Stepping it up

Although I am in fact an official NBC intern this summer, I also am employed at Cabrini College as a paid student intern. I work in the office of Instituional Advancement meddling in work related to alumni affairs and event planning. I spend half of my week at Cabrini, the other half at NBC. This influences me to compare NBC to yet another job experience.

In IA at Cabrini I belong to the non-profit world where donations both to and from current students as well as alumni is a constant topic of conversation. At NBC in the for-profit world numbers and ratings are the usual buzz of conversation.

As I try to clarify in my own head the real difference between for profit and non profit, I come to this simple conclusion: a for profit is intended to benefit its owners, whereas a non profit is intended to further a purpose. When it’s phrased like this, it makes you want to be a part of the latter industry. However, there are pros and cons to everything and I may not be spot on with my definitions. I still have a lot of learning to do. I will say that the contrast of my work week is allowing me to see both sides of the fence.

This week at NBC nothing out of the ordinary happen. On a typical morning at NBC I help with aduience coordination prior to the guests arrival. Then once the show begins taping, I act somewhat of a stage crew person. After the show it’s back to the office to plan tomorrow’s show. I will say that this internship sometimes feels more of a shadowing than a job. We have however been encouraged to generate ideas and contribute whenever possible. In fact, Lu An Chan has even suggested she would take one of us out to lunch if we “presented ourselves the opportunity.”

My former experience with finding ideas for stories was a very successful one. I always had ideas for Loquitur that translated to Loqation. However, my ideas are paralell to my interests and my audience. My interests are often social justice news and campus news while my aduience for those two media was the Cabrini College community. Now that my target audience has changed and the viewers of the !10 show aren’t dying to read about impoverished African nations, I’ve drawn a blank!

This whole experience feels like I’ve switched jobs. I feel how newly hired people must feel when they feel like an expert in one field, and then starting over at a new job in a new territory; just lost. I’ve realized that if I want to find my way through this internship, I need to do a little homework.

Since it’s summer and I’m guilty of having a drifting mindset, I need to put in some extra effort  extra time outside of my internship to really show that my ideas are worthy of condisderation to be a segment on the show. By doing some homework and contributing more, I’m hoping to enjoy the NBC experience a little more.

I will admit that it has taken me a longer time to get used to things at NBC than previous jobs, but I’m beginning to admit to myself that I’m resisting my own growth in this internship. I’ve been presented this great opportunity and it’s time I step it up. It may not be what I want to do in the future, but I plan on sucking out every bit of life’s little lessons in every experience.

 

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New experiences are measured with old…

I am finally reflecting on what has been 2 months now at my internship the 10! Show at NBC in Philly.

A little rewind on what has led me to NBC in the first place…

Upon enrolling at Cabrini my interests included TV, movies, and a little theater. I felt I wasn’t great at any particular academic subject but I never minded that until I had to pick a major in college. I weighed everything I felt I was good at, or excelled in. I performed the lead role in Footloose in high school and was heavily involved in school clubs and loved talking. I was evening the morning and afternoon announcement girl in high school. For whatever reason, all of these little quirks made me think I’d be a good communication major. I like to communicate, why not? I had no idea what a communication major was. What I did know was that news anchors on TV were likely journalism or communication majors, and so I thought a TV News Anchor would be a perfect career choice! Then reality set in..

First year at Cabrini I was involved simply in radio and it was just enough for me to be happy with the major I chose. Sophomore year I was active in the student-run news program as an anchor, finally my dream had come true! This experience taught me that my reasoning of why I wanted to be a news anchor was shallow. I wanted to have my hair and make-up done on a daily basis and have people ask me for my autograph. Then, I started appreciating everything else that was involved in a news show. I admired the production team more because of the time they put in before the show, during the show, and the endless hours after the show just to produce a 10 minutes segment. Among all of the admiration, I felt this just wasn’t what I was interested in anymore.

Then, I discovered journalism. What a pleasant discovery. For once I thought, I subject I like and I think I’m good at! In the midst of me discovering my place within the communication field, I discovered the meaning of social justice. I was actually eager to attend classes that taught me about places I never heard of with problems I couldn’t even imagine and real people living in these unimaginable places with these problems. What I enjoyed even more was writing about all of it.

