Tag Archives: Not For Sale

Stopping Traffic: Not For Sale Fights for Human Rights

Ever wondered who made your pizza at that restaurant last night? Who works on that farm you always buy produce from at the Saturday morning market? Bet you didn’t think the answer was a child in forced labor. Human trafficking in Southeast Asia has children shipped for labor and prostitution services to Thailand, Burma, and even San Francisco.

“There is human trafficking happening in our backyard. There are restaurants, farms, and brothels right here in San Francisco using forced labor,” said David Batstone, business professor, and president and co-founder of Not For Sale, a California nonprofit working to end human trafficking and modern day slavery. Batstone first encountered human trafficking at his favorite local restaurant, which was serving as a center for a group of people that was placing 500 teens from India under forced labor. He hosted a seminar to raise awareness about illegal prostitution and forced labor in southeast Asia last Tuesday. In 2006, Batstone took a year’s sabbatical to further explore the exploitations in Thailand.

“These modern day slaves are stateless,” explained Batstone. A stateless person is one who does not belong to any nation — a person born on the border. Batstone, however, perceived the term as a euphemism. “Statelessness means you’re not treated with dignity. You are not treated as a human being,” he said.

Batstone brought in Thai activist Kru Nam, who rescued over 500 stateless children from a life of prostitution and slavery after seeing a group of children behind a fence along the border of Thailand and Burma. “That was the first time I realized these kids needed help,” said Nam. “I brought them snacks on the other side of the fence and as they were running down, one big man slapped a child down and asked, “Why would you want to help these kids,” she recalled.

Batstone pointed out that she hasn’t received all the attention she deserves. According to him, Nam’s altruistic efforts have been greatly resisted. For example, when Nam tried to send one of the rescued children to an elementary school in Thailand, the principal would not consider accepting him without valid identification. Nam said she saw a brochure for UNICEF, the United Nations Children’s Fund, that read, “Every child has the right to education,” and went back to show the school. “I told them, if you don’t accept him, it’s okay, but I’m just going to have to have a word with Mr. UNICEF. They let [the student] in. I had never even heard of UNICEF before,” she said, laughing.

Kru Nam, who has been jailed for her attempts at helping the children, is full of such inventive solutions. According to Batstone, she has had over 150 children under her care at one time. To help accommodate the kids, she has slept in graveyards and begged monks for food. But Nam’s primary focus is to make the children feel loved.

“They have no nationality. They are on the border of two countries and both say, ‘No they are not ours, and we don’t want to take care of them.’ How can you have any sense of worth when you grow up like that?” she asked.

David Galdamez, a politics student, commented on Nam’s efforts: “It’s pretty sad what’s going on. There’s not much help over there and the struggle [Kru Nam] is going through just by herself is depressing.” The children need more than food and water — they need change. Nam suggested government reform as a way to combat human trafficking. “Human traffickers don’t wear a uniform. They are hard to persecute and it’s easy to get out of jail if you are rich in Thailand,” she said. “We want [the children] to understand their rights as human beings. There are real people behind these numbers,” she concluded.

Student Cassidy Miller said Nam’s story created a palpable visual for the overseas injustice. “I’ve always been interested in human trafficking, but Kru Nam really put a face behind the efforts over there. It’s inspiring,” said the international studies junior.

Nam is currently part of the movement to stop human trafficking in Thailand. In 2010, Thailand’s prime minister at the time, Abhisit Vejjajiva, helped develop the second six-year plan to push the country’s efforts to prevent trafficking, according to the U.S. Department of State. Nam will continue her efforts to help stateless children when she returns to Thailand.

 

If Kru Nam’s story has inspired you to learn more and help out with the situation in Thailand, check out www.nationalityforall.org. The website promotes information on human trafficking and statelessness, and helps support advocacy groups and policy reforms abroad.  


Giants Pitcher Jeremy Affeldt to Speak at USF About Not For Sale Campain

Next Tuesday, May 1st, Jeremy Affeldt of the San Francisco Giants, will be speaking at the University of San Francisco campus from 11:40-12:40 at CO 106. Aside from being a pitcher and 2010 World Series champion, he is also a human rights advocate and an ambassador for the anti-slavery organization, Not For Sale.

Not For Sale is a campaign started by USF School of Management professor David Batstone that mobilizes activists to abolish slavery and fight human trafficking through a variety of grassroots initiatives. He founded the organization after reading in a local paper that his favorite Indian restaurant had been trafficking women to wash dishes, cook meals and perform other types of labor.

Currently Not For Sale helps victims of human trafficking in Thailand, Uganda, Peru, Cambodia and Romania. The organization goes on to provide shelter, education and support to surviving victims of human trafficking. It also works with businesses to examine their supply chains and practice ethical hiring.

