Fair Trade

Fair

adjective \ˈfer\

1.in accordance with the rules or standards; legitimate
2. marked by impartiality and honesty : free from self-interest, prejudice, or favoritism

We’ve all heard of the term “fair trade”, but what does it actually mean?

Fair Trade centers around the exchange of goods and services based on principles of economic and social justice. The international group FINE defined Fair Trade as

“a trading partnership, based on dialogue, transparency, and respect, that seeks greater equity in international trade. It contributes to sustainable development by offering better trading conditions to, and securing the rights of, disadvantaged producers and workers—especially in the South.”

Although there is no one governing body to determine the status of Fair Trade products, all certified products must meet certain requirements such as:

  • Fair wages: All workers are paid a fair living wage for their time and materials.
  • Safe labor conditions: Working conditions are clean, safe, and conducive to productivity for all workers.
  • No slave labor: Products are made by willing workers who are receiving compensation equal to their labor.
  • Environmental sustainability: The materials used to make the products are used at a rate that can be continued indefinitely without substantial harm to the environment.

How does buying fair trade products impact human trafficking?

Poverty is a major reason that people are vulnerable to being trafficked. In small Third World Communities, being a part of a coop or artisan group that ensures a fair, living wage means a way out of poverty. Not only is labor exploitation prevented, but because the adults are making fair, living wage, the children are able to attend school. They don’t have to work, and their parents won’t be tempted to send them to “the city” for a job or education. Parents often send their children away with “friends” or “relatives” promising better opportunities, only to never hear from the children again.

Our nonprofit (and many others) encourage folks to buy Fair Trade Certified products, because the more demand we create for them, the more products will be made available, and the more people will be paid a fair, living wage.

Buying fair trade means taking a stand against human trafficking and ensuring that no person has to choose between selling their body and starving. Not only that, approximately 20% of trafficking victims are forced into slave labor and are underpaid to keep manufacturing costs low.

Where can I buy fair trade products?

  • Many local grocery store sell a few Fair Trade products

Look for these symbols when you’re shopping for coffee, tea, chocolate:

 

If you are in the Greenville area, our nonprofit sells Fair Trade products at

Spring Run Market

3701 Charles Blvd #104
Greenville, NC 27858

Springrunmarket.com

***We’ll also be at PirateFest on April 8-9th in Uptown Greenville.***

For a wider variety of products, check out these websites.

Fair Trade USA has a list of licensed Fair Trade companies:

http://fairtradeusa.org/products-partners#tabset-tab-2

&

Green America has a list of Fair Trade retailers: http://www.greenamerica.org/programs/fairtrade/products/wheretobuy.cfm

Additionally, the Fair Trade Resource Network has tips and websites to help you find specific fair trade companies and products near you: http://www.fairtraderesource.org/learn-up/identifying-fair-trade-products/

 

Writing for Freedom,

Darien Smith

Advertisements

$ex $ells

The sad reality is, we’ve all encountered pornography in one way or another. We are bombarded with suggestively pornographic advertisements on a daily basis, curious children find pornographic images on the internet, and pop culture is saturated with the idea that ‘sex sells’. Pornography use is not only mentally and emotionally detrimental to the user, it impacts our society by increasing the objectification of women and increasing demand for prostitution and human trafficking. Pornography is the new drug plaguing our culture, and it is up to us to do something about it.

 

Let’s start by getting the facts on pornography use:

  • In 2008, over 40,000 websites distributed pornography.
  • Men are 543% more likely to look at pornography than females.
  • There are over 68 million searches for porn every day in the United States.
  • 10% of adults admit to having an addiction to online pornography.
  • Every hour, a new porn film is created in the United Sates.
  • 30 million people are watching pornography right now.

For more information on Porn’s Dirty Little Secret, check out fightthenewdrug.org (http://fightthenewdrug.org/porns-dirty-little-secret/)

 

Many people are lead to believe that pornography is a victimless crime, they believe that the performers are consenting adults and that it’s all fun and games for the viewer. What they fail to realize is that:

  1. Many of the ‘performers’ are victims of human trafficking, often drugged or threatened into performing.
  2. Many victims of sex trafficking are forced to watch pornographic films as part of their ‘training’, teaching them that forms of degradation and abuse are normal and acceptable.
  3. Pornography drives the demand for prostitution and trafficking by normalizing the oversexualization and objectification of women, making buying a woman seem more acceptable.

So let’s break this down a little bit…

  1. Trafficking is defined as trafficking the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, or of fraud.

Many pornography ‘performers’ are considered trafficked under this definition. Even if they enter the profession consensually, they are faced with the harsh reality of abuse and unethical working conditions of the industry, a thought that never crosses most pornography users’ minds.

