These past few weeks I have been learning how the boycotts and buycotts that are used to try to raise awareness about international issues or even solve international issues, such as sweatshop labor, do not work as well as they claim to or as much as people would like them to be. In fact some boycott campaigns can do more harm to than good to people they are meant to help. Throughout this semester I have been researching what governmental and non-governmental organizations have done to raise awareness about and prevent human trafficking. One of the practices that many of these organizations have had success with has been local involvement. I am going to use this blog to show how local involvement has helped these organizations fight against human trafficking.
A charity from the United Kingdom called Stepping Stones Nigeria, partnered with a local non-governmental organization called Child Rights and Rehabilitation Network(CARN) to work with the children who have been kicked out of their homes because they were labeled ‘witches or wizards’. Stepping Stones Nigeria helped CARN and the children build houses and a school at the CARN shelter. CARN and Stepping Stones Nigeria have also hired teachers to educate the children. In addition to formal education, the children are also taught, marketable skills such as farming, sewing, building, and soap making. The two organizations have been talking with local professionals to set up apprenticeships for the children when they get older. The rabbit, poultry, and snail farms at the CARN shelter help the children make money, from sales, and give them protein rich food. Another success of these two organizations has been the Prevent Abandonment of Children Today (PACT) campaign. The campaign began in November of 2006 and with the help of international and local officials and activists, the campaign has led to the arrests of many parents who had abandoned their children. This has helped stop the abandonment of children because now that the police are enforcing the rules against child abandonment, parents are less likely to abandon their children. The PACT campaign has also gotten local radio and TV stations involved. These stations have daily advertisements warning their viewers and listeners, that child abandonment is illegal and immoral.
The International Justice Mission has worked with local police around the world to make sure laws against various types of human trafficking are enforced. In the Philippines child trafficking in particular has been a major problem. IJM members with experience in law enforcement have helped to give training to the Philippians’ police, who had not received formal police training before, due to lack of funding. In May 2003, the Philippians’ government passed an anti-trafficking law which can penalize traffickers with jail time up to life. Another law has also been passed in the Philippines with the help of IJM officials, this law makes sure that children in jail are not in adult prisons. This is a positive change because it prevents abuse of the children while they’re in jail.
Thus by working with local police and community members Stepping Stones Nigeria and the International Justice Mission have been able to create change in areas where human trafficking is a major problem.
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