Once I discovered that I could use these communication skills to educate others, share personal stories, and even advocate for change, I was hooked. Last semester I had an amazing experience working for Catholic Relief Services in which I worked alongside people who are dedicated to making this world a better place. I learned that it is possible to have fulfillment and purpose in your work week. I used my skills to produce an electronic newsletter that would educate people about the work CRS does in an effort to create peace and solidarity in the lives of those less fortunate. I don’t see how anyone could hate coming to work knowing you’re a part of something as great as that.

Fast forward to this summer and I am in a very different environment, with very different people, who have very different objectives and goals. Alas, I am working for television-a dream of mine. Except, it’s a lot different than what I thought it would be.

My first day proved to be exciting, and by exciting I mean terrifying. Bill Henley to my right, Lu Ann Cahn to my left, Terry Ruggles behind me in the checkout line in the cafeteria…very intimidating. After being introduced to the hosts I was able to relax as I learned they were very accommodating and seemed like they valued having the interns a part of the production team.

I learned my tasks would include audience coordination which involves reaching out to our viewers via phone and email to encourage them to be a part of our studio audience, thinking of marketing strategies that would bring in large groups of people like women’s book clubs, YMCA campers, etc., and organizing the guests the day of show.

In addition to audience coordination, I contribute to the website by writing captions for all of the segments. (I get to write something!)

In between the hectic morning of setting up, shooting, and wrapping up the show and the slower afternoon of getting things ready for tomorrow’s show, the tasks are few and far between. What I have learned from this internship is that sometimes, you have to make your own work. This internship is not one where people will hold your hand through everything. If I want a job to do, I need to generate my own idea of what needs to be accomplished.

This is a valuable thing in regards to taking initiative and also independence in the work place.

On the downside of this, it is challenging to execute your own idea when there are 5 other eager interns wanting to share their idea along with the staff of people who are paid to share ideas. I must admit, this is very intimidating. I typically am very motivated and driven to see my goals completed. For the first time, I feel very out of my element and unsure of myself. This is the kind of workplace where if you don’t do something correctly, you’ll know about it.

The experience has gotten better and I have had opportunity to share a couple of ideas with the producers. In this very moment though, I feel the biggest thing I’m learning from this experience is that TV isn’t as glamorous as you see in the movies, and the only thing that is actually like the movies, is that you will be asked at least once to fetch someone’s coffee.

Stay tuned; I am still positive about a richer experience…

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When you think prostitute, do you think criminal?

When you think prostitute, do you think criminal? I did.

It wasn’t until I started researching human trafficking, especially sexual exploitation, that I realized it is actually the prostitute that is the victim in the crime of paid sex.

Prostitution is often defined in the dictionary as “a woman who engages in sexual intercourse for money;whore; harlot.”

In the sub-definitions it does mention that prostitution can also be defined as “a man who engages in sexual acts for money.”

I think it is crazy that in American culture, we focus on the first definition. I was raised to believe all prostituion was something all women voluntarily engaged in because it was easier than finding a “decent” job. Wow, how wrong were my parents.

What I tell mom and dad today is that there are thousands of women, in the U.S. believe it or not, that are blindly entered into the sex slave trade. As I have mentioned in previous blogs, they are lured in by deceitful men who promise them jobs in glamourous industries such as modeling or entertainment. Unfortunately, they find themselves in a situation where all of their freedoms are stolen. They are forced to be sexually involved with strangers up to 8 times in one day. They are branded with their pimps name on their neck, forever marking their enslavement.

We need to make sure that we are not locking up prostitutes without investigating their surroundings. Often times, as mentioned in the story below, prostitutes are those put behind bars, not the pimps and not the traffickers. How crazy is it that in a country based off of its freedoms we are imprisoning victims of slavery!

This to me is a crazy surreal issue that needs to come to an end. The only way this will happen is if we all educate ourselves and advocate for these women, we can make sure we as a leading country can set the example. I find it my responsibility as an American, a citizen of a leading country, that we can say this cannot happen here and it should not happen anywhere!

My favorite phrase of advocacy is that we need to be the voice of the voiceless. These women are silenced. Their stories too often are not told. We as the powerful and the educated need to make sure their stories are told.

Read the following story on trafficking and sexual exploitation in America.

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Human trafficking a worldwide problem

BYU conference explores widespread human trafficking

Published: Friday, Oct. 29, 2010 11:17 p.m. MDT

By Sara Israelsen-Hartley, Deseret News

PROVO — The flowing-script labels on their necks, backs or legs are hard to miss.

“King Tae.” “Property of Laylow.” “Daddy’s Lil (expletive).”