Affeldt will be speaking about his profession and work for Free2Play, a Not For Sale campaign that works to create new futures for children who have been rescued from exploitation and slavery. Free2Play was founded on the United Nations Rights of the Children, which guarantees each child the right to rest, leisure and participation in recreational activities no matter what nationality, race or economic level. It is founded on the idea that play has been proven to foster profound effects on ones mental, physical and emotional health.

Last year Affeldt donated $20,000 to support sports programs for kids around the world who have been offered refuge by Not For Sale. In 2009, when he was first drafted to the Giants and made his name as one of the top left-handed setup men in baseball, Affeldt promised to donate $100 for every strike-out he threw during that season to Free2Play. Now, after his World Series championship, Affeldt has upped his contribution to $250 per strikeout.

Not For Sale and Free2Play emphasize that activists can use their own talents and passions to make their contribution toward abolishing slavery. In fact, student athletes on the USF women’s soccer team have made the promise to donate $15 to Free2Play for every goal they score this season.
These donations and future donations to come have allowed Free2Play to build a full sized basketball court at their Thailand location as well as sponsor a surf tribe in Peru, that allows former street children and sex slaves to discover a love for sports.

The event is free to attend and open to the public.

Film Screening: The Dark Side of Chocolate

The Not For Sale Club (NFS) and the San Francisco Collaborative Against Human Trafficking hosted a bittersweet evening on Feb.11., during a screening of the documentary film “The Dark Side of Chocolate.”

According to NFS, an organization that brings awareness to human trafficking, chocolate companies like Nestle and Hershey’s are not considered fair trade. Fair trade means free of child labor and trafficking.

The documentary, filmed by journalist Miki Mistrati, revealed the truth about the origins of chocolate, from the cocoa growers to the export to big companies such as Nestle.The film covered other issues such as human trafficking, child labor, and slavery from the Ivory Coast.

A panel discussion followed the screening, featuring Killian Moote (NFS Director of Advocacy), Trina Tocco (Deputy Director of International Labor Rights Forum), and Adrienne Fitch-Frankel (Fair Trade Campaign Director of Global Exchange).

The panel discussed the free to work website (www.free2work.org), which determines the level of fair trade a consumer product is.
The panel also explained ways the audience can help with the cause, including buying fair trade products, educating others, collecting signatures to petition, and contributing to the campaign.

An audience member asked if the chocolate ever goes back to the cocoa growers. The panel said it doesn’t because chocolate is a luxury good and consumed in the Western world. Most cocoa growers don’t even get to taste it.

Freshman Cora Sivak said, “[The event] was shocking and I learned a lot.” In relevance to the child labor, she said, “When you see it, it’s real.”

Here at USF, there are chocolate candies and coffee sold as fair trade, but not all.

Lauren Hill, the president of Not For Sale, announced that the Fair Trade Campaign Coordinator of NFS, Theresa Carino, has a long-term goal of starting a fair trade committee on campus to make USF part of a fair trade community. Carino’s goal is to have Bon Appétit sell only fair trade products on Fridays, making it “fair trade Fridays.”

In March, NFS will host a photo campaign where students can take pictures in a booth to display themselves as modern day abolitionists. NFS week will be held in April where there will be an Easter egg hunt with fair trade chocolate, a Free to Walk, and another film screening on campus.

To get more info: check out www.notforsalecampaign.org   www.free2work.org

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Upcoming Student Production Will Showcase Modern-Day Slavery

The clothes we wear, the food we eat , the electronics we use—all are part of the numerous industries that exploit slave and child labor in third world countries, and we support them by purchasing without knowing where products come from. To bring awareness on the issue, The Not For Sale Club (NFS) will host “Sweet Misery,” a short play that depicts the daily life of a slave at a garment factory, so that consumers are encouraged to not purchase products tainted by slave labor. NFS mainly focuses on bringing awareness to human trafficking in San Francisco.

Sophomores Dominique Tan and Kelly Mills created the pilot. Both students are part of the Erasmus community and the Not for Sale Club. If the play is successful, it will be launched nationwide—making USF the pioneer of the event.

The garment factory simulation will occur on May 6th from 12:15 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. in Harney Plaza. As part of the event, NFS will also hand out bracelets that represent a product, without giving consumers any knowledge of who produced it. For every 27th person, each bracelet will represent 1 million people in slavery.

The 7 p.m. showing will give out free fair trade chocolate.

According to NFS President Andrea Powell, there are more people enslaved in the world today than during the transatlantic slave trade. In 1780, approximately 40,000 slaves were trafficked across the Atlantic that year alone. Today, there is an estimated 400,000-800,000 slaves who cross international borders every year. That number does not include existing slaves.

