Welcome to the conversation!

Welcome to the conversation!

Harriet Beecher Stowe's (1811-1896) best-selling anti-slavery novel Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852), made her the most famous American woman of the 19th century and galvanized the abolition movement before the Civil War.

The Stowe Center is a 21st-century museum and program center using Stowe's story to inspire social justice and positive change.

The Salons at Stowe programs are a forum to connect the challenging issues (race, gender and class) that impelled Stowe to write and act with the contemporary face of those same issues. The Salon format is based on a robust level of audience participation, with the explicit goal of promoting civic engagement. Recent topics included: Teaching Acceptance; Is Prison the New Slavery; Traces of the Trade: A Story from the Deep North; Creativity and Change; Race, Gender and Politics Today; How to be an Advocate

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Friday, November 19, 2010

Re-Abolishing Slavery

Kathleen Liner, Victim Specialist – FBI – Connecticut

The legal perspective:  The Trafficking Act of 2000 addresses human trafficking – a hidden and under-reported civil rights violation. Every state in the USA has had a least one case of trafficking. 

Karen and Steve, Not for Sale Campaign volunteers (Karen became involved with her daughter, who rescued two boys in Peru.)

Building community awareness is key to combating human trafficking.  NFS – a global organization - partners with law enforcement agencies. 

Be aware - notice possible warning signals - trafficked people are used to produce cheap goods.  For example: a t-shirt selling for less than $4.80 is likely made by an unpaid person.

Watch and get others to watch movies that expose the problem:

Trafficking in Souls, (1913)
The Dark Side of Chocolate (2010)

Audience discussion:

What does NFS do? 
 Advocates locally and nationally:
NFS website rates corporations that eliminate slavery in their supply chains. 
Information can be used by public to pressure businesses enslaving and exploiting people to  make money.  Hold these businesses responsible and getting them to change their practices.

What about sex trafficking? 
 What if someone runs away from home with the intent of selling themselves and someone helps them.  No one under 18 can agree to this so it falls under coercion  

Trafficking is a $32 billion industry. 

How do you know if products are produced without the use of trafficked /unpaid labor?

Look for the Fair Trade sticker. (Audience member reported that of the 60 chocolatiers at the NY Chocolate Show, (many from Cuba and Haiti) , none had that label! 

Google “fair trade” for more information about organizations that qualify for the designation.

Relationship between low wages/poverty and people forced into sex trade?

            People in poverty are at high risk for being victims of trafficking – either for sex or for labor (or both).  Parents have sold their child to an organization/person because they needed the money. 

Pimps force women into sex trafficking

Human Trafficking in CT on 95 corridor – woman (children and adults) are trafficked from CT to NJ.  (Overwhelmingly females.). 

CT Anti-trafficking law of 2004.  Someone does not need to be trafficked over the border.  Things happen all the time over the internet: craigslist and many other sites.   

Air travel:
Airlines need to educate personnel to be more aware of trafficking. 

Tips for Awareness:
            Look critically at your surroundings. 
Take off your blinders!
We are all powerful and can make a difference. 
Be aware of workers at cleaning services, landscaping, agricultural, casinos, housekeeping, nail salons, strip clubs and massage parlors.

Is organize crime involved?
Depends, could be a “corporation” or a “family”
Pimps can use women are used to keep other women in control and/or to “recruit.”. 

What services does the FBI offer to victims? 
            Victim needs assessment (health, medical, basic needs. Life expectancy of a trafficked young woman     
             is seven years.)  

What other organizations are engaged in this issue?
International Institute (CT-based) helps foreign born victims. 

Paul and Lisa Program – and organization to work with victims.  

What about the schools? 
US Department of Education has a fact sheet out about trafficking.
Schools do not include it in their curriculum.  Organizations have to find a way into the school system. 

How much money is made in trafficking?
$32 billion, projected profits world wide. 
One of the fastest growing criminal industries after drug and gun trafficking. 
CT and Chicago see a lot of domestic trafficking.  Texas, Florida see a lot of labor trafficking. 

What is needed?
            Better victim services, broader education and community awareness, and reporting. 
Support businesses in other countries that support their communities. 

United Nations set up a trust fund for trafficked victims. 

Understand that victims are not at fault.

            Work with organizations that support an end to poverty. 

Report! A runaway has about 48 hours before being subject to being trafficked.


HR 5575: federal legislation to increase law enforcement specific to domestic violence and sex trafficking. 

CT State bill:  2007 anti trafficking law.  

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