Umbrella Market and Fair Trade

Individuals in Eastern North Carolina are encouraged to attend the Umbrella Market in Uptown Greenville.

ENC Stop Human Trafficking will have a booth at the weekly event where we will be selling certified fair trade items that have been hand-crafted from around the world! The Umbrella Market is every Wednesday, weather permitting, from 5 to 8. The first one of the summer will be today, May 4.

Come on out to see all the local vendors and make sure to stop by our table

There’s a phrase related to the goods we buy, but do we really understand the power behind those two words? Fair Trade.

This is the definition provided by the World Fair Trade Organization:

Fair Trade is 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, marginalized producers and workers – especially in the South.
Fair Trade organisations have a clear commitment to Fair Trade as the principal core of their mission. They, backed by consumers, are engaged actively in supporting producers, awareness raising and in campaigning for changes in the rules and practice of conventional international trade.”


Fair trade provides justice in the world by dignifying workers around the world by providing them with fair compensation for their products. This in turn allows people to support and care for themselves and their families.

This label does not mean products will be too expensive for consumers. Fair trade item prices are often on par with the prices of items of similar quality. Fair trade does not mean that individuals from the developing world are paid wages that workers from the Western World are paid. It simply means that they are paid a wage that is fair–it’s based on price of production and is fair compensation for the time and materials invested in the product. This also means that fair trade is not charity–we are not over-paying workers because they are in need–we are insuring they are paid what they are owed.

Fair trade offers sustainability–people can continue to work. Without fair compensation these individuals would not be able to continue in the same work because investment would be greater than reward. Situations where individuals are worked without fair compensation–because of force, fraud, or coercion–are instances of labor trafficking. Fair trade insures trafficking is not occurring anywhere in the supply chain. Increase in the demand for fair trade will in turn decrease the demand for slavery.

What can we do to decrease labor trafficking both in our own communities and on a global scale?

  1. Buy local goods when you can. This way, you know where the items are coming from and where the revenue is going.
  2. Buy fair trade certified goods when you have the option. (Look for logo.) This in turn, shows businesses that the fair trade certification is important to consumers.
  3. When we go to our favorite stores, cafes, and restaurants ask about stocking with fair trade products.
  4. Support legislation that promotes transparency in supply chains and supports the eradication of slave labor.
  5. Change the way we speak about workers in other countries. It’s easier to dehumanize fellow inhabitants of our world than we realize, and that is dangerous.
  6. Share articles on social media and show that you support fair wages for products around the world. Believe it or not, political offices keep track of what seems to be trending topics on social media sites, because this gives insight into what is important to voters.
  7. Remind ourselves that a few dollars on clothes and other goods is not worth someone else paying with their lives. We’re in it, to end it.
  8. Continue to ask questions. The World Fair Trade Organization and Fair Trade USA are great resources. Fair Trader is an online shop with items that are certified fair trade. (Who doesn’t love online shopping?)




President Obama Makes Historic Commitment to Fight Human Trafficking


President Obama Makes Historic Commitment to Fight Human Trafficking
New White House Initiatives Will Increase Support for Human Trafficking Survivors, Prohibit Forced Labor by Government Contractors

Washington, D.C. (September 25, 2012) – The following is a statement by Polaris Project Executive Director Bradley Myles following President Obama’s remarks on human trafficking in New York today:

“Today, President Obama rightly declared that fighting modern slavery is one of the great human rights battles of our era in a speech detailing a number of concrete measures to help identify victims of human trafficking and reduce this crime and human rights abuse throughout the United States and globally.

“Importantly the President’s words help to shift the paradigm from treating trafficked persons as criminals to seeing them as crime vict­ims to be protected. This is a core belief here at Polaris Project and we welcome all efforts to ensure that victims of human trafficking are treated with dignity and respect and are provided with comprehensive social services.

