The issue of modern-day slavery in The CNN Freedom Project may spur many readers and viewers to ask: How can I help?
CNN's mission is to create awareness on the topic of modern-day slavery and provide people with information about organizations dedicated to ending it. FULL POST
A new California state law requires manufacturers and retailers in the state to disclose their efforts at making sure their supply chains are free of slavery. It goes into effect in 2012. (Watch Barbara Starr's report)
As part of the process of getting the law passed, one modern-day slavery victim, Flor Molina, testified before California's legislature last year about her experience of being enslaved. Here is her story in her own words from the edited testimony:
In the winter of 2001, I became a victim of slavery in the garment industry in Los Angeles. I was an easy target for my trafficker: I was a desperate mother who had just lost my baby because I didn't have the money to take her to the hospital when she got sick.
After my baby died, I got so depressed and worried that what happened to my baby could happen to my other three children. I was taking sewing classes in hopes of starting my own business and earn enough money to take care of my children.
My sewing teacher was approached by a trafficker because she knew a lot of women who knew how to sew and would be desperate to come to the United States to make money. There were no opportunities in my town, so when my sewing teacher told me about the opportunity to go to the U.S., I was definitely interested.
I had to leave my mom and my children behind. I was told that when I got to the U.S. I will have a job so I could send money home, food and a place to stay. When I arrived in Los Angeles, I quickly realized it had all been a lie. FULL POST
It’s easy to say that human trafficking is a violation against basic human rights and that it should be abolished. And we often assume that modern-day slavery only takes place in countries far away, that it doesn’t affect us, and that we in no way contribute to the perpetuation of this terrible crime.
Unfortunately, nothing is as clear cut as that. According to UN.GIFT, 161 countries worldwide are reported to be affected by human trafficking. These countries are found on every continent and represent every type of economy.
On October 18th, 2010, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed Senate Bill 657, titled “California Transparency in Supply Chains Act of 2010.”
By January 2012, major manufacturers and retailers within the state of California must fully disclose the efforts made to ensure their products have not been tainted by slavery or forced labor at any point within the supply chain. FULL POST