Carolyn Kitto is a Director of Spirited Consulting (www.spirited.com.au) a company that supports churches and NGO’s in achieving their mission. With Fuzz Kitto they are the Australian coordinators of STOP THE TRAFFIK www.stopthetraffik.org/australia. Carolyn Kitto gives us some information about the impact of trafficking.
When you think of slavery, the image that comes to mind is probably of people being sold in a market place, chained up and transported to foreign shores to work under inhumane conditions. Modern slavery and human trafficking is far more insidious and hidden to the point where it can make its way into almost every commodity we take for granted in western society. The statistics are horrifying!
- People trafficking is the fastest growing means by which people are enslaved, the fastest growing
international crime, and one of the largest sources of income for organised crime - The UN Office on Drugs and Crime.
- Human trafficking is the second largest source of illegal income worldwide exceeded only by drugs trafficking - Belser 2005
- 1.2 million children are trafficked every year - Estimate by UNICEF
- 600,000-800,000 men, women and children are trafficked across international borders each year. Approximately 80 per cent are women and girls. Up to 50% are minors - US Department of State Trafficking in Persons Report 2007
- At least 20.9 million people are victims of forced labour worldwide - ILO 2012 Global Estimate of Forced Labour
Once again, it is women and their children who are the primary victims in our world. Although many of the reasons for trafficking women or coercing and tricking them into modern forms of slavery are not sexual, the vast majority of them who are trafficked and enslaved are also sexually abused. Once you have de-humanised a person by selling them, why not de-humanise them and abuse them further?
But as Noam Chomsky declared, in Modern Slavery, a 2009 documentary on forced labour (just one form of modern slavery), “A lot of people are responsible, but the question we should be asking is, ‘To what extent are we responsible?’” Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery is something we can all take some responsibility for and we can all make sure we are part of ending it. STOP THE TRAFFIK is the UN Global Initiative to Fight Trafficking in Humans (UN GIFT) and aims to help people to take action locally and globally.
Locally, STOP THE TRAFFIK resources people, whether in Manchester, Mumbai, Melbourne or Miami, to ‘traffik-proof’ their communities. Every person who is trafficked is trafficked from a community to a community. By knowing what trafficking is and how to identify it; knowing how to protect yourself and others and knowing how to respond; communities can become places where it is harder for traffickers to hide their activities and their victims.
Globally, STOP THE TRAFFIK is a movement of people in 257 countries around the world who campaign, educate and grow awareness to end human trafficking and modern slavery. We can create the change we desire and we are much stronger when we work together.
STOP THE TRAFFIK is particularly well known for its chocolate campaign. Much of the chocolate that we buy from our local shops is made with cocoa beans grown in the Cote d’Ivoire, West Africa. Thousands of boys, as young as ten, from Cote D’Ivoire and neighbouring countries are trafficked to harvest the beans from cocoa farms. Most of the boys working on these farms have never even tasted chocolate.
Our success has included 4 of the top 5 global chocolate companies releasing certified chocolate bars and making announcements about their plans to clean up their supply chain. We’ve seen change, but companies are only responding when they are under national and international pressure to do so.
In 2013, STOP THE TRAFFIK is partnering with Amor Ministries Women of Strength. We are going to take a group of women on a journey which will help prevent human trafficking around the world. The international group of women will spend 8-12 days in India to, learn about human trafficking, experience and contribute to the prevention work of STOP THE TRAFFIK in India and be resourced to return home and do something about it.
Amor Ministries is best known for their house-building ministries. It started 32 years ago, when Gayla Congdon (then Cooper) very reluctantly participated in a church mission trip to work in a Tijuana orphanage. Amor has now worked with local churches and local communities in Mexico to build nearly 17,000 houses and the transformation is astonishing. She, with now husband Scott, discovered that families were more likely to stay together when they had somewhere to live, so they started to provide families with homes. In 2012, Gayla joined with Jenny Baker and Carolyn Kitto to offer women the opportunity to do “the kinds of things women like them like to do, that make a real difference in the world!”
It started with the knowledge that women want to change the world through meaningful (even tough) practical action; the idea was women could serve women with a desire for women across the generations to work together. Women were telling us that they couldn’t find the kinds of things they wanted to do on church programs and they regretted that so much of what was on offer separated out the generations. Wisdom and encouragement was not being shared and grown. So, 87 women from 5 countries ranging in age from 12 to 76 years of age, went to a community outside Johannesburg where there is a 23 year waiting list to get a house. The life expectancy of a black woman in South Africia is less than 50 years, so 23 years really means never. We completed 2 houses and renovated a child care centre in a week. (We were very grateful to Urban Saints www.urbansaints.org for going ahead of us and laying the cement slabs!) We helped transform the lives of 2 women who cared for a brood of children and grandchildren and began to see hope emerge in their eyes.
Then, some women told us they wanted to get engaged in a global issue where together we could make a change. Enter the partnership with STOP THE TRAFFIK. With trafficking growing at such a pace, we need a group of articulate, passionate networked women who can speak on the issue of Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery and grow networks in their communities. Our constructive creativity can rival the trafficker’s destructive creativity and our networks can rival their networks and together we can STOP THE TRAFFIK. We can end human trafficking in our life time.