Tag Archives: Internet

Free2Work Smartphone App Lets Shoppers Fight Slavery

by Amanda Kloer

The Not for Sale Campaign is giving shoppers the chance to fight slavery with their smart phones this holiday season. The Free2Work app give consumers a handy guide to how their favorite brands fare in preventing slavery and other serious abuses in their supply chains. Now you’re just a touchscreen away from making every purchase support freedom and fairness for workers around the world. Continue reading

40 Ideas for Action on National Human Trafficking Awareness Day: From Facebook to Legislation

by Amanda Kloer

Today is National Human Trafficking Awareness Day. But here in the End Human Trafficking Community at Change.org, every day is about human trafficking awareness. So to build off the awesome awareness-raising activities going on around the country, I’m bringing you ideas for action. Last year, I gave you 11 suggestions of things to do today to help end human trafficking. This year, we’re raising the bar to 40. Everything on this two-part list is a quick, easy action you can take to spread the word about and help fight modern-day slavery. But all these little actions add up fast, and if every one of the over 43,000 people in this online community did just one thing on this list, we would see a huge difference in the fight against human trafficking.

So here is my challenge to you. 1 day. 1 action. 40 ideas. What will you do to end slavery today?

40 Things I Can Do to End Slavery on National Human Trafficking Awareness Day: Part 1

1. Grab my cell: save the National Human Trafficking Hotline number (888-373-3888) in my phone, so I can call it if I spot potential trafficking.

2. Update my Facebook status with information about National Human Trafficking Awareness Day, even if it’s just an announcement that the day exists.

3. Tweet a link to an article about human trafficking.

4. Call my mom and tell her it’s National Human Trafficking Awareness Day, and ask her to call at least one friend and tell them the same.

5. Email all the people in my contact book a link to this blog, or another blog about human trafficking.

6. Wear an article of clothing which declares my support for abolition.

7. Put an abolition bumper sticker on my car or truck.

8. Distribute National Human Trafficking Hotline wallet cards.

9. Sign a petition on Change.org.

10. Create a petition on Change.org.

11. Comment on a blog post about human trafficking on Change.org.

12. Pass out flyers in my neighborhood, school, or community.

13. Put up posters in places where it’s legal.

14. Host a video or film screening.

15. Watch human trafficking videos online with my friends, family, or co-workers.

16. Invite people over for dessert and a discussion about human trafficking.

17. Find out if my state has an anti-trafficking law.

18. Ask my state legislators to pass an anti-trafficking law.

19. Attend a Human Trafficking Awareness Day event in my community.

20. Go online and buy a book about human trafficking for myself or as a gift.

A number of these actions were inspired by the even longer list available here. Click on “Take Action” for a list of ideas specific to who you are.

Photo credit: steveweaver

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40 Ideas for Action on National Human Trafficking Awareness Day: From Fair Trade to Fundraising

by Amanda Kloer

Today is National Human Trafficking Awareness Day. But here in the End Human Trafficking Community at Change.org, every day is about human trafficking awareness. So to build off the awesome awareness-raising activities going on around the country, I’m bringing you ideas for action. Last year, I gave you 11 suggestions of things to do today to help end human trafficking. This year, we’re raising the bar to 40. Everything on this two-part list is a quick, easy action you can take to spread the word about and help fight modern-day slavery. But all these little actions add up fast, and if every one of the over 43,000 people in this online community did just one thing on this list, we would see a huge difference in the fight against human trafficking.

So here is my challenge to you. 1 day. 1 action. 40 ideas. What will you do to end slavery today?

40 Ways to Take Action on National Human Trafficking Awareness Day: Part 2

21. Write a poem or a song about human trafficking.

22. Write to my congressman, asking what she or he is doing to address human trafficking in my area.

23. Write to my city council representative, asking what she or he is doing to address human trafficking in my city.

24. Make a video about human trafficking and put it on YouTube.

25. Find out if the products my employer buys are Fair Trade certified.

26. Ask my employer to consider buying Fair Trade certified alternatives of products.

27. Buy a cup of Fair Trade Coffee at a local coffee shop or a national chain.

28. Cook a meal for or bring food to a local anti-trafficking shelter.

29. Write a thank you note to my favorite anti-trafficking organization letting them know how much I appreciate their efforts.

