Monday, September 28, 2009

Seattle Against Slavery: Educational Opportunity




Seattle Against Slavery October Meeting
Guests:
Ye-Ting Woo of U.S. Attorney Office-Seattle
Kathleen Morris of International Rescue Committee
Harvey Sloan of Seattle Police Dept. & WA Advisory Committee on Trafficking (WashACT)
When:
Monday, Oct. 5, 2009
6:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Where:
Two Union Square
51st Floor, Conference Room 5122
601 Union St.
Seattle, WA 98101
For More Information Contact:
Alex Sum alexsum@msn.com

Friday, September 25, 2009

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

International Justice Mission to Be Featured on ABC Nightline and World News

International Justice Mission's work in Cambodia will be featured on ABC Nightline tonight at 11:30 p.m. ET and on ABC World News tomorrow night at 6:30 p.m. ET.

Here is an email sent out by Christa Hayden, Regional Director of Church Mobilization (Mid-Atlantic Region) for IJM:

I am pleased to announce that tonight's ABC Nightline will be dedicated to discussion of child sex tourism - and IJM will be among the groups they feature combating it.

Last month, a team from ABC traveled to Phnom Penh to work in the field with IJM's undercover investigators and field office staff - as well as our extraordinary aftercare partners at Agape Restoration Center (ARC), run by Don and Bridget Brewster. Needless to say, they were impressed with what they saw.

Tonight's show will include coverage of IJM's work in Cambodia, highlighting our efforts to apprehend perpetrators and our dedication to seeing that their victims receive loving and long-term aftercare. We expect that piece to focus on former IJM client, Bella, rescued in 2004 at the age of 13 by our undercover investigators from the infamous Anarchy Building, a center of sex, drug and arms trade in Phnom Penh. While in Phnom Penh, correspondent Dan Harris, along with two award-winning producers, interviewed Bella at ARC - in English! The transformation in her over five years, in great part due to the support she received at Agape from Don and Bridget Brewster and their excellent Cambodian staff, is bound to surprise, move and inspire you.

But that is not all!

ABC World News is also scheduled to air several pieces on child sex tourism and partners in Cambodia during their evening news segments. On Thursday, they will feature IJM's work on the ground in Cambodia, highlighting our collaboration with local law enforcement as well as U.S. Federal authorities.

These are very exciting developments, sure to raise awareness about the great and widespread evil of human trafficking; but also IJM's efforts to combat it. For more information on the ABC programs, please visit their website at
http://abcnews.go.com/nightline

It is my great hope and prayer that these pieces will move viewers to join us in our work, as well as do much to bring freedom to the many vulnerable victims who still wait for freedom.
(Emphases mine)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Now What Do I Do?

Learning about human trafficking can be a disheartening experience. I often find myself immobilized by sadness and a feeling of helplessness in the face of the issue. Knowing that I can make a difference and that amazing people and organizations are doing so already restores my hope. God is at work fighting human trafficking and here is how you, his greatest instrument of change, can join that fight in practical ways.

Educate Yourself:
1) Read websites, books, and articles that will help you learn more. Some suggestions include http://www.ijm.org/, http://www.stopthetraffik.org/, http://www.notforsalecampaign.org/, http://www.worldconcern.org/, http://www.bridgestothenations.org/; Terrify No More (Gary Haugen) and Not for Sale (David Bastone).
2) Host a movie night for friends and neighbors and watch a movie on the issue. Check out Human Trafficking, Not for Sale, or Taken. Trade also provides an accurate portrayal of the issue, though it is slightly more graphic and suitable only for mature audiences.
3) Participate in a local exposure experience. Contact Lynnee@occ.org for details.
4) Bing or Google "Human Trafficking" and start reading.

Advocate for the Cause:
1) Use your gifts as a blogger and writer to help out with this site. Contact eastsidewop@gmail.com. Or, write about the issue on your personal blog.
2) Host a jewelry party with Freedom Stones! Raise awareness and funds for recovering women seeking to support themselves. Contact eastsidewop@gmail.com.
3) Continue tithing and giving. For those who attend OCC, 10% of your tithe goes towards Serve the World (STW) Projects, including supporting those working in this cause. Prayerfully consider how you can craigslist, garage sale, or part-time work your way to a giving goal toward projects that stop human trafficking. Opportunities to give through EWOP and OCC projects are available. Contact Lynnee@occ.org for more information.
4) Start talking to other people. Use our 3 primary fund raisers to invite friends, neighbors, and family to engage in the cause. Sell microloan cards at Christmas, promote Pictures for a Purpose with neighbors, friends, and your kids' school. Ask businesses you frequent to be a sponsor at the Tee Off Against Trafficking Golf Tournament. Use your sphere of influence to make a difference!
5) Book a photo session for your child at Pictures for a Purpose, happening Saturday, October 10. All sitting fees and a percentage of picture sales are donated to prevention and education causes. Or, volunteer to help out with the event. Contact eastsidewop@gmail.com.

