Refuse to do Nothing: Be the Nosy Neighbor #HumanTrafficking

The best defense against modern-day slavery is a vigilant public. Be a nosy neighbor. – Kevin Bale, The Slave Next Door

HTAS #2 Grace

Here is the truth:

  • Thousands of immigrants be tricked into forced labor annually (94)
  • “Victims of domestic servitude make up the 2nd-highest form of slavery in the US (95)”
  • “Major food-buying corporations are profiting from extremely low—often artificially low—cost of produce (97)”

Labor trafficking includes, though is not limited to, domestic help and agricultural work. The services provided by the latter produces food that ends up on our tables, either from what we purchase at the grocery store or by what we order at our favorite restaurants.

Thankfully some businesses are participating in the Fair Food Program, which is the leading edge of human rights in agriculture.

“The Fair Food Program established a zero-tolerance policy for slavery, child labor and sexual abuses on Florida’s tomato fields. Corporations that join the Fair Food Program agree to pay a small price increase (1.5 cents more per pound) for fairly harvested tomatoes and promise to shift purchases to the Florida tomato growers who abide by these higher standards—and away from those who won’t (97).”

IJM’s Recipe for Change campaign is asking anti-slavery advocates to petition supermarkets to do their part and join the Fair Food Programs (98).” Click here to ask major supermarkets to stock slave-free tomatoes in your area.

In addition to this brief look at labor trafficking, Chapter 9 includes an invaluable list of “where to look for slavery (common places where slavery has been known to flourish).” This list includes places like construction sites, hotels, or nail salons.

How do you know that someone might be trafficked? What should you look for?

Pay attention if:

  • A person “is afraid to discuss him or herself in the presence of others (101)”
  • “is unpaid, paid very little or paid only through tips (101)”
  • “has few personal possessions (101)”
  • “is not allowed or able to speak for himself or herself (i.e., a third party insists on being present or interpreting) (101).”

The chapter includes many other signs. One thing I want to get across in today’s post is that we are all interconnected as a people. We may not realize how something that is happening across the world or even in another state is directly impacting us, but it does. When we think about trafficking in the world, it is important that we make the connection and understand that people are being trafficked into the United States. The United States is one of the top three destination countries for traffickers to operate through illegal commerce. So we do have a choice as to whether we want to live our lives intentionally by being aware of what’s going on around us and our direct connection to the injustices of this world. We can make a choice to be a part of the solution.

“Are there places in your own community that you now wonder might be places where people are forced to work (104)?”

Blessings, © Natasha Sistrunk Robinson 2014

Refuse to Do Nothing Book Discussion

Chapter 1: The issue of Human Trafficking

Chapter 2: We’ve Done This Before

Chapter 3: So you want to be an activist?

Chapter 4: Take Action #HumanTrafficking

Chapter 5: Be Brave, No Excuses

Chapter 6: Stop the Violence

Chapter 7: Not in My Backyard

Chapter 8: Sex for Money

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