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National Human Trafficking Awareness Day

President Obama signed a proclamation on January 4, 2010 declaring January as the “National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month.”  One of the major highlights this month is National Human Trafficking Awareness Day this Monday, January 11! Help Polaris Project use this day to spread awareness and create action in the fight against modern day slavery. On Monday we will send out news, information, and updates about the issue and Polaris Project’s work through all of our social networking sites. Please help us spread the word about human trafficking to your own networks!

How You Can Get Involved:

North Star Blog: Make sure to read our blog about the importance and significance of Human Trafficking Awareness Day! You can share this blog posting on Facebook, tweeting on Twitter, and emailing friends and family.

Twitter: On January 11 Polaris Project will tweet facts and information about human trafficking every hour! Follow Polaris Project and re-tweet messages to make a bigger impact!

Facebook: Join us in changing your Facebook profile picture (to the one above) in solidarity against human trafficking. Talk about it online and get the buzz going that slavery still exists and that with everyone’s help we can help bring it to an end! Make sure to check our status updates on Monday, January 11.

Change.org: Participate in the Human Trafficking Awareness Day Fundraising Project! Or, to personalize your efforts, start your own fundraising page!

Action Center: Check out the Action Center for all of the information regarding January 11 Human Trafficking Awareness Day. We will also have a petition available that you can sign and pledge your commitment to help us end modern day slavery. Everyone who signs the petition automatically will be entered in a drawing to win a free gift: Polaris Project t-shirt, bumper sticker, or button! Winners will be announced on National Freedom Day (February 1) via email.


Mark your calendars for this upcoming campaign!  As always we are truly grateful for your support.

Sincerely,

Johanna Olivas
Program Associate
Public Outreach and Communications

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Artists For freedom

Please visit ArtistsForFreedom.net to learn more

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Top 10 Predictions for Human Trafficking in 2010

by Amanda Kloer

This past year has been a big one for human trafficking — a new administration, revamped legislation, and great grassroots initiatives — to name a few positive trends. But I have a crystal ball that says 2010 is going to be even bigger. Okay, so maybe it’s not a crystal ball, but it’s made of some kind of glass and I washed it off after unearthing it from the attic. Don’t judge; have you ever tried to buy crystal on a blogger’s salary? Ball-quality concerns aside, here are my first 5 predictions for the State of Abolition in 2010. Some predictions are hopeful and others are ones I’d rather be wrong about. But ultimately, you’re the ones who will determine which ones come true. You can check out my next five predictions in Part 2.

1. Slavery in the production of consumer goods will be a hot topic. Conscious consumerism might not be as hot as metallic leggings in 2010, but it will start to creep in the the back, sides, and possibly even the front of shoppers’ minds. Fair Trade spending has been on the rise in the UK in 2009, despite the recession. I predict that Fair Trade and other more ethical and conscious buying will go up in 2010 as well, especially on easier-to-find products like coffee and chocolate.

2. We’ll see a moderate spike in sex trafficking at the Olympics and World Cup. 2010 brings with it two major international sporting events — the Winter Olympics in February in Canada and the World Cup in September in South Africa. There’s been a lot of controversy about whether or not a spike in sex trafficking and/or prostitution will result from these events. Will there be a gagillion new victims trafficked into these cities? No. But traffickers will take advantage of the large numbers of men traveling to these events.

3. Better identification of labor trafficking. The Bush Administration was good at very, very few things, but bringing greater visibility to the issue of trafficking into commercial sex was one of them. Addressing labor trafficking, not so much. 2010 will be the year that labor trafficking begins to be recognized as the significant global issue it is. After all, more people come into contact with slavery in factories through the purchase of consumer goods than slavery in prostitution.

4. The bloom of public-private partnerships. The progressive community is finally starting to repeat the public-private partnership mantra: Not all corporations are evil. And in fact, some are pretty great. More and more, anti-trafficking organizations are teaming up with corporations and other for-profit entities to fight slavery together. Profit-based business models are also increasingly used to generate income and skills for trafficking rehabilitation programs. I predict that 2010 will be the year these partnerships really come into their own.

5. A move away from general “awareness”. Human trafficking awareness campaigns have been going on for about a decade now, and I think it’s safe to say, we’re all aware. It’s been a couple years since I met someone who had never even heard of human trafficking. But while people might know there’s a thing called “human trafficking” out there, they still don’t know much about it. Perhaps this is more of a wish than a prediction, but let’s move away from general “awareness.” Get specific. Get active. Give us the who, what, when, where, and why. Break human trafficking apart. We’re in the specifics portion of public education now.

