The first was a release written by Karly Kehres, an intern at at Maupin House Publishers. She wrote the following:
Spencer Toyama and Jon Lewis transcend even classroom-education graphic novels with their recent interactive iBook release of Home of the Brave, a graphic novel aiming to increase the public’s awareness about human trafficking. The story is told from the viewpoint of a 13-year-old girl who is sold into slavery in America.
According to a KHON 2 blog post, nonprofit work preventing the human trafficking epidemic, bullying, and slavery inspired Toyama and Lewis’ creation.
Toyama and Lewis launched the 135-page graphic novel’s Kickstarter page Oct. 4, which has garnered 300 backers and raised $13,203, surpassing its $12,000 fundraising goal with four days remaining. As important as money is to the cause, the authors are equally striving to increase awareness of poverty and human trafficking in America and are also seeking support through social media like Twitter and Facebook.
Then, I noticed two articles on human trafficking one in The New York Times and the other from South Jersey Times.Whether you donate your money, time, or tweets, Home of the Brave is a unique, crafty way to spread the word about a cause worthy of your money, time, or tweet donations.
While not an uplifting subject, maybe its time we talked more about these issues: First raising consciousness about human trafficking and the second - discussing one of its underlining feeders - a LACK of RESPECT for human life.
It often takes the form of a group of people attempting to focus the attention of a wider group of people on some cause or condition.Raising consciousness about human trafficking:
According to Alex Smith ("Spreading Awareness Crucial to Human Trafficking Fight in South Jersey" South Jersey Times 11/11/2012) and Tanya Mohn, ("The Travel Industry Takes on Human Trafficking" The New York Times 11/8/2012) people don't realize how prevalent human trafficking is, and national organizations, local law enforcement agencies, community groups, and now even the travel industry are attempting to raise public consciousness by showing how this wide-reaching abhorrent practice is hitting closer and closer to home. The Polaris Project a human trafficking advocacy group estimates that 21-27 million people globally are held as virtual slaves.
The New York Times article relates an anecdote from Petra Hensley, a survivor of trafficking and founder of the Sojka Foundation:
...an older man traveling with a young girl who does not appear to be his daughter and the two carry passports from different countries. Ask the girl where she is going...If she is reluctant to answer, something is not right. It's about questions. It's about body language.According to UNOCD (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime)
Human Trafficking is a crime against humanity...and involves the act of recruiting, transporting, transferring, harboring or receiving a person through use of force, coercion or other means, for the purpose of exploiting them...for prostitution...forced labor or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs.
- Polaris Project - named after the North Star that guided slaves to freedom along the Underground Railroad Polaris Project has been raising consciousness and pushing or stronger federal and state laws in the U.S.
- The Department of Homeland Security, Department of Transportation and Amtrak are currently training over 55,000 employees (and soon another 20,000) to identify and counter the problem.
- Sabre Holdings is sponsoring a "Passport to Freedom" initiative to train 10.000 employees in 60 countries on how to identify and report potential trafficking incidents.
- Carlson industries (whose brands include Radisson, Country Ins and Suites and T.G.I. Fridays) says its more than 80,000 hotel employees in 81 countries receive required training ot deter trafficking of children. They are encouraged to look for visual clues like:
- signs of abuse or fear among potential victims,
- young people made to look older,
- clients who pay with cash,
- clients who are reluctant to provide identification, or
- clients who have no luggage.
- Sojka Foundation is a nonprofit organization that provides help to survivors of human trafficking and words to raise awareness of and prevent Trafficking in Persons (TIP)
BUT THE ISSUE HERE is not just human trafficking per-se but what leads to human trafficking... the lack of RESPECT FOR PEOPLE and for HUMAN LIFE.
- We need to model more respect for people and the human condition.
- We must raise our consciousness about others' needs.
With the Holiday Season upon us, maybe this is the lesson and 'feel' we want for the holidays - that of spreading awareness, assistance, and cheer to those less fortunate than ourselves.
What are your favorite charities? Please feel free to leave them in your comments.
Below are a few child-centered charities (for more see childhood wishes):
Make A Wish FoundationAnd here are some of the more known charities you might contact for Hurricane Sandy Relief:
Kids Wish Network
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
Children's Charities of America
Boys and Girls Clubs of America
Big Brothers Big Sisters of America
Project Night Night - providing sweeter dreams for homeless kids
KaBOOM! Buidling playgrounds, parks, athletic fields in low-income areas
Locks of Love
Save the Children Fund
Ronald McDonald House Charities
New Eyes for the Needy
Sports 4 All Foundation
Toys For Tots
An index of local charities that accept clothing donations
American Red CrossThis is just a starting point. In addition to helping through donations, raise your child's awareness of the value of life and of those less fortunate. Read and talk about slavery and child abuse. Read and discuss child labor issues. Volunteer at a shelter or soup kitchen - raise money for Thanksgiving dinners at a church or community center. Get involved.
Best Friends Animal Society
Kids in Distressed Situations
Save the Children
Thank you for your visit. I realize this is a sad, depressing post, but one that I think is important. Please feel free to share this with friends, with your kids, or community organizations.
Also, please feel free to leave you own links and suggestions for raising consciousness and respect for human - and all - life in the comments section.