“Sometimes you hear that trafficking is called modern-day slavery,” said University of Rhode Island professor Donna M. Hughes during a recent BYU conference on human trafficking. “I could give an hour-long lecture on how (they are) similar, but I just wanted to give you a few graphic examples.”

And with that, Hughes showed a picture of a 16-year-old girl getting her pimp’s name tattooed on her arm just three weeks after she met him.

Hughes has interviewed hundreds of women across the globe who have become property. They are modern-day slaves to fulfill the sexual demands of paying clients as arranged by their pimps or owners.

Yet, unlike historical slavery, many of today’s slaves are not forced or stolen away. Instead, they’re lured by the promise of jobs and financial security for their families.

“Someone feeds upon their economic and social vulnerabilities and lures them in,” said Kevin Bales, president of Free the Slaves and author of “Disposable People: New Slavery in the Global Economy.”

“All over the world, they’ve told the same story,” he said during the conference, sponsored by the BYU School of Social Work. “‘I was in my village, in my fields, I was downtown on the street and someone pulled up in a truck and said, ‘Hey, I’ve got jobs. Who wants a job?’ They say, ‘I looked at that person and he looked sketchy, but my children were hungry, and we needed medicine for my wife who was sick.'”

Then hundreds or thousands of miles later when they’re put to work in dangerous, demeaning tasks, with a violent overseer and late or no paychecks, the people realize they’re in trouble. But by then, it’s too late, Bales said.

They’re either physically restrained or immobilized by a mound of debt they’ve been forced to incur at the hands of their “employers.”

And it’s happening in remote villages, affluent cities and everywhere in between.

While it’s nearly impossible to generate exact numbers of trafficking victims, UNICEF estimates that 1.2 million children are trafficked every year, said Frank Schmiedel, from the European Union, Delegation of the European Commission to the U.S.A.

The United Nation’s International Labour Organization also estimates that at any given moment, a minimum of 270,000 victims are being exploited as a result of trafficking in Europe and North America, he said.

“People just don’t think it’s possible in the U.S.,” said Jessica Woodbury, a first-year masters student in social work at BYU. “Especially (in) Utah, we’re more trusting, more tight-knit. People don’t think there’s a need to learn about it because it may not apply here.”

Yet, a federal jury recently indicted officials of the company Global Horizons, for “engaging in a conspiracy to commit forced labor and documented servitude,” against nearly 400 Thai citizens who were brought to the United States between 2004 and 2005, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. Several of those Thai workers ended up in deplorable conditions in Utah.

But before the trafficking of women will stop, prostitution must be criminalized, Hughes explained.

Some countries regulate or legalize prostitution and benefit from the taxes on brothels and the sex trade. Others countries decriminalize it and eliminate all related laws. When governments try to prohibit it, they often punish the women who have been repeatedly victimized, she said.

Hughes explained that in a study from Chicago, nearly 89 percent of the individuals arrested in a sting were prostitutes, while only 10 percent were male solicitors and fewer than 1 percent were pimps, the men who organize and traffic the women.

Victims of sex trafficking must be empowered and protected, rather than punished and criminalized, she said.

While sex trafficking may seem the most obvious type, domestic trafficking can often be just as damaging, said Jacque Baumer, a student at UVU and intern with Utah Health and Human Rights Project, a Utah-based advocacy group that helps victims of trafficking.

Maids or nannies are often forced to work terribly long hours, abused by family members and kept in isolation, she said. They almost always suffer sexual abuse as well.

“Every domestic-trafficking case has been the next-door neighbor to somebody,” Baumer said. “It’s not a popular topic and it’s a hard issue to accept, because people feel like (they) can’t change anything so they don’t want to hear about it.”

First, people can educate themselves about modern-day slavery, and then educate others, she said. Second, support with time or money the various groups that are working to combat trafficking.

And just as people consider their carbon footprint, they should also assess their “slavery footprint,” said Christine Chan-Downer, who works for the U.S. Department of State’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons.

“Does my Halloween chocolate candy come from children enslaved on cocoa farms?” she asked. “I have no doubt that as Americans learn about labor slavery, they’ll want assurances that products in our market aren’t slave-tainted.”

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Dying from diareeah, a desperate epidemic

Can you imagine dying of thirst? Actually not being able to consume clean drinking water? How about living in a community where there is a fatal epidemic of diareeah?

