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?)




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

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.


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.


Thai, Australia police bust human trafficking ring


Iraqi national Raihan Ashour Oraibi Alfatlawi sits behind false passports he had possessed as he is presented to the media at Thai Immigration headquarter in Bangkok, Thailand, Tuesday, March 27, 2012. Thai police arrested Alfatlawi and a Thai woman on Tuesday, while Australian police announced the arrest of four men in Sydney and Melbourne in a multination operation against human trafficking networks.

Police in Thailand and Australia arrested six people Tuesday as part of a yearlong, multination operation against human trafficking networks.

Thai police said they arrested an Iraqi man and a Thai woman in Bangkok, while Australian police arrested four men in Sydney and Melbourne.

Thai police Lt. Gen. Wiboon Bangthamai said the arrests were part of “Operation Arapaima,” a yearlong effort to crack down on human trafficking networks in Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and Australia, the smuggling destination.

Although participating in the police operation, no arrests were made in Malaysia or Indonesia. Australian police said the operation was continuing.

Australia has long attracted asylum seekers hoping to start a new life, with thousands arriving by boat in recent years. Most are from war-ravaged nations such as Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Iran or Iraq, and use Malaysia or Indonesia as a starting point for a sea journey to Australia.

In Thailand, the Iraqi man, Raihan Ashour Oraibi Alfatlawi, 39, and the Thai woman, Sunida Sokul, 36, were arrested on charges of passport forgery, Wiboon said.


Authorities Detain 20 Suspected Illegal Immigrants in El Segundo

Federal agents and El Segundo police officers check a panga boat that washed ashore in El Segundo on Wednesday morning

Authorities detained 20 suspected illegal immigrants Wednesday after a smuggling boat washed ashore in El Segundo.

The small panga boat had departed from Tijuana and landed on the beach near the NRG power plant in El Segundo just before sunrise, said Lt. Raymond Garcia of the El Segundo Police Department. Police responded to a call at 6:45 a.m. that people were “running in all directions,” he said.

Local authorities detained 20 people and turned them over to federal immigration officials, Garcia said.

“They were all wet, cold, scared,” he said. “Some weird things wash up in our city but never a boat full of illegal immigrants.”

Panga boats are used by Mexican fishermen, as well as smugglers attempting to bring undocumented immigrants or drugs across the border.

As enforcement has tightened along the border since 2007, smugglers have increasingly turned to the ocean as a route. Although most of the boats have come ashore in northern San Diego County, others have been found along the beaches of Orange and Los Angeles counties.Driving it all are enormous profits. Smugglers charge immigrants as much as $6,000, and a boatload of 20 can bring more than $100,000.Federal immigration authorities said they have intercepted boats as far north as Santa Barbara County.

China says it freed 24,000 abducted children, women in 2011

China said it rescued more than 24,000 abducted children and women last year, some of them sold for adoption or forced into prostitution as far away as Angola.

The Ministry of Public Security said that another 77 children were saved in a bust on a cross-province human trafficking network last week.

In all, police rescued 8,660 abducted children and 15,458 women in busts of 3,195 human trafficking gangs during 2011, the ministry told the annual parliament, the National People’s Congress, according to the Irish Times.

According to Agence France-Presse, the trafficking of boy children is a particularly serious problem in China — blamed in part on the strict “one-child” policy. Couples unable to conceive a son, or male heir, can simply obtain one.

CNN, citing Global Times, a state-run newspaper, quoted Chen Qingwei, a police officer who helped crack down an infant trafficking case in Shandong, as saying that couples who sold their babies were mainly from poverty-stricken areas.

“A boy could fetch a price as high as 50,000 yuan ($7,905),” Chen reportedly said, “with the price for girls at about 30,000 yuan ($4,743). This is far more than what parents could make by farming the land.”

Girls, meantime, were sold to foreign adoptive parents as “orphans,” CNN reported, citing the Southern Metropolis News.

Vietnamese gangs were also smuggling children from Vietnam into China, the Times wrote.


McPhedran: The people smuggling dilemma

IMAGINE you are a poor fisherman living in a village on the coast of Java earning maybe $50 a month.

Someone offers you $5000 on behalf of a third party to crew a crowded and barely seaworthy vessel to Christmas Island.

That is almost 10 years’ pay and even if you get three years in an Australian jail you will be well in front upon your return home.

And life in an Australian prison offers more luxuries – such as TV and internet access – than you could ever afford back in the village.

Fast forward to the Federal Court in Sydney this week, where two poor Indonesian fishermen, Kama Bin Jafarudin and Umar Bin Basir, are on trial for smuggling 71 people into Australia on a tiny wooden boat that was so small the passengers couldn’t even get to the sides to go to the toilet.

 The only food on board was bread, water and a few nuts. There were no life vests or life boats.

Each passenger on board had paid about $15,000 to a people smuggler in Indonesia for their 48-hour trip to the land of milk and honey.

That is $1.065 million for a single voyage on a boat worth a few hundred dollars with a crew paid $10,000.

Even after expenses, which would include payments to corrupt Indonesian officials, the profits are enormous.

The two poor Indonesian fishermen told authorities that they had been fishing off the coast of Java when they became lost and somehow ended up 3km off Christmas Island, where a Navy patrol boat picked them up.


In Lagos, Nigeria, marginalized children face exploitation, trafficking and abuse

Sex and drugs are readily available on Kuramo Beach, a stretch of sand along the Gulf of Guinea. Children play in the sand, not far from sex workers. Nearby, tough young men known as ‘area boys’ sit under battered beach umbrellas.

It is also home to children living and working on the streets of Lagos.

Deprived of opportunities, Lagos, a chaotic and polluted mega-city built on swamps and reclaimed lagoons, is an economic draw for all of West Africa. UN agencies estimate that 10.2 million people live in the city, and 49 per cent of the country’s population is under age 18. This means a staggering number of children live in the dense metropolitan area.

Though the city presents a variety of opportunities, many children do not benefit from them. Some live in slums, others are victims of trafficking. Still others have been forced onto the streets by abuse or poverty. These marginalized children are vulnerable to exploitation, violence, drug use and recruitment into gangs.

“More and more children are running away,” said Ngozi Ekwerike-Okora, a coordinator with Child-to-Child Network and the Lagos State Child Protection Network.

“Many come from broken homes, which makes them vulnerable to peers who recruit them in their villages and sell them to be trained as pickpockets,” she said, describing rural children brought to Lagos by traffickers and sold to the ‘area boys’, who employ them as petty thieves and take their earnings.


To read more CLICK HERE.