“We support the President’s plan to ensure that government contractors do not engage in human trafficking and forced labor, to increase training and tools for law enforcement and prosecutors, and to promote greater collaboration among federal agencies. These initiatives will have a significant impact. Additionally we echo President Obama’s call to pass the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA) and urge Congress to move forward quickly to approve this measure which has previously been reauthorized three times by bipartisan majorities. The current Senate bill, S. 1301, has 52 cosponsors.

“We know first-hand that victims all over the United States need support to leave their trafficking situation and rebuild their lives. Thousands of victims have called the National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline on their own behalf to request help. This national hotline is one of our country’s best tools to identify and reach victims and connect them to the services they need.

“President Obama has made it clear that his Administration wants to make these survivors a top priority. His speech and policy announcements represent a turning point in the fight against human trafficking which clearly signal that this is a real problem here in our country. We do not face an insurmountable challenge, but we must heed this call and redouble our efforts to create a world without modern slavery.  With the help of business leaders, community members, law enforcement, and federal and state officials, we can come together to support victims of trafficking and eradicate this crime from our communities.”


via Polaris Project

Help us develop insight for anti-human trafficking efforts

Molly, one of our interns, has created a survey to gauge community awareness about human trafficking and fair trade products.  It would be greatly appreciated if you took this survey and distribute it throughout your online social networks.  The more information that we gather, the more useful it will be in deciding our next plan of action!

Click here to take the survey


Thank you so much for your time!

Peter Wilson


ENC Stop Human Trafficking Now

Prevent Child Trafficking: An Article Review

Holly Smith, the writer of this article, was a victim of child sex trafficking and is making noise so more action is taken.  There have been an increasing number of human trafficking cases within the past six months.  The Eastern District of Virginia has had several cases alone, some of which were linked to differing gangs.  The tactics vary but most go for children with a similar predisposition.  Even though there are more cases being reported, does that mean it is expanding or getting more exposure?  I believe it is both.  If more efforts are not developed for the prevention and rehabilitation of human trafficking, it is going to become a more prominent threat.  Smith says that Virginia is not the exception but the rule.

I completely agree due to the misinformation that our society has generated around prostitution.  The statistics show that religious orientation does not deter followers of different faiths to employ prostitution services.   People see it as a negative aspect of culture but it is the prostitutes right to sell her body within a ‘free,’ capitalist society.  People do not realize that they are not enacting their rights but a trafficker’s demand.  The male buyer (the ‘John’) usually does not realize the processes and situations the prostitute has been forced through (The ones that do realize would not have the allowance to attend ‘John School’, a topic for the next blog.)    One of the main issues is that the American middle class has suffered due to the economic recession.  It is within these times that more people are capable of manipulating the inhabitants through a variation of means.

Look at two very prominent examples, Asia and Russia.  Russia started increasing trafficking after the collapse of the Soviet Union.  Asia’s market collapse created a wave of poverty and desperation, a traffickers dream.  The country’s economy was suffering and people were desperate to get jobs and stability.  Since there is a need for money, many women seek employment through agencies promising jobs in foreign countries. Though there are legitimate agencies that allow what the girls are hoping for, it is not always the case.  Traffickers are able to lure girls into prostitution by employing various methodologies [servile marriage, prostitution].   So we have to teach them young, right?  Let’s stop cutting school budgets and introduce new programs that help human trafficking awareness and prevention through direct and indirect means.

M.S., another survivor of human trafficking, tells her story and how her teachers were a beacon of hope.  The issue is that teachers and social workers typically do not know the criteria or understanding to identify a victim of sex trafficking.  Virginia has implemented a program to teach teachers and social workers the skills to identify and converse with a trafficked victim.

If a person does not know the right questions to ask, it very difficult to identify the case as human trafficking due to their mental ailments induced by the trafficker.