Powell, an international studies major and a politics minor, is also a student movement intern for the NFS campaign. Recently, Powell had the opportunity to recreate the NFS handbook to reconfigure the student abolitionist movement. Her input included ways to bring awareness on human trafficking, specifically how to take action, how to create a club, and how to attend global advocacy days.

Powell recognizes how crucial it is to be an active member of the club. She has learned how hard it is to start a national movement. Powell said, “I thought it’d be easy because of national fads, but human rights issues create a strange block that prevents it from spreading from person to person.”

Powell hopes to one day work for human rights issues. She said there are many global issues that slavery touches on. She hopes to see USF take a stand and become more involved.  By taking small steps, she said it can lead to big changes.

To learn more, visit notforsalecampaign.org or email notforsaleclub@usfca.edu.

Not For Sale Highlights Global Human Trafficking, Raises Money for Research

“It’s really easy to own a human being right now,” said Kique Bazan, associate director of USF University Ministry and co-founder of the Not For Sale club. Bazan stated that, although drugs are still the most profitable form of trafficking, human trafficking is the least risky and tied with guns as the second most common form of trafficking in the world.

The “Trafficking of Persons Report,” released by the U.S. government in 2007, cites the International Labor Organization’s estimate that 12.3 million people are enslaved in the world. This slavery ranges from forced manual labor to sexual servitude to child soldiers. Of those trafficked across national borders, 50 percent are minors and 80 percent are women.

Bazan began work in 2007 with members of the USF community (specifically students in the Erasmus living and learning community) to combat the wide variety of human trafficking that occurs in the United States and San Francisco.  Thus, the “Not For Sale” club was created as an on campus activism program for students and USF community members.

Bazan described the club as a group of people dedicated to social justice who want to do more than just raise awareness about the cause. Members of Not For Sale, he says, “mobilize and engage” the community because “raising awareness is not enough.” The club is part of a larger Not For Sale Campaign that was originally inspired by USF Professor David Batstone’s book Not For Sale: The Return of the Global Slave Trade—and How We Can Fight It. The club, along with its parent campaign, relies on the diversity of skills amongst its members to meet the needs of the cause. Bazan ensures that any talent or ability can be applied to activism.

One of the biggest concerns of the club is conveying to the public how slavery has changed. “You don’t see slaves in shackles anymore; the shackles are in their mind,” Bazan explained. According to the 2007 “Trafficking of Persons Report,” most human trafficking and involuntary servitude involve children or young women being tricked into traveling to foreign countries for work and the promise of better pay. Upon arrival in the foreign country, the victims are stripped of their passports and belongings by their new employers and paid no money to perform sexual duties or manual labor. Often, children are sold into the industry at a very young age and have no concept of running away or seeking help. Some victims are physically restrained from leaving their employer or abuser, while language barriers and poverty restrain others.

Last summer, three USF students participated in an investigative program about human trafficking. The students attended a two-week training academy in San Francisco and then traveled overseas to investigate and document cases of human trafficking and involuntary servitude in foreign countries. Now, the Not For Sale club is trying to get even more people involved in the cause, creating a scholarship for USF students who want to do social research about the modern slave trade. The scholarship is part of the senior gift and money is currently being raised for it. Bazan says students with financial need and significant interest in social justice should consider applying. If enough money is raised, the scholarship will cover the cost of attending the two-week academy as well as part of the student’s trip overseas to research the patterns of human trafficking in foreign countries. Not all students involved are required to go overseas, however. Many students involved in Not For Sale are doing work right here in San Francisco.

The application process for the scholarship has not been solidified yet, but any interested students should contact University Ministry.

The Not For Sale club meets every Tuesday at 7:15pm in UC 417.


Profile: Senior Raises Funds For Latin American Children

Photo by Melissa Stihl/Foghorn

Photo by Melissa Stihl/Foghorn

After traveling to Lima, Peru with the University Ministry’s Arrupe Immersion Program in the spring of 2008, and witnessing firsthand the struggles that street children face, senior Hannah Mora has singlehandedly organized her own drive to donate funds to an emergency shelter built to house rescued victims. The shelter is an international project created by the Not For Sale Campaign.

Through Not For Sale, a movement devoted to ending modern-day slavery and resolving social justice issues, Mora is independently acquiring donations for Veronica’s House, a refuge that provides immediate needs such as food, clothing, and housing to victims of Lima, Peru’s bustling streets.

Although it is Mora’s second time obtaining donations, once in the Spring of 2009 and now the beginning of Fall 2009, she hopes to encourage 100 people to donate $5 a month, to secure at least $500 every month to Veronica’s House, she said. Mora generated about $700 last year, exceeding her $500 goal, which was then on a one-time basis when she asked family and friends to donate to the cause. This time around, Mora anticipates that people in the USF community, along with her Southern California church and former high school, can donate on a monthly basis.