After reading this NYTimes article on how there is a paluge of Cholera really paints a picture of how serious the poverty is. It would be a huge deal if someone were to die in the U.S. because a simple case of diareeah.

I often wonder how it is at all possible to for the world to pay attention to crises like this. Perhaps it is impossible for everyone to notice but it’s situations such at this that allows me to connect with the suffering. Thinking of simple ilnesses we suffer from like a bacterial infection and how easy we have it to schedule an appointment with a doctor, visit the emergency room or at least buy over-the-counter medience.

These kinds of happenings should not be ignored. No one is asking for a big donation, but rather for people to become knowledgable about what is happening outside of our borders. In Haiti especially, just a 2-hour plane ride from Miami.

Please read the following NYTimes post and imagine the severity of their crisis. The drama of the earthquake may have fizzled in the media, but it is still happening and has made very little progress. Keep these people in your prayers and in your thoughts.

Next time you’re “thirsty” be thankful for your purified water.

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Amid Cholera Outbreak in Haiti, Fear and Michael Appleton for The New York Times

By DEBORAH SONTAG
Published: October 25, 2010
ST.-MARC, Haiti — Inside the courtyard of St. Nicholas Hospital, beyond the gate with the handwritten sign stating “Diarrhea Emergency Only,” lies a grim but unusually orderly scene at the epicenter of this country’s unexpected cholera epidemic.
Scores of children and adults are doubled over or stretched out on every available surface, racked by convulsive stomach disorder or limp with dehydration. Buckets sit by their sides, intravenous solutions drip into their arms. Life hangs in the balance, yet there is a sober, almost eerie calm.

That is why Martila Joseph stood out. On Monday, tears cascaded down her cheeks as she rocked her pink-smocked daughter, who lay all too still in her arms. “I don’t know if my kid will survive,” she wailed while another patient’s wife shushed her.

“You made it to the hospital,” the patient’s wife said. “That means you have saved her.”

Indeed, treatment is rescuing more than 90 percent of those who get to a clinic, and that is why health officials concentrated Monday on bolstering local hospitals and erecting cholera centers throughout the Artibonite region. This is, for the moment, the area of high infection where the bacteria must be aggressively attacked before it spreads.

“It’s virulent, and it can travel,” said Nigel Fisher, humanitarian coordinator for the United Nations, standing outside a tented cholera ward at the community hospital in L’Estère. “But at least here, we have been able, case by case, to somewhat stabilize the situation.”

International health officials stressed that the pattern of the outbreak was almost impossible to predict. But Monday was a relatively good day: only six cholera deaths were registered in a 24-hour period. More than 200 died of the acute bacterial infection in the epidemic’s first few days. The known death toll stands at 259, with more than 3,000 cases, all but 450 or so in the Artibonite area.

Despite its central role in this epidemic, despite the new banner at the town’s entrance that says “Wash your hands!” St.-Marc is not a ghost town, with residents shuttered in their homes.

Girls in school uniforms, their hair in bows, skip through the streets, and vendors hawk their wares as boisterously as always. At the entrance to St. Nicholas Hospital, an anti-cholera message, set to a festive compas beat — “There’s no life without health and no health without hygiene” — blares discordantly from a loudspeaker.

A gutter with fetid standing water greets visitors to the hospital, who now step on a chlorine-soaked foam pad and rinse their hands to enter. About 600 patients with intense diarrhea and vomiting are being seen at St. Nicholas daily, with Doctors Without Borders Spain helping to manage the caseload at the hospital, jointly run by the Haitian government and Partners in Health, based in Massachusetts.

In every corner of the courtyard and surrounding wards, the patients lie on benches, cots and floors as orderlies squirt chlorinated solutions around their patch of hospital turf. Relatives — one per patient — swat away flies, wipe brows and coax pouches of rehydrating solution into gaping mouths.

Gerda Pierre, fingering a necklace of costume pearls, spoke without affect as she described how her son, Gasner, 4, started retching just after midnight. Gasner sat on a hardwood bench with a wet towel over his head. He smiled wanly.

“Many people in our neighborhood have died of the diarrhea and vomiting,” Ms. Pierre said, glancing briefly to the side as a man stumbled into the courtyard and collapsed. “But I’m not worried. I sped him here as fast as I could.”

Medical professionals and supplies are arriving from around the world to support the Haitian government, still reeling from the January earthquake. About 20 rocky miles north of St.- Marc, a Cuban medical brigade, long stationed at the community hospital in L’Estère, has been expanded to 28 doctors and nurses, and Bolivian troops are building a 100-bed cholera clinic next door.