The traffickers use this to their advantage, utilizing the police force as an inhibitor by turning in the victim and forcing them to stay in jail for months at a time.  It is commonly known that in the U.S. [NV excluded], prostitutes were arrested with the charge ‘crime against nature.’  The way the media has portrayed prostitutes is not helping those that are forced into its dark, daily routine.  We all need to work hard to get programs like Virginia’s in North Carolina!

As the video “The Quest to End Child Trafficking” states, advocacy groups and grassroots are the most auspicious for change in human trafficking laws and the rehabilitation of its victims.  Let’s work together and make this community one where prostitution and trafficking is no longer prevalent.  There are many things you can do to help the battle against modern-day slavery.  Support programs, buy fair trade items, talk to a friend about human trafficking and research the issues and threats in your area!

NCGS Chapter 14 Article 10A: The definition and ramifications of human trafficking in NC

Article read by and inspired:

Peter Wilson

ENC Stop Human Trafficking

Intern [Anthropology]

Mom’s Crusade to Rescue Daughter from Sex Traffickers Forces Trial

A decade ago, Susana Trimarco’s 23-year-old daughter left her house in Tucuman, Argentina for a doctor’s appointment and said: “I’ll be back soon.”

She was never to be seen again.

Her daughter, María de los Angeles Verón, is believed to have been kidnapped and forced into prostitution, becoming one of the millions of human trafficking victims in the world.

That began Trimarco’s remarkable and dangerous mission to find her daughter: Chasing down leads in brothels, confronting pimps and standing up to politicians she says were complicit in her daughter’s disappearance.

Following a tip that her daughter was in a brothel in a northwestern province of Argentina called La Rioja, she posed as a prostitute and visited a series of dark and dangerous brothels looking for her daughter. She wanted to see how the networks operate, first hand and up close.

“I have no fear of this mafia, and I hope that Justice will make justice,” she said in court recently.

Her efforts, which have brought her international recognition –and kudos from the U.S. White House to Canada – have uncovered a network of human sex slave traffickers that reached as far away as Spain. A foundation Trimarco created in her daughter’s name has helped to rescue 150 victims of human trafficking around the world.

Her her daughter is not one of them. But Trimarco has never given up hope.

This month, 10 years after her Verón’s disappearance, seven men and six women accused of having been part of the network that kidnapped and forced her daughter into prostitution are finally being brought to trial.

Read more:

Mexico’s Congress Approves Bill to Combat Human Trafficking

Mexico’s lower house unanimously passed an anti-human-trafficking bill that establishes preventative and punitive measures and provides aid to victims of that crime.

The bill includes prison sentences of up to 40 years for those convicted of sexual exploitation and abuse and creates a fund to offer care to victims, the Chamber of Deputies said Friday in a statement.

The head of the Special Committee to Combat Human Trafficking, Congresswoman Rosi Orozco of the governing National Action Party, or PAN, said the bill goes after the entire chain of exploitation, from the people who entrap victims to those who hold them against their will and exploit them and even clients of sexual services.

“Not one more victim will have to endure injustice; the entire chain of exploitation will be punished and comprehensive care will be provided to victims to ensure their social reinsertion,” Orozco said.

The Senate had earlier modified the original bill, whose wording could have been interpreted as only providing protection to minors and leaving out the vast majority of the real and potential victims of human trafficking in its different forms.
Read more:

New York’s trafficking law evolving

In 2007, New York legislators approved one of the more expansive sex trafficking laws in the country — a law that, outside of New York City, has rarely been used.

Through late March there had been 145 sex trafficking arrests in New York under the bill signed into law in 2007 — and all but 13 were in New York City.

That means 91 percent of the arrests occurred in New York City, and only one person has been convicted for sex trafficking outside of the city.

Experts say there are multiple reasons why the law has so rarely been wielded: It is still a relatively new tool; many cases end up in federal court; and trafficking investigations can be difficult to build, especially because of reluctant victims.

