Monday, July 25, 2011

What I Get Paid To Do....

“Human trafficking is a multi-faceted problem which requires collaboration between governments, civil society, and the private sector”  UN Spokesperson

Good News! My parent company, Life On Point Consultants, was just awarded a government contact today to help in the fight against human trafficking in Asia. I am especially excited about this because although the contract is only for two years it allows us to look at trafficking from the source; those who actually engage in the taking of women and children. After all the work in Burma that I have done coupled with the visuals of forced labor and it’s detrimental effects on families, I welcome the opportunity to try and change the outcome for so many women and children.
Background…and Food for Thought - Five hundred miles south, at Thailand's border with Cambodia, the IOM (International Organization for Migration) is endeavoring to send home a dozen Cambodian children trafficked into Bangkok. The children know each other well - they lived on the streets of Bangkok together, selling noodles, flowers and sweets for a local man's profit. All have made the journey at least twice before, having been resold to traffickers once they reached home. This time they will be taken into care. Acknowledging the difficulties of breaking the trafficking cycle, the IOM recently launched a campaign to address trafficking from a pre-emptive angle.
In Thailand there is an animated film called “Shattered Dream’” that tells the story of a young girl who leaves her village for the city, where her life becomes a nightmare when she is forced into prostitution. The film has been translated into several languages and is available in the US through several online vendors. Children trafficked to work in factories in Bangkok have already watched the film, and 90% said they would not have come to Bangkok had they been aware of the situation depicted in the video. But while measures to raise awareness have proved effective in the past, the incidence of trafficking itself has not diminished - its source has just shifted. Demand for cheap labor and prostitution remains, and if one potential source of recruits dries up, agents simply look elsewhere. It is estimated that 90% of trafficked sex workers in northern Thailand today are from Burma and that will not change until the situation in Burma improves.
Where does Life On Point Consultants come in?
800,000 men, women, and children are trafficked across international borders every year, generating billions of dollars for the human trafficking industry. One key element in stopping trafficking is by targeting it at the source and that is where I will be placing our efforts to ensure that children and women are not simply taken and sold because of their gender or their age. Holding war lords as well as local and tribal governments accountable is key to addressing this problem at the grass roots level and that is where we come in. I will be heading to Thailand shortly and then across the border – where I belong – fighting and making a difference with the Life On Point Team. More to follow on this exciting opportunity!


No comments:

Post a Comment