Friday, September 26, 2008

World's Largest Chocolate Fondue Party

Hey guys, is this something we might be interested in doing? I think it sounds like a great idea!

We at STOP THE TRAFFIK reckon that everyone in the world loves chocolate!

However, we are even more convinced (100% positive) that everyone in the world NEEDS to know about the issue of child trafficking in the manufacture of our chocolate and how it is completely unacceptable.

We are calling on people from countries all around the world to unite during the last week of November 2008 and indulge in some yummy chocolate, have some fun but fight for justice. Together we can stop the traffik.

STEP 1 - Click here to download your FONDUE PARTY organisers pack, invitations and delicious fair-trade chocolate recipes.

STEP 2 - Email us to tell us your name, email address, where you are going to host your party and how many people you plan to invite.

STEP 3 - Print off your invitations and give them out to your friends, family, colleagues and neighbours.

STEP 4 - Get the chocolate melty, the marshmallows ready and tuck in!! Make sure all fonduers fill out the 'WORLDS LARGEST CHOCOLATE FONDUE' voucher and that you send them all to us - that way we can keep track of just how many people came to the party!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

A Heroine From the Brothels

New York Times Op-Ed Columnist Nicholas D. Kristof

World leaders are parading through New York this week for a United Nations General Assembly reviewing their (lack of) progress in fighting global poverty. That’s urgent and necessary, but what they aren’t talking enough about is one of the grimmest of all manifestations of poverty — sex trafficking.

This is widely acknowledged to be the 21st-century version of slavery, but governments accept it partly because it seems to defy solution. Prostitution is said to be the oldest profession. It exists in all countries, and if some teenage girls are imprisoned in brothels until they die of AIDS, that is seen as tragic but inevitable.

The perfect counterpoint to that fatalism is Somaly Mam, one of the bravest and boldest of those foreign visitors pouring into New York City this month. Somaly is a Cambodian who as a young teenager was sold to the brothels herself and now runs an organization that extricates girls from forced prostitution.

Now Somaly has published her inspiring memoir, “The Road of Lost Innocence,” in the United States, and it offers some lessons for tackling the broader problem.

Read the rest here.

Also, visit Nicholas D. Kristof on Facebook.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Human Trafficking law nets first conviction

Two Nebraska teenagers may have been looking for freedom or fun when they fled a Fremont group home and headed for Omaha last August.

But they found Leonard Ray Russell, a 37-year-old man who dragged the girls across Iowa, forcing them to solicit sex and perform at strip clubs in exchange for food and shelter.

A Crawford County, Iowa, jury last week found Russell guilty of two counts of human trafficking. It was the first conviction under a 2006 Iowa law, which makes it a felony offense to recruit or transport someone for the purpose of "commercial sexual activity.''

One of the law's champions, former State Sen. Maggie Tinsman of Davenport, Iowa, said the conviction shows the law is needed to thwart those who seek to profit off the vulnerability of others.

"This is truly a human rights thing,'' said Tinsman.

Read more here.

invitation to authorship!

i hope i covered everyone!  we decided at last night's meeting to invite everyone who's expressed any interest in the group or the cause, to have their own name on blogspot and write as an author through this blog!  all you have to do is set up a blog name of your own and join as an author on here!

is this all a bit redundant?

hopefully this helps!

any other questions, email me:
ahlittlefiel at bsu dot edu

-asher "the Blog Master"  (i like my cool new title, by the way, so thanks for bestowing it upon me last night, guys!)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

hey guys, sorry my post is so late, but i've been busy workin on some other pretty important things, but now i've got a moment or two, and i've actually remembered...

--i agree with Phil on the shirts with BSU percentage of slaves stats, those would be great!
--i really like the idea of sidewalk chalk, but today i found out (and mentioned to Phil) that they're trying to ban sidewalk chalk usage on campus, based on inappropriate remarks that have been made.  i'm working with some other people on trying to get that ban revoked soon, but until then we shouldn't connect our name with anything the school doesn't permit.... obviously that would be bad for us
--i really like the idea of a "freedom chain" with purchase-able links, idea #9 on the previous list
--use the radio to advertise group meetings
--use the paper to advertise...
--the charity concert on LaFollette Field would be a really cool one, even though i'm not sure how to go about it!  any ideas?
--the book list (both Amazon and BSU) would be awesome!
--selling jewelry
--directly partnering with Rafa House

i know i listed a lot, but hopefully others will be able to hep narrow down, either on this blog, or tomorrow night at the meeting, and we can continue to go from there!


