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Seven Things You Can Do to Fight Childhood Slavery

In the March 2012 issue of Redbook magazine, writer Alison Storm lists seven things you can do to ‘Save a Child From Slavery.’

Back in November after reading the horrifying book “Half the Sky” by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn I committed to help the plight of girls and women in the developing world.

"Half the Sky" brilliantly drives home the point that in too much of the world girls and women are abused, trafficked, mutilated, enslaved, and even murdered for largely cultural reasons. Every bit of this is immoral and wrong. It must not be allowed to continue and none of us can sit idly by while it happens.

Here then is Alison Storm’s list:
  1. Face the Facts.’ By this she means that slavery and forced labor is more prevalent now than at any time in human history. Perhaps 5.7 million children worldwide are forced to work in factories, fields and brothels. The charity Love146 fights child sex slavery and exploitation specifically.
  2. Shop for Fair Trade Jewelery and Handbags at store.madebysurvivors.com.' The cause offers economic opportunity to poor Indian girls and women who might otherwise be drawn into the brothels.
  3. Find Out How Many Slaves Work for You by Answering 11 Questions at Slaveryfootprint.org.' I’ve profiled the site/app in the past and was dismayed that my number was 65, something I’m working on.
  4. Educate a Freed Child Slave in East India for One Year.’ For about $160 a year Mercy 29 can educate a child freed from slave labor. And education, especially of girls, is the strongest card to play in the fight against poverty and enslavement. Mercy 29 also works in Africa.
  5. Scan the Barcodes of Your Favorite Products Using the Free2Work Smartphone App to Find Out Which Companies Are Working to Eliminate Forced Labor From Their Supply Chains.’ The app, which is still forthcoming, comes from the nonprofit called Not for Sale and grades some 300 brands.
  6. Give Whatever You Can to Save the Children.’ I second that sentiment.
  7. Report a Potential Trafficking Situation.’ Resources include the National Human Trafficking Resource Center (888-373-7888) or online at polarisproject.org/report-a-tip. Human trafficking, especially of women and children, is a shame anywhere and dark stain on any society that tolerates it. But it simply cannot be countenanced anywhere in the developed world where the laws are clear and enforcement has real teeth. If you see it, report it.

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