“Here is an example of a good operation,” said Mr. Fisher of the United Nations. “They’ve seen 400 patients, and there have been 10 deaths.”

Imogen Wall, a spokeswoman accompanying him, said she was rattled to be in a zone relatively untouched by the Jan. 12 earthquake and yet witness suffering “completely unconnected to that disaster. “Can’t this country get a break?” Ms. Wall said.

On a bare metal gurney under a tent, Herese Vanel, 63, lay primly with her purse on her chest and an intravenous line in her bony arm. Her niece, Rosemene Vanel, said her aunt had probably been infected by drinking from the Artibonite River, which is the water supply for their community and is now believed to be contaminated by cholera.

“We stopped doing that as soon as people started dying,” Ms. Vanel said.

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Are you sharing elbow room with a trafficked child?

 

 

U.S. Airways is a playground for human traffickers to trade off and transport their victims.

 

Airlines’ role grows in war on U.S. sex trafficking

By Mickey Goodman

ATLANTA | Thu Oct 7, 2010 10:27pm IST

ATLANTA (Reuters Life!) – Airline passenger Deborah Sigmund noticed something strange about the man and boy who ran up late to catch a US Airways flight last December from Washington to Palm Beach, Florida.

When staff at the gate asked the man for the boy’s name, he had to rifle through papers for an answer. On board, Sigmund quietly asked the boy why he was going to Florida.

“I thought I was going to North Carolina,” he said.

Sigmund said she alerted the aircrew who radioed ahead to authorities about a possible case of child trafficking. Her quick wits helped her spot what authorities later told her was a likely case of a child abducted for use in pornography.

Her intervention is evidence of a growing effort by grass-roots organizations in the hotel and airline industries to back up the work of governments and international law enforcement in fighting human trafficking.

But Sigmund had a head start. As founder of non-profit Innocents at Risk, she had set up a training program to help airline staff and the hospitality industry spot signs of trafficking.

She has worked with Nancy Rivard of Airline Ambassadors International (AAI), a group that has expanded its traditional humanitarian mission to help beat the trafficking scourge.

“We are in a unique position to play a critical role in teaching airline personnel to identify traffickers and report them,” said Rivard, who worked for 30 years for American Airlines and founded the AAI group.

Tell-tale signs to detect possible trafficking are: Does a child have few personal items when they board a plane? Do they avoid eye contact, look paranoid, undernourished or ill-treated, or behave in an unusually submissive manner?

Does the adult with them refuse to let them speak for themselves or roam around the plane freely?

If so, the airline steward could be witnessing a case of child trafficking similar to the one Sigmund saw.

PIMPS AND CLIENTS

Airlines and hotels play a crucial, if unwitting, role in the global human trafficking industry by providing transport and lodging to criminals.

That industry represents $32 billion in value to organized crime and is the fastest growing criminal enterprise in the world, according to the nonprofit Polaris Project.

In the United States, as many as 300,000 children are trafficked annually and most are used for prostitution and pornography, according to a 2001 University of Pennsylvania study.

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This story makes me rewind and think about all of the people that may or may not have looked suspicious in the airport. It makes me think about the many children I’ve shared an armrest with and knew nothing about. Could it be that will these outrageous numbers that any one of us have witnessed, without knowing, human trafficking taking place?

Had the woman in this story not been enlightened about what trafficking was, that boy would not have been saved. The importance of education is stamped all over this story.

With that said, i think it’s important I make my self more clear. I do not think it is our role as normal U.S. citizens to investigate trafficking. I do not expect any of us to become experts in detecting a trafficked person or a trafficker. However, by just edcuating yourself about what goes on in the world, you are benefiting someone else.

The little things matter in this great big world and by becoming aware, becoming a wiser consumer, and by becoming compassionate for the lives of others-inside and outside of this country-we are making a difference.

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Canada faces ‘uncomfortable truth’ about its slavery issue

Human trafficking: an uncomfortable truth in Canada

Author: Pauline Kosalka

 

A 28-year-old mother of three from St. Catharine’s, Ont., after breaking up with an abusive boyfriend, met a man on Facebook who promised her a rich and comfortable lifestyle if she would work as an escort at Private Genies in Toronto. As the Toronto Sun reported, the mother was inadvertently drawn into the world of sex trafficking with the promise of earning money to support her children. She finally called the police and escaped after the man got angry and decided to take her to a family associated with a biker gang.