“I think it’s a really slow process, but I do think we’re moving in the right direction,” said Lauren Hersh, a Brooklyn assistant district attorney who has been one of the state’s leaders in sex trafficking prosecutions.

Westchester Assemblywoman Amy Paulin, one of the anti-trafficking leaders in the Legislature, said the law may still be too new to critique for effectiveness.

“It’s relatively new,” she said. “The crimes of murder and robbery have been around a long time.”

But, some say, the biggest impediment to toughened anti-trafficking law enforcement may be the long-held belief that a prostitute is, first and foremost, a criminal.


EU to watch for fraud, trafficking at Euro 2012

EU authorities said Thursday they will be on watch for a spike in customs fraud and human trafficking during the European football championship, as the bloc’s border lies between hosts Poland andUkraine.

“The challenge for border guards at events like Euro 2012 is the management of large passenger flows across the borders,” said Gil Arias Fernandez, deputy head of European Union border agency Frontex.

“Our risk analyses say that criminal networks may try to hide the smuggling of cigarettes, petrol, et cetera, as well as stolen vehicles, taking advantage of the increased traffic at border crossing points,” he told reporters.

“There is also a risk of concealing the traffic of human beings in the midst of these flows, mainly women for prostitution purposes,” he added.

On Monday, Poland announced that during the championship, which runs from June 8 to July 1, it would reintroduce controls on its borders with EU neighbours Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Lithuania.

Such checks were dropped in December 2007 when Poland joined Europe’s travel-smoothingSchengen zone, which now comprises 26 countries, including several non-EU members.

Schengen rules allow members to resume border controls in certain cases, notably when large numbers are expected to flock into a country — and Euro 2012 is expected to draw more than a million people.


Freedom Climb to bring families together against human trafficking

If you have heard anything about the worldwide human trafficking crisis, you’ve likely heard this statistic: over 30 million people are victims of trafficking in the world today.

That number is overwhelming. It’s the equivalent of putting the entire nation of Peru–plus a few–in slavery. It can be difficult to know where to even begin to tackle a country-sized problem that’s spread out to every nation in the world.

But Operation Mobilization has found one small, yet significant way for families to do something about it: the Freedom Climb.

Sharon Scott went on OM’s last Freedom Climb up Tanzania’s famous Mt. Kilimanjaro. She and 47 other women climbed the 19,000-foot mountain to raise awareness and funds for OM projects fighting trafficking. The trek raised over $400,000 for OM to prevent trafficking and spread the Gospel across the globe.

“We have [projects in] India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Zambia, Asia, Nearest, Middle East, Costa Rica, Mozambique, Cambodia, and Argentina,” says Scott. Funds went to assist all of these.

OM is recreating this climb in several new places now. The Kilimanjaro climb took a great deal of commitment and strength. It would be quite a feat for a family to do it together. Freedom Climb Atlanta, however, is on a much smaller scale, suitable for families.


Two-fifths of UK trafficking victims are male, survey reveals

Men account for 41% of adult human trafficking victims in England and Wales, according to the Salvation Army.

Men account for more than two-fifths (41%) of adult victims of human trafficking in England and Wales helped by the Salvation Army, contrary to the public perception that the crime almost exclusively affects women.

The finding comes in a survey by the charity, which provides specialist support for the adult victims of trafficking on behalf of the Ministry of Justice.

The Salvation Army, which began the support service six months ago, also dealt with the first recorded case of an individual being trafficked to Britain to have their organs harvested. The case, involving an unnamed woman brought to the UK by an organised gang, is understood to be the subject of a police investigation, the Telegraph reports.

The charity’s survey found that 45% of those it supported had been forced into sexual exploitation, 43% were involved in labour exploitation and 8% were trafficked into domestic servitude.

This contradicted a survey of English and Welsh adults carried out by YouGov, which found that respondents thought 29% of all trafficked victims in England and Wales were male, and 68% of all trafficked victims were sexually exploited.

To Read More Click Here.