Photo credit: benleto

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December 3rd, 2009. Our Best Day Yet for ALENOW.org

On December 3rd, 2009 ALENOW.org got 321 hits in one 24 hour period. At least 321 people became aware and learned more about the evil crimes of Human Trafficking and Genocide. I pray they not only became aware but that they became inspired and maybe even angry and now they are members of the fight and activists for the cause. I am looking forward to a day in the near future we will blow away the number 321. (MGJ)

10 Things Seniors Can Do to End Slavery

by Amanda Kloer 

image24Human trafficking may sometimes seem like the issue dejour for students and young people, but retired people and seniors have a tremendous capacity for contributing to the abolitionist cause. Activism can help older adults stay engaged in their communities both physically and mentally and leader happier, healthier lives. Here are 10 ways for seniors to get involved in the fight to end slavery.

1. Share Your Skills: Anti-trafficking organizations can benefit from a host of skills that older people may have developed. Whether you were an accountant for 30 years or an opera singer, chances are your skill set is valuable to those organizations fighting human trafficking. Get in touch with your local anti-trafficking organization, or even a national one, and find out how your skills can be put to work

2. Inspire Your Community: Reach out to your peers and educate them about human trafficking. Invite friends or family over for a movie night about human trafficking or bring a speaker to your place of worship or community center. By getting other people you know talking, you can help inspire even greater activism.

3. Volunteer: If you’re retired an looking for a worthy project, why not volunteer at an anti-trafficking organization? I used to work at one that had a huge number of retired people on call to do emergency fund raising. They were fantastic fund raisers and had a great time doing it.

4. Mentor a Young Activist: Do you know someone, perhaps a grandchild or other young person, teetering on the brink of activism? Be the one who tips them over the edge and helps them cut their activist teeth. You have so much knowledge and experience to share.

5. Change Your Consumption Habits: I don’t care how long you’ve been buying a certain product, it’s never too late to change. Take a good, hard look at what you buy and where it comes from, and try to make better decisions about what products to support. After all, every time you make a purchase, you vote for that product. And no one wants to vote for slavery.

6. Record History: Human trafficking may be a new movement, but it’s not a new phenomenon. Have you had experiences with what we now call human trafficking before it was known as that? Record those experiences, so we can learn from the past and not repeat its mistakes.

7. Support the Next Generation of Women: Females disproportionately become victims of human trafficking because in many countries (including the U.S.) they lack the same educational and economic opportunities given to men.  There are a number of international microeconomic development programs which give opportunities to girls and women, as well as U.S. organizations like the Girl Scouts which can help low-income girls afford college.

8. Raise Funds: Money still makes the world go round, and human trafficking victims need it now more than ever. Work with your community to host a fundraiser using your skills and interests and donate the money to a local anti-trafficking organization.

9. Get Active: If you’re in good enough health, get out and get active by joining a community walk against human trafficking or other such event. If you’re not able to walk, consider working at a water station or check-in table.

10. Change the Laws: Retired people are a powerful voting bloc. Find out if the local anti-trafficking laws in your area need some help and ask local politicans to change them. Politicans may listen to you more than other groups, and actually do something.

Photo credit: aflcio2008

Genocide + The Internet: The Good, The Bad, The Questionable

by Martha Heinemann Bixby

4020009903_1829503e6aThe internet.  One of the best things about it is that anyone with a connection and a computer can use it to spread ideas, learn and connect with other people.  One of the scariest things?  Anyone with a connection and a computer can use it to spread ideas, learn and connect with other people.

Michelle recently highlighted some of the innovative ways that people are harnassing the internet to map conflict to better study and prevent it.  (That’s the good).

On the other end of the spectrum, the “Balloon Boy” national fascination late last week took a particularly odd and nasty turn when it revealed that instead of floating away with his father’s experiment, the boy had instead been hiding in the attic.  Thousands upon thousands of Twitter users repeated a short “joke” turning the other recent national fascination, Kanye West’s interruption of Taylor Swift, into variations on:

“Yo, Balloon Boy. I’m really happy for you and Imma let you finish, but Anne Frank had the best hiding place of ALL TIME!”