Human trafficking, the use or trade of humans for forced labour or prostitution, is a disheartening concern in Canada. The United States State Department estimates that 800 people are trafficked to Canada per year and 1,500 to 2,200 are smuggled through the country on the way to the U.S. In its April 2009 report, Human Trafficking: A Report on Modern Day Slavery in Canada, the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada noted that human trafficking is the second most profitable crime in the world after the international drug trade. It is often linked to the sexual exploitation of women and children. The USSD further stated that “the 2006 UN Special Rapporteur on Trafficking in Persons Especially Women and Children report to the UN concluded that prostitution was inextricably linked with human trafficking and to support prostitution is to inevitably support the trafficking of women and children.”

Lately, Canada has started to take a tougher stance against trafficking. Bill C-268, a private members bill introduced by Conservative MP Joy Smith (Kildonan-St. Paul), received royal assent on June 29, instating a minimum five-year sentence for trafficking minors in Canada. The previous human trafficking law, passed approximately five years ago, imposes a maximum sentence of 14 years for traffickers. Because there were no mandatory minimums, traffickers were handed lenient sentences. An example is Michael Lennox Mark, who was jailed for one week for trafficking a 17-year-old girl and procuring three others as prostitutes because his year of pre-custody time was counted as double. “We had hoped that when courts began sentencing child traffickers, they would recognize that as a very serious factor, but that has turned out not to be the case,” said Benjamin Perrin, a trafficking expert who helped draft Bill C-268, to the Toronto Sun.

|For full story on trafficking in Canada visit http://ht.ly/2OEju|

The story of this young woman is similar to the millions of women around the world that are taken advantage of in a vulnerable state of mind. I often discuss this issue with my girlfriends and they ask understandable questions like, “why would they meet someone on the internet and actually trust them?” or “why didn’t police know this was happening?”

The answer I usually respond with is that in most places in the world women face many pyschological affects that cause them to fall into traps such as this one. With a track record of untrustworthy men in their life, they are weary of men, however they are often hypnotized by men who promise them a better life.

In addition, when women are in families where they are the provider they have added pressure to do something to live a better life. I imagine these women have no other choices that can help them put food on the table. I imagine I would do anything to care for my family and if I was vulnerable and beaten down from a history of pyscological and physical abuse, I can imagine I would accept the offer this woman did.

The trafficking problem around the world is a shady, manipulative business that is a huge global issue. Many government or law enforcement officials in other parts of the world are equally as vulnerable and if they are paid to keep quiet, they will do just that in some cases. As far as this woman’s experience being sex trafficked in the U.S., she was lucky that she had an opportunityto speak with a police officer who lives in a country based on freedoms. Had she went a police officer in Indonesia, the officer may not have helped her.

This leads me to my concluding statement that, in this country, we are the lucky ones. By God’s own will we are American citizens with more freedoms than we even know we have. In my opinion, it is our duty as free young people to speak out against this horrific reality of slavery. If we continue to live our lucky lives and close our eyes to those whose freedoms are robbed from them, then what is our purpose? Why, after all, did God choose US to be the lucky ones? My best quess is because we need to make a difference.

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What can you do about human trafficking? Lots!

Herhseys chocolate earns a D+ on free2work.org because "Hershey is one of the largest chocolate companies in the US and it has not agreed to institute any certification programs to ensure that these labor rights abuses do not occur in the production of the cocoa it uses."

We are only one person in this world of complete chaos that includes slavery. Don’t feel overwhlemed. First things first: shop smart!

By paying attention to what you purchase such as groceries, clothes and electronics, you can actually make a difference.

A new website, still updating itself but a great tool to becoming a wise consumer, is http://free2work.org/

On this website you can filter what it is you’re shopping for. Let’s say you want a new pair of sneakers. You want to find the brand that you know does NOT use child labor or forced labor when making the product. The website will rate the product on a grade scale from A to F. A+ means the product does not use any kind of forced labor to make. F- then means the product is something you should absolutely boycott for the sake of its laborers. Anything in between rates how much forced labor is used.

You can use this site before purchasing chocolate, digital cameras, and clothes for starters. If the item or brand you’re looking for isn’t on the website, you can actually request through the website by clicking “sending feedback” to have that specific brand investigated. Through your requests the website will become richer in information about how you as a consumer can help stop human trafficking.

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