Mora came up with the idea of giving back to the children she met during her immersion trip after almost a full year had passed. Around spring break in 2009, Mora reflected on her trip, yearning to revisit the street children that befriended her. “I wasn’t able to go to Peru again,” she said, so she thought of a way that would allow her to make a financial contribution instead. Her mission was simple: find 100 people to donate $5 each, which she found was an economic-friendly amount that wouldn’t burn a hole in people’s pockets.

Signing up for the trip, “you don’t know what you’re getting into,” she said. As a sophomore, Mora came across the application for the immersion trip by simply spending time in the University Ministry office. Trips were offered for Nicaragua and Africa, but Mora said, “Peru stood out because we would be working with kids.”

The Arrupe Immersion program in Peru is designed to give light on the various shelters that protect street children, and to educate USF students on the tribulations and opportunities of working with the children.

After a select group of 10 were chosen, bi-monthly meetings were held leading up to the trip, to inform the group about the politics, culture, and other broad information on Peru.

Upon arrival, Mora said one of the first things the group did was meet with street children at a beach, about 40 youths from ages 12 to mid-20s. The street children shared their individual stories, which were “very personal and heartbreaking,” Mora said, “a very effective way to introduce us to the trip.” Before meeting them, Mora said she had never seen anything like that; “being around poverty and homelessness, it wasn’t relatable to me, but I went there and became friends with them.” Meeting the street children gave a face to homelessness, she said. Mora noticed that some street children even had scars on their bodies, to fend off police who wanted to hurt them.

Afterwards, two children conducted a tour of Lima, told “through their eyes,” Mora said. “Not a typical tourist vacation you would expect.”

To Mora’s surprise, some street children depended on prostitution and stealing food, while others found their own unique way to make money. One of the boys Mora met, Ruben, would make and sell bracelets to get by, she said.

“When I came back, I changed my lifestyle and felt guilty about the way I was living, what I spent my money on,” Mora said, “I retold the kid’s stories and experiences to friends and family.”

By the next spring break, Mora approached Kique Bazan, Director of Social Justice and Community Action for the University Ministry and the co-founder of Not For Sale, to see what he thought about her proposal of raising funds on her own and sending the donations to Lima’s street children. At the time, Veronica’s House was a work in progress, but Bazan informed Mora that the project would be a good place to send the money. Bazan directed her to Not For Sale, so she could send out letters to family and friends, and encourage them to spread the word to their family and friends, Mora said.

Mora’s intention was to raise the money by the time the University Ministry headed back on their next immersion trip to Peru, but she fell short of her deadline. The $700 she raised solely through her network of family and friends took about a month to complete, and by that time Spring Break had passed.

Mora then gave her donations directly through the Not For Sale, and 100 percent of the proceeds went towards Veronica’s House. As an additional gift, Mora provided a collage of pictures of all the people who donated, so the children in Peru could directly see their sponsors.

Veronica’s House opened in July 2009, in which Not For Sale helped fundraise $89,294 to purchase the land and house, but the house itself is still under the construction. Four rescued girls have a permanent residence at the shelter, but every so often, new youths are brought in consistently.

The project was an effort driven by Not For Sale and Peru’s “modern day abolitionist,” Lucy, whom Mora met during her visit. Lucy founded Generación, an organization that offers prevention and aftercare programs designed to foster life skills, including the emergency shelter, Veronica’s House.

Now that Mora is on her second cycle of raising funds, Bazan helped create Mora’s own webpage under Not For Sale, where people can make online donations. Bazan also made Mora ambassador of the project, and she has taken steps by presenting the drive to her classes and her hometown church, and informing her high school through their newsletters.

Mora said she is uncertain how long this second drive will last, because it’s a monthly effort made on behalf of the people she reaches out to.  For now, Not For Sale keeps tracks of the total amount raised, and Mora will find out the total once her drive ends.

Projecting into the future, Mora will continue to do the campaign “as long as they need me to,” she said, “even if that means I [can no longer] be ambassador.” Mora said it is something she is dedicated to, so she will maintain her involvement as long as she can. “It’s something I think is important and it’s a story I tell people all the time,” she said.

In March, the University Ministry will take some 13 students on another trip to Lima, Peru, to meet former street children again and learn what life has been like through their eyes. “It’s easier to vocalize once you’ve seen for yourself what’s going on.” Mora said.

Mora is majoring in theology and religious studies and minoring in Catholic social thought. “I want to continue spending my time volunteering with organizations centered on social justice, specifically Not For Sale, which has provided me with the tools and opportunities to participate in such efforts as these,” she said.

Over a short time, the immersion trip Mora innocently stumbled across has made a significant impression on her life. “It continues to be an important part of what made me who I am,” she said, “and even though it’s only been two years, I still have friends that I want to give back to.”

To donate to Mora’s cause, click here.