehensive education in the mechanics of human trafficking, as well an understanding of its underlying causes.

Participants will meet with those who have been freed from slavery and learn what it means to rebuild one's life after having been a victim of trafficking, and will also engage directly with groups and individuals on the frontlines of the struggle to expose and ultimately end the trade in human lives. Guides for these delegations will be local experts in the field, equipped with first hand experience with the struggle to end human trafficking and with connections necessary to provide participants with a closeup view of the face of this industry. In Peru, for example, delegates will be guided by Lucy Borja, who has worked for more than two decades to rescue trafficked children from the streets and black markets of Lima.

Each delegation in human trafficking will visit vulnerable communities targeted by traffickers, learn effective strategies for undermining slave rings, and experience first hand how emancipated slaves rebuild their lives. Upon return, Not for Sale will integrate the insights of the trip directly into an understanding of the nature of human trafficking in the United States and the meaning of working globally on backyard abolitionist activities.

To learn more about these special delegations, please contact Alessandro Isola, program coordinator for Reality Tours delegations on human trafficking.

 

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Delegation Dates and Information

Thailand: Advocacy Delegation on Human Trafficking

April 03, 2009 - April 13, 2009

Uganda: Human Trafficking in Africa and Rehabilitation of Sex-Trafficked Children and Coerced Child-Soldiers

July 02, 2009 - July 12, 2009

Cambodia: Human Trafficking Immersion and Study Tour

August 12, 2009 - August 22, 2009

Peru: Advocacy Delegation on Human Trafficking

Dates To Be Announced

  

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The Importance of the Abolitionist Movement

By Mark Horner, GA State Director of Not for Sale

When I was a young boy growing up in Georgia, my backyard was the rest of the world. Now that I am older, my backyard is the rest of the world. In our fight against human trafficking, Not for Sale members have traveled the world with Global Exchange to immerse ourselves not just in trying to understand the pathways of global slavery, but to understand the rich culture we find in the countries we visit. This is vitally important to our international mission because it helps our members look beyond their own backyard at the global factors that influence our lives. The perspective gained by travelers on these trips is life-changing and unforgettable. I'll never forget standing in a decaying trash dump in Cambodia watching adults and children sift through the massive garbage piles seeking anything that could possibly help them buy their next meal. It reminded me that the only difference between these people and me was that I had been born in a different country. That moment solidified my sense of global justice and how communities like this must be given better chances to rise up and create a better life. Action starts with learning the truth firsthand about challenges in the global context and meeting them head-on so that one day, people like those in the dump can have a real backyard.

 

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Reality Tours Firsthand: Angel Daniels

Participant on Cambodia Delegation 2008

Many people ask me how I got so interested in the issues of human trafficking and exploitation. The impression that I get is that they are waiting to hear that I have some personal connection it...that  I've known someone who was a victim or was rescued from the slave-trade. It is actually a lot simpler and blander than that--I heard about it. And once I found out that human slavery and sexual exploitation is not only still in existence, but is the second most profitable illegal industry in the world, how could I not get interested? How can anyone not get angry, fired-up, and impassioned when they hear that 27 million people live in slavery today, 2 million of them children held as sex slaves, and that a lot of it is happening in our own country!?

This summer, I took action in the only way that I knew how: learning and sharing. I decided to learn about the reality of human trafficking first-hand, and I did it with the purpose of applying it to my career and understanding of psychology. In July, I traveled to Cambodia with an anti-human trafficking organization called the Not For Sale Campaign. Cambodia has one of the highest rates of human trafficking, sexual exploitation, and child sex slavery worldwide, so it was a prime place to see for myself what was happening. And I did. I saw more than I ever wanted to. I saw brothels where girls were forced to sit on bleachers with numbers pinned to their chests so that men could order them by number. I played with children whose parents had sold them at the age of 3 and 4 into sex slavery. I sang songs with a house full of adolescents who were struggling to see themselves as anything more than a used-up product. I saw the darkest side of humanity while watching American men walk into child brothels, and I saw the lightest side while spending time with the people who work tirelessly to help these children and women recover. The point is that I know what's happening out there, and I'm telling people. And now you can tell people. And we can send the message that it is not ok with us. If you can do nothing else, just educate yourself on other people's realities. The world is getting a little bit lighter already.

 

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Thank you as always for your care and support!

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