According to stoptraffickingdemand.com, women face hostile work conditions such as:

  • Force and threats of force– beating; slapping; punching; beating with objects; physical restraints; rape; gang rape; attempted rape
  • Fraud– fraudulent offers of employment; promises of money and fame; deceitful enticing and affectionate behavior; lying about working conditions
  • Coercion– threats of serious harm to body, reputation, finances; intense manipulation by pornographers to lure in naïve women; threatened legal action in an effort to intimidate and control; intimidation and humiliation; emotional and physical coercion used to break the woman’s resistance to hardcore sex acts; drugs and alcohol

For more information, visit http://stoptraffickingdemand.com/trafficking-within-the-industry/

 

  1. Pornography is often shown to sex trafficking victims to teach them how to perform. Almost all men who purchase women for sex watch pornography, and they are often seeking to recreate scenes. Pornography is also used to desensitize victims to violence, degradation, and humiliation, teaching them to believe that porn sex is real sex. Pornography can also force victims to normalize the abuse they receive.

“It has been noted that “pimps and traffickers use pornography to initiate their…victims into their new life of sexual slavery” so that they “get hardened to accept the inevitable and learn what is expected of them.”

SOURCE: The Protection Project: Journal of Human Rights and Civil Society

 

  1. Pornography drives the need for human trafficking because the porn industry is a business, and like any business, it seeks to grow, pimps need more victims to fill the growing demand. Porn has also been scientifically shown to alter your brain chemistry, associating it with pleasure, causing the viewer to crave more and more of it, like a drug. Men who are addicted to porn often require increasingly more violent and degrading sex acts to achieve arousal, and when their partners aren’t willing, they seek out women who can’t say no. However, possibly the worst side effect of porn is that it allows the viewer to see the performers, most often women, as objects for sexual use, not as human beings, thus making prostitution and buying trafficked women seem commonplace and abusing them seem easy.

 

Unfortunately, in today’s society, porn use is commonplace and more acceptable than any other form of drug use. It is easily accessible, virtually undetectable, and more often than not, considered a victimless crime. By changing public perception of pornography and prostitution, we can end the evil of human trafficking, one step at a time.

 

Writing for Freedom,

 

Darien Smith

Sex Trafficking and the Super Bowl

In light of the upcoming Super Bowl, I wanted to explore the correlation between human trafficking and sporting events. As you read, please keep in mind that this is an extremely controversial topic and all I can do is present the facts and draw conclusions to the best of my ability. Regardless of your feelings, we can all agree that human trafficking is a horrible evil that should be stopped.

While human trafficking happens daily all across the globe, porn use and prostitution sharply increases during major sporting events such as the Super Bowl. For the sake of this article, I will be focusing on male purchasers, female victims, and the Super Bowl, but human trafficking can happen anywhere, at any time, to anyone, regardless of age, race, or gender.
The issue:

According to Staca Shehan, director of the Case Analysis Division at the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, “What we know about sex trafficking is that it is demand-driven and any type of event that brings large groups of people together would generally increase demand,” she said. “Pimps and traffickers follow the money, so they bring their victims wherever they can make the most profit. They look for opportunities they can capitalize on.”

A very popular porn website crunched the numbers: the traffic change before, during, and after Super Bowl 48 (2014) in Seattle and Denver. Obviously, trafficking dropped during the game and increased slightly during halftime, but the most astonishing and conclusive change happened after the game. In Seattle (the winning city), there was a 17% drop in viewing, while in Denver, there was an 11% increase. A link to the full report can be found in this Huffington Post article, but I don’t want to publish the porn site’s article for many obvious reasons. <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/02/04/broncos-fans-porn_n_4724864.html>

There’s a lot of research being done into the science behind this phenomenon, but in short “Why porn? Because evidence suggests that an increase in testosterone encourages men to seek out a large variety of easily aroused sexual partners.”<http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/marina-adshade/superbowl-porn_b_6747762.html>

Last year, the Cook County Sheriff’s Department led a “National Day of Johns” sting and arrested nearly 600 would-be buyers and rescued 70 victims in the week leading up to the Super Bowl. “It’s particularly meaningful that this sting culminated on the day of the Super Bowl, which unfortunately has emerged as a prominent haven for sex trafficking.”
The previous year, the FBI reported charges against 45 pimps and rescued 25 minors after the Super Bowl in New Jersey. < http://www.latimes.com/nation/nationnow/la-na-nn-sex-trafficking-sting-super-bowl-20150202-story.html>

What’s being done about it

 

 

Whether or not you believe sporting events actually cause a rise in human trafficking and porn use, we can all agree that the national and worldwide publicity that comes from the Super Bowl and other such sporting events is a powerful tool that should be used to our advantage.

 

If you see something, say something.

National Human Trafficking Resource Center:
1 (888) 373-7888 Or text “HELP” or “INFO” to 233733

 

Writing for Freedom,

 

Darien Smith