Posts Tagged ‘Human Trafficking’

Running for His Country in the Olympics

Thursday, July 26th, 2012

At 8 years old, Guor Marial escaped from a labor camp and ran for his life. Twenty years later, he will run for his country.

After escaping enslavement by armed captors twice as a child, Guor moved to the United States and found a love of running. Now, less than a month after his homeland, South Sudan, celebrated the first anniversary of its independence, they will have another reason to cheer. Guor will be in London competing in the marathon at the 2012 Olympics.

Guor won’t be running under the South Sudan flag because the world’s newest nation doesn’t have an official international sports organization, but he will still be representing his country.

“The South Sudan has finally got a spot in the world community,” Guor said. “Even though I will not carry their flag in this Olympic Games, the country itself is there. The dream has come true. The hope of South Sudan is alive.”

Read the rest of Guor’s story in the Los Angeles Times.

Read more about CRS’ human trafficking work and the continued work in South Sudan.

What Do You Know About Slavery?

Wednesday, January 11th, 2012

We don’t hear much about slavery on the news. We don’t see slaves being bought and sold on the street. Yet, slavery still exists in 161 countries around the world including the United States.

January 11 is National Human Trafficking Awareness Day. See how much you know about slavery and human trafficking by taking our short quiz. Answers are posted below.

1) How many people are currently trafficked worldwide?

A) 1 million
B) 5 million
C) 8 million
D) 12 million
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Help Close a $32 Billion Industry

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

It’s 2012. How is slavery still possible? It’s not on the news and we don’t see it in our neighborhoods.

Somehow, this $32 billion industry exists in 161 countries around the world, including the United States. Innocents are routinely trafficked into the United States, and some live in a community near you.

Twelve million people are coerced, trafficked, and trapped. It’s a massive industry. What can you do? Realistically, what can one person do?

Ask one former slave.

You can make a difference.

January 11 is National Human Trafficking Awareness Day.  Join Catholic Relief Services in the fight against slavery and human trafficking.

Meet Former Slaves

Monday, January 9th, 2012
Brazil

Ana Lucia Tesoureira, a former slave in Brazil, is now a successful homeowner at the age of 23. Photo Robyn Fieser/CRS

Many among the 42 families in the Nova Conquista, or New Conquest, settlement share horror stories of toiling away on fields in Brazil’s Amazon for little or no pay. Enslavement often began with a recruiter paid to lure workers to remote ranches with the promise of a salary.

Sleeping under tarps and in stables, drinking the same dirty water given to animals, and far from their families and out of reach of official inspectors, the people of Nova Conquista found themselves indebted for their food, travel, equipment and accommodations, which is often nothing more than a shack with no electricity or running water.

But it’s no longer the experience of slavery that ties the people of Nova Conquista together. It’s the 5-year fight to demand that the Brazilian government compensate them for their lost time. Under Brazilian law, they are entitled to back pay, but the bureaucratic process often drags on and becomes such a financial drain that many workers give up. Not the families of Nova Conquista.

With the help of Catholic Relief Services’ partner Pastoral Land Commission, the Nova Conquista group organized, demanded and received 2,670 acres of land and material to build more than 30 houses in their hometown of Monsenhor Gil in northeastern Brazil.

January 11 is National Human Trafficking Awareness Day.  Join Catholic Relief Services in the fight against slavery and human trafficking, and meet the people who went from slave to successful homeowner.

Help End Slavery and Human Trafficking

Monday, November 7th, 2011
Human Trafficking Awareness Day

As you read this, more than 12 million people—many hidden in plain sight—are enslaved around the world. And even more repulsive: 1 million of these slaves are children.

Human trafficking exists in 161 countries including the United States, and on average, only 1 person is convicted for every 800 trafficking cases worldwide in this $32 billion industry.

You can make a difference.

Join CRS in the fight against slavery and human trafficking.  You can help set them free.

Bride Kidnapping in Kyrgyzstan

Thursday, June 30th, 2011

A top human rights advocate hopes that new efforts will end Kyrgyzstan’s widespread and violent practice of “ala-kachuu” or bride kidnapping.

Through education initiatives and better law enforcement, “I believe the practice can be significantly reduced very quickly,” Russell Kleinbach, a professor emeritus in sociology from Philadelphia University, told CNA.

Around one-third of Kyrgyz women today, some as young as 13 years old, are abducted and forced into marriage.

Read more about Kyrgyzstan’s bride kidnapping problem from Catholic News Agency. Read about the stories Kathleen Merkel of CRS heard while traveling to the region.

Human Trafficking in India: Rescued from Slavery

Wednesday, May 18th, 2011

By Steve Cunliffe

“Here you work in the hot sun making barely enough money to feed your family, but if you come with me to Hyderabad you could be a babysitter in a big fancy house and make lots of money. You could buy nice new clothes and enjoy a good life in the city.”

It was an alluring proposition for Chinni*, an 18-year-old girl in southeast India who worked in dusty fields from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. for less than a dollar a day. The friendly lady making her the offer had visited the village numerous times over the years and taken many girls to the city, promising them good jobs and a chance to earn a decent wage. None of them ever returned, so the villagers simply presumed they had all found great jobs in the city and turned their backs on their poverty-stricken lives.

Chinni was the latest victim, coaxed into leaving the village and heading to Hyderabad in search of a dream.
Once Chinni was in the big city, the woman left her in a house where girls were traded and sold. There, a kind-sounding man approached her. “Young sister, why did you come to this bad place? Don’t worry, I’m going to take you away from this horrible mess. You deserve much better than this.”
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Thomas Awiapo on Modern Day Slave Trade

Friday, July 31st, 2009

A couple of days ago, I had another opportunity to visit the Cape Coast Slave Castle – the warehouse where millions of Africans were stored awaiting shipment to the Americas and Europe.

As I walked through every corner of the slave dungeons and listened to the tour guide, in my own mind at that moment.  I was thinking about human trafficking – the slave trade of our time.
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Freeing Slaves Doesn’t End Slavery

Tuesday, November 4th, 2008

Brother Xavier Passat, the National Coordinator of the labor slavery program of Pastoral Land Commission of the Brazilian Episcopal Conference, introduced the topic of labor slavery in Brazil.

The labor slave population he works with is comprised of mostly young men (ages 18-35) who are trafficked to remote northern areas of Brazil. The regions that have seen the highest rates of deforestation in the Amazon also have some of the highest rates of human trafficking and labor exploitation.

Conditions in these areas are terrible (poor water, no medical care, little food) and workers are not given protective gear (gloves, sturdy shoes).

As he painted this dire picture one statement really stood out: “Freeing slaves doesn’t eradicate slavery.” He went on to describe how cycles of human exploitation will continue until root causes are addressed – things such as lack of educational opportunities, poverty, and lax environmental regulation enforcement.

CRS has funded programs to assist in the identification of labor trafficking victims in Brazil as well as to return them to their home communities.

– Jennifer Hardy, CRS communications coordinator