Archive by Author

What if it was you? A look at the growing problem of human trafficking.

24 Apr

You think that just because it’s the 21st century slaves don’t exist?  Well, you’re wrong.  Worldwide, there are 27 million modern-day slaves.  Every year 1 million new children are exploited in the global commercial sex trade.  The United States of America is the number one destination for Child Sex Trafficking in the World.  California is the state with the highest number of Child Trafficking offenses.

Human Trafficking is the second largest illegal business in the world after drugs.  It is growing more popular because you can sell a person numerous times, whereas you can only sell a drug or weapon once.  Over 32 billion is made a year.  Average cost of a slave is $90.  One female slave can make approximately $67,382 a year.

Slavery doesn’t discriminate.  Everyone, regardless of race, gender or where they live, is at risk.  Runaway kids who came from abusive homes are especially at risk.  The traffickers prey on their vulnerability.  The average age of entry intro prostitution is 12 – 14.  In the words of a trafficker, “they like the younger girls because it’s easier to break their spirits and know they’ll never try to run away because there was nothing left.  Ten days to two weeks of gang rape and sodomy and their eyes go blank and you know they’re good to go.”  They start kids as young as 9 months in brothels.

 

The punishments for these crimes against humanity are rarely severe.  Many times, the girls who were trafficked will be penalized for prostitution even though it was against their will.  It is hard to hold one person accountable for trafficking since it is a business that deals with many different people.  It is not only the trafficker’s fault, but the people who pay for the services of the slaves.

If a person is lucky enough to escape from captivity, many of them find themselves back in the world of prostitution.  Since they had been kept isolated from the world for so long they do not know how to survive in any other way.  

Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore have created a foundation to help spread the word.  Watching this short and informative documentary (Part 1 and Part 2) is worthwhile.  Just think, what if it was you?

Camels, Horses and Animal Abuse, Oh My!: the plight of animals during the Egyptian conflict.

8 Feb

The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated. –Mahatma Gandhi

Other than the pyramids, camel-rides are one of the most popular tourist attractions in Egypt, but the camels used commercially are treated worse than those used for private agricultural purposes. The people of Egypt work their camels, horses and donkeys to death and beat them when they don’t follow their commands. If what Gandhi said holds true, Egypt, as a nation, is regressing. Activists based in Cairo, aim to protect these animals.   

 

These images provide a look at the heinous treatment the horses and camels that were paraded into Cairo, the heart of the protests, received.  The protestors in Egypt are not the only ones affected by their hostile behavior.  The animals are being forced into the violent chaos, leaving them vulnerable and helpless.  On February 2nd, Mubarak supporters flooded into Cairo on the backs of horses and camels.  The animals were used in an attempt to trample anti-government rioters.  Gasoline bombs and water cannons were utilized during the protests.  The rioters also threw rocks, fists and bottles.  The animals are being subjected to these deplorable conditions without any means of protecting themselves.    

The following video is disturbing, watch at your own risk.

Another issue the animals are facing in Egypt is abandonment.  The United States is helping to evacuate people, but they are forcing the refugees to leave their domesticated four-legged family members in Egypt.  This is forcing the owners to make the tough decision, whether to remain in Egypt or leave their beloved animals to fend for themselves.  Peta has set up a campaign to urge the U.S. Department of State to allow the animals to be evacuated.

Prideful

8 Feb

Hi class!  Between this and Twitter I am having an awfully hard time getting the hang of it – hopefully I am not the only one.  I don’t really know what to say, but I feel compelled to talk about the unrest in Egypt.  As I’m sure most of you probably know the Egyptians have finally had enough of Mubarak’s oppressive ruling and have demanded his removal from power.  Riots are occurring and growing increasingly violent resulting 102 deaths and over 2,000 injuries.  Mubarak needs to get over himself and just step down.  Eventually he will be removed, but it would be nice if he was smart enough to do it on his own.  He has oh so graciously agreed to appoint a new government, but he would have supreme say over who was appointed (which does not help the situation at all.)  Once the unrest began he mandated a 6PM – 7AM curfew and has made it nearly impossible to use a phone or a computer because of the coverage the riots were receiving due to websites like Twitter.  On a similar note the unrest might lead to the shut down of the Suez Canal.  Doesn’t sound like a big deal to you?  Almost all of the oil that the US receives is brought through the Suez Canal.  If it is blocked off, ships carrying oil would have to travel an extra 6,000 miles around the tip of Africa.  This would cause gas prices to skyrocket.  I don’t know about you, but I can’t afford for the gas prices to go any higher.  I think the extra expense of oil would cause a nationwide panic.  The world seriously needs to get its act together.

I included this picture because it gave me chills.  This, to me, is a modern-day Tiananmen Square.