Participate in Serving:
1) Make changes in your lifestyle. Use fair trade coffee and chocolate. Find brands that support sustainability and community development in the countries where their products are produced.
2) Invest your time in the serving core of EWOP. Use your gifts and experiences to help. Contact eastsidewop@gmail.com.
3) Volunteer at one of our fundraisers. Be part of the task force team that helps promote and execute the events.
4) Consider going international to see and share about the issue. The 7-day March 2010 trip to Thailand is being planned. Contact Lynnee@occ.org.
5) Prayerfully consider how God might want to use your SHAPE (spiritual gifts, heart [passions], abilities, personality, and experiences) to impact the cause. Need a conversation? Contact Lynnee@occ.org.
6) Pray! God's power is the best tool to fight this issue and His justice prevails. Make it a daily habit to think about the at-risk children and women who are most vulnerable.

Friday, September 11, 2009

One Small Victory for H.R. 2737 - Child Protection Compact Act of 2009

One small victory has been won this week in the FIGHT to END child trafficking.
Last week, a small group of EWOP members joined about 7 other women from the community to urge Congressman Inslee to support and become a cosponsor to HR 2737, the Child Protection Compact Act of 2009 (CPCA).


Summary of the CPCA of 2009
Authorizes the Secretary of State, through the Ambassador, to provide assistance (grants, cooperative agreements, or contracts) for an eligible country with a significant prevalence of trafficking in children that enters into a Child Protection Compact with the United States to support policies and programs to eradicate the trafficking of children.

I think we were all a little nervous about the meeting. We really didn't know what to expect. All we knew is that we would do our very best to give a voice to the children around the world that have been, are at risk of, or have lost their lives and innocence by being trafficked in some way. We shared our stories, photos and hearts in hopes that the representative would choose to cosponsor the bill - and to give these children a voice!

This is one of the images that we shared with Congressman Jay Inslee's Special Assistant, Patrick Hogan. We hoped and prayed that her life and story would be honored...


Just yesterday, we received an email that stated the following:

"Hello,
This is to follow up on our recent meeting here in Congressman Jay Inslee's office in Shoreline. I wanted to let you all know that Congressman Inslee will cosponsor the Child Protection Compact Act of 2009, H.R. 2737.
Congressman Inslee continues to believe that the United States must take an active role in combating the international human trafficking....
Thanks for focusing our attention on it. Congressman Inslee's name should soon appear on the list of cosponsors."

Just another small, but important victory for our FIGHT to END child trafficking.

If you would like to join us in tracking the progress of this bill, click on THIS LINK . You will be able to follow the progress of the bill as it makes its way through different phases of consideration by the House and the Senate.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Child Victims of Human Trafficking in King County Need Your Help!

I recently learned, much to my great disappointment, that funding for a shelter and trauma center for sexually exploited children and youth (MIDD Strategy 17b) has been cut from the 2010 King County budget. Upon further research (primarily thanks to Intercommunity Peace and Justice Center), I learned that under Federal and Washington State Law minors involved in the sex industry are considered victims of human trafficking. An estimated 500 children and youth in King County fall into this category. However, the County's current system does not treat them accordingly. Minors arrested for prostitution are processed through the juvenile court system - treated as criminals instead of victims. This system does not serve the children and youth involved. They do not have the opportunity to receive the care and counseling they most need. After reviewing MIDD Strategy 17b, I feel the plans outlined there DO serve the best interests of those involved.

This is an excellent opportunity to speak out on behalf of sexually exploited children right here where we live!

Please take the time to review Intercommunity Peace and Justice Center's web page devoted to this issue. You will find more information about the issue of human trafficking in King County, a sample letter to a County Official, and contact information for County officials. Also on the page is a link to the actual text of MIDD Strategy 17b. You can make a difference by emailing or calling the representative from your district and the County Executive.