Friday, September 12, 2008

Department of Justice Announces Grants to Enhance Efforts to Fight Human Trafficking

Associate Attorney General Kevin J. O'Connor today announced almost $10 million in additional funding to supplement existing task forces and to expand the number of task forces working with community-based organizations to combat human trafficking. The Associate Attorney General made the announcement at the 2008 National Conference on Human Trafficking, where more than 350 representatives from federal, state, and local organizations gathered to discuss methods of investigating human trafficking and servitude and how best to provide services to trafficking victims.

"Human Trafficking is a serious crime and deserves the focused attention of law enforcement and victim service providers," said Associate Attorney General O'Connor. "The task forces receiving funding today are made up of both of these important elements. We will continue to use all of the resources at our disposal to make sure that traffickers are convicted and that victims receive the assistance they need to recover."

Since 2001, the Department has partnered with state and local law enforcement, and victim service organizations to convict 342 traffickers and assist 1,300 victims from 80 countries. In 2007 alone, the Department opened 154 new trafficking investigations.{9680E9A4-ECFC-4F01-8071-EB8194A789CB}&dist=hppr


Ideas I Really Like

-post issues and addresses of legislators on WC's bulletin board to encourage people to write
-make t-shirts for our group that state what percentage of BSU's campus would be slaves if it  
   reflected the international situation
-make a list of all the slavery books we've read, get the library to order them, suggest them for
  the freshman reader, and advertise them around campus
-set up an informational table about slavery and the library's resources about it in Bracken lobby
-advertise with sidewalk chalk
-do the freedom chain somewhere on campus
-do chains for change or some other activity for collecting change

I think all of the ideas are great.  To get more details on the sellable favors for CRU: what would we include with those?  


Sunday, September 7, 2008

Good Ideas from Call Out Meeting

So we had our call out meeting last week for the Fall semester, and I was really excited about a lot of the ideas I heard. Here's the big list in case anyone missed it:

1)  make sellable favors for the CRU dance
2)  get a speaker to come to campus (liberated slave, human rights expert/scholar, Kevin Bales, etc...)
3)  nominate a slavery-related book as next year's freshman read
4)  use the Writing Center's bulletin board to post opportunities and contacts for writing legislators about slavery issues
5)  get restaurants to have a night where proceeds go to FTS (MAx and Ermas, Fazolis, IHOP, etc...)
6)  pass out lifesavers advertising FTS
7)  post messages on bulletin boards around campus
8)  advertise FTS and related issues using sidewalk chalk
9)  make a "freedom chain" in residence halls or on campus - people pay to put up a link
10)  have a charity concert in LaFollette field with local/campus bands
11)  sponsor a spaghetti dinner (w/ LaRosa's)
12)  do something to get people's attention at the scramble light and hand out information or collect change
13)  do tv channel interview with TCOM dept.
14)  use BSU radio station to advertise activities
15)  have a bake sale and distribute information
16)  have a Fair Trade bake sale and distribute information
17)  team up with Late Nite - have an activity and info booth
18)  have slave poetry readings at the MT Cup
19)  "Chains for Change"  - have someone "locked up" in chains somewhere and advertise, "we need $____ before he/she can go free!"
20)  show a slavery related video and get teachers to give extra credit for attending
21)  sell jewelry at a booth
22)  do a presentation at local schools
23)  get an article about FTS in the Daily News
24)  sent money and reps to Haiti or some other place to help grassroots groups
25)  set up a FTS facebook
26)  send FTS videos via facebook
27)  use resources on campus to raise money - SGA, RHA, 
28)  do some other fundraiser (carwash, etc...)
29)  have a FTS book list (w/ Amazon?)
30)  work with the Rafa house in Cambodia?
31)  wear clothes or paint depicting % of slaves in population compared to Ball State Campus

I think they all sound like great ideas, but here are my top favorites: 
big events/plans: get in touch with a restaurant and arrange a fundraiser, chains for change (Whitney had a cool idea about this involving the holidays), Daily News article (it would be awesome if we could get this before the next meeting to advertise the next meeting), and favors for the CRU formal.
mini projects: nominate a book for the freshman reader, sidewalk chalk (again it would be nice to do this before the next meeting so we can let people know when our next meeting is), wearing clothes to represent % of slavery. 

-Sarah Burns