Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Batting Up for a Cause

While my knowledge of the D.C. Nationals, or any major league baseball team for that matter, is limited, I will be cheering them on as they take on the Cardinals June 15.

For this particular game, the Nationals have teamed up with the DC Human Trafficking Task Force to bring attention to modern day slavery. People who would otherwise not be inclined to learn about the issue will have information readily accessible at the game and persons dedicated to the cause can show up and make a statement that D.C. will not tolerate human trafficking anymore.

A portion of ticket sales will go to the DC Trafficking Task Force as they continue to help the countless victims of human trafficking.
I’ll be there because I care about this issue and who knows; maybe I’ll learn a thing or two about that “old ball game.”

Please see below for registration details:
To register go

* click Individual Game Tickets

* click “T” on game of choice

* enter Coupon Code “HTAN” and click continue

After the discount, tickets are $7/each.

Monday, May 02, 2011

EEOC Makes Headlines with Labor Trafficking Suit

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has brought formal charges against labor contractor Global Horizons Manpower, Inc, in what is being deemed the largest case of labor trafficking in the United States.

The EEOC is alleging that the California based contractor recruited hundreds of Thai workers from 2003 to 2007 to work on several U.S. farms under false pretenses of a better life. Upon arrival in the U.S. the workers were physically abused by their recruiters, deprived of food and water and had accrued a debt by the traffickers which would have been impossible to pay off. With their passports confiscated and under constant watch by body guards, they had little hope of escape, until one worker made their way to a nonprofit agency and told their story.

Global Horizons has been recruiting workers from around the world since 1989. Their website states that they “…understand the aspirations of countless workers who dream of having better jobs in better places, but who wish to return to their country of native origin when they've completed the job.” While the words are inspirational, the actions of Global Horizons have turned these “aspirations” for hundreds into a living nightmare.

As of now, back wages are being sought for each of the workers.

While the media attention surrounding this case is rare, labor trafficking itself is a lucrative business for traffickers in the United States. Currently, there are an estimated 10,000 victims of labor trafficking in the U.S.

What About American Girls Sold on the Streets?

Nicholas D. Kristof/The New York Times

When we hear about human trafficking in India or Cambodia, our hearts melt. The victim has sometimes been kidnapped and imprisoned, even caged, in a way that conjures our images of slavery.

But in the United States we see girls all the time who have been trafficked — and our hearts harden. The problem is that these girls aren’t locked in cages. Rather, they’re often runaways out on the street wearing short skirts or busting out of low-cut tops, and many Americans perceive them not as trafficking victims but as miscreants who have chosen their way of life. So even when they’re 14 years old, we often arrest and prosecute them — even as the trafficker goes free.

In fact, human trafficking is more similar in America and Cambodia than we would like to admit. Teenage girls on American streets may appear to be selling sex voluntarily, but they’re often utterly controlled by violent pimps who take every penny they earn.

Read the full article here.