Human Rights Day 2008

Today is the 60th Anniversary of Human Rights Day. Check out the Universal Declaration of Human Rights published by the United Nations.

As an American, it’s really easy to look down my nose at other countries, thinking, “How can they possibly allow that to happen?!”  I get kicked in the gut whenever I consider that this is happening on US soil.

A few years ago, at the recommendation of a friend, I picked up David Batstone’s Not for Sale.  I read it, felt informed, and walked away, not thinking I could make an impact.  I’d leave that to my friend who loves social issues.  She kept talking about human trafficking.  She refused to drink anything but free trade coffee when we went to Starbucks.  I’d roll my eyes, thinking she was being overly dramatic, but also thankful that there was someone in my life who cared about these things.

A few weeks ago, that changed.  I don’t know what it was…but I found myself at my local coffee roaster buying a pound of free trade coffee.  (It actually tastes better than other coffee.  Maybe the blood of children makes regular coffee bitter or something.)  I started seeking out youtube videos on trafficking.  I started following some modern day abolitionists on Twitter and reading their blogs.

Today, I want to speak directly to Americans.  There are slaves on US soil today.  If you have watched porn, there is a great chance that the woman you were objectifying is a slave.  If you have bought time with a prostitute with an exotic look and a foreign accent, you probably bought sex with a slave.  If you see small children/young teenage women at your favorite ethnic restaurant, there is a high likelihood that you are being served by slaves.

There is something that you can do.  If you think that you’ve come into contact with a slave, call 1.888.3737.888.  This is a tip line.  I’m going to post links on my sidebar that you can visit.  

If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem. Do something.  Start a conversation.  Join a conversation.  Do SOMETHING.

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