That one person wrote this — let alone that so many people decided that something like this was worth repeating — is clearly the bad.

And the questionable?  Last week the Polish authority that manages Auschwitz created a Facebook page for the memorial. A spokesman said:

“If our mission is to educate the younger generation to be responsible in the contemporary world, what better tool can we use to reach them than the tools they use themselves?”

And the page itself isn’t necessarily the problem.  The motivations behind it clearly make sense, and the dialogue on the page (which is closely monitored) is mostly respectful memories of visiting the memorial and exhortations to “never forget”.

Perhaps it’s the Facebook terminology that’s most troubling – it’s hard to want to become a “fan” of Auschwitz.  And the general setting of Facebook – with its “what Mad Men character are you?” quizzes and birthday party invites – might not be the most appropriate for such a complicated and weighty topic, as Sinead Gleeson points out in the Irish Times.

What makes me most nervous, though, is that although the page is supposedly closely monitored and the comments to date are civil, the page is open to anyone on Facebook.  And Facebook is open to anyone on the internet.  And the internet is open to anyone with a computer and a connection.  Which isn’t a problem until people stop thinking and start inanely retweeting jokes about Anne Frank.

Homeland security details cyber-security push ICE C3

Here is a story about a Unit at ICE deep in the fight against Human Trafficking, Sexual Exploitation and Child Sexual Predators.

icebadgeWASHINGTOB, DC  Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano got a firsthand look Tuesday at how her agency, which defends the nation’s physical borders, also guards a volatile virtual frontier: cyberspace. Napolitano visited the Cyber Crimes Center operated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in a discreet office building in suburban Virginia. Known as C3, the 12-year-old unit has a staff of 35 who use computer expertise to assist investigations of complex, international crimes, especially those that victimize children. “Cyber can be awfully abstract, but the internet has become the new medium by which crimes are committed: child pornography, sex tourism, exploitation,” Napolitano said. The visit was part of Napolitano’s effort to promote her department’s designation of October as Cybersecurity Awareness Month. Homeland Security has made a concerted effort to ramp up resources and expertise in response to a surge in Internet crime. The department has recruited experts from the private sector and announced the hiring of 1,000 cyber-workers. Nonetheless, turnover has remained a problem. Some officials have returned to the private sector amid frustration with bureaucratic infighting among DHS and other law enforcement agencies over leadership of cyber-security efforts. On Tuesday, officials gave a stark demonstration of the supply side of the problem: rampant predatory activity on the Internet. Special Investigator Mike Jedrey of the Virginia State Police led the demonstration in a large room usually used for training. Posing as a 14-year-old girl in an on-line chat site, Jedrey was engaged in a real-time conversation with a suspect who seemed dangerously close to breaking the law. Unknown to the suspect, some of the top law enforcement officials in the nation were watching as he made inappropriate, sexually suggestive comments. The chat was projected on a large overhead screen. “This guy has a problem,” Jedrey told the visitors. “He knows I’m 14, but he’s trying to convince me of sexual things.” Although officials use undercover work to gather evidence against on-line predators, they also can intervene if they feel the situation requires urgent action in the United States or in foreign countries such as the United Kingdom. “If a child is in danger, we have the ability to call the UK and say we have something hot here,” said Claude Davenport, who works in a section that combats child exploitation. “We have been able to rescue a child in a day.” In fact, ICE deploys special teams overseas to track down Americans who are identified as sex tourists who prey on minors in nations including Cambodia and the Philippines, officials said. The flip side of globalized high-tech crime is that investigators also use technology to their advantage, said John Morton, an assistant secretary in charge of ICE. “The beauty of this center is that it is not limited by physical boundaries,” he said. The center also targets crimes including money laundering, arms trafficking and fraud. Its forensics laboratory dispatches experts around the country to testify in cases. In a visit to the lab, Napolitano saw piece of heavy artillery: a decryption silo. Used to break passwords and overcome encrypted defenses used by on-line criminals, the silo consists of state-of-the-art servers connected to a surprising ingredient: Play Station 3s. It turns out that the popular computer games have an impressive capacity for mathematical calculations and generating numbers, which makes them cost-efficient password-breakers. “So if Congress asks why we’re buying Play Stations…” Napolitano joked. “We had to convince them it wasn’t to play games,” responded Christopher Landi, the chief of the center’s forensics section.