Oct 5, 2007


My Tear Fund newsletter arrived today.

Aside from being overwhelmed by the hugeness of global poverty and need, I read a review of the movie Amazing Grace, which I have been meaning to go see, but will probably wait until it comes out on DVD. (How do other parents manage to actually leave the house as a couple in the evenings?!). The review states
"At the start of the film it is said there were 11 million slaves. Hard as it may seem, there are now more than 27 million slaves."
This includes, of course, child soldiers, bonded (debt) labour, third world prostitution, cocoa plantation workers in ivory coast etc etc (where 40% of the world's cocoa is produced - think of that the next time you munch into a Cadbury/Nestle/Herschey's product).

Slavery is a huge problem. These organisations (here, here and here) are full of information on getting actively involved in the fight against slavery. If (like me) you are a bit overwhelmed at adding yet another organisation to your 'save the world' burden, there are some simple purchasing decisions you can make.

It comes down to economics. As it states elsewhere in my Tear Fund newsletter
"Few parents would abandon or sell their children if they could afford to keep them. A sponsored child is unlikely to become a slave. A mother in a thriving Microenterprise business can keep and care for her children. A community where Aids and other diseases are being treated will have fewer vulnerable orphans. A country which is receiving fair prices for its goods and resources will be wealthier, more stable and more able to enforce anti-slavery laws... It may sound a bit far-fetched but when you buy fair trade products, you're actually fighting slavery in an indirect but real way" (italics mine)
So here's to Fair-Trade.

And the chocolate tastes even better when it's not blood-flavoured.


Kevin said...

Hi, Thanks for a great post. I appreciate how the issue of slavery can be really daunting, but I want to tell you that it can be eradicated. This week I published a new book Ending Slavery: How We Free Today's Slaves - it is a 25 year plan for ending slavery worldwide. Here's what Desmond Tutu and Given Kachepa said about it:

“None of us is truly free while others remain enslaved. The continuing existence of slavery is one of the greatest tragedies facing our global humanity. Today we finally have the means and increasingly the conviction to end this scourge and to bring millions of slaves to freedom. Read Kevin Bales' practical and inspiring book and you will discover how our world can be free at last.” -- Archbishop Desmond Tutu

“I was enslaved at age 11 as part of a human trafficking plot. I know modern slavery from the inside, and since coming to freedom I am committed to end it forever. Every human life has value. People have been sold for far too long and it's time to stop it. This book shows us how to make a world where no more childhoods will be stolen and sold as mine was.” Given Kachepa, former child slave in the United States.

Warm wishes,
Kevin Bales
(Free the Slaves - freetheslaves.net)

Kevin said...

Oh! Sorry - I meant to add:

I don't know how old your kids are, but my 10-year-old son really loved Amazing Grace.

home handymum said...

Thanks, Kevin.

I liked the look of what you guys are doing at Free the Slaves. Direct Action is very important.

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