SOLUTIONS… The Way Forward
“Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will“
Frederick Douglass: Ex-slave, American abolitionist, women’s suffragist, editor, orator, author, statesman and reformer.
These problems may seem overwhelming both in their variety and their scope. Many organizations have chosen to focus on a particular aspect of human trafficking. Some are concerned exclusively with child sexual exploitation. Others with labor abuses. Some deal with a specific interest such as domestic servitude, abuses in the apparel industry, or the chocolate industry. Groups may restrict their work to a particular geographic region, or to a particular ethnic group. Some organizations are driven by their political views and some by their religious views. Others are governed by their response, whether it be victim advocacy, prosecuting perpetrators, or a focus on attacking demand. There are groups that craft public policy and those that raise awareness through public education. Fight Slavery Now! takes the position that ALL of these efforts are necessary and worthwhile.
We believe that there is also utility in having a local grass-roots umbrella organization operating alongside many of these groups, and that is what we strive to be. We wish to lend our strength to other groups, in addition to pursuing our own efforts and initiatives. We hope that you will lend us your support in creating a ‘clearing house for freedom’.
We will detail the many things an individual may do. Another level of response is that of government action. Crafting, passing, and funding responsive legal remedies. Ultimately, in a democracy, government policy is a reflection of what the people consider most important. Lastly is the question of corporate accountability. While corporations may be primarily beholden only to their shareholders, they are bound by law and also deeply affected by consumer demands. So we see again that stopping slavery is really up to you and to every citizen. Change will not come unless it is demanded. So what direct impact can we have, and how can we pursuade both corporations and government to better address these issues?
We fully support and endorse the plan put forward by a leading abolitionist organization, Free The Slaves: The Plan to End Slavery in 25 Years. This plan recognizes the economic underpinnings of slavery that we have looked at, and finds ways for all segments of society to contribute to ending it in this generation. Could there be a more worthwhile legacy?
The following is from “Free the Slaves”:
Grassroots initiatives need to be taken to scale as much as possible. Organizations should be selected on the basis of their interest in incubating possible solutions and then expanding their reach. Careful judgments need to be made about how large the operations of an organization can be, and how fast it can grow, while still sustaining the grassroots connections and transformative spirit that engendered its original successes. In our experience there are several priorities for capacity-building in the context of expansion:
• program planning and financial management that are carefully tied to measurable goals;
• identifying and analyzing problems in a way that separates challenges from personalities and that strengthens teams of staff rather than fostering dependence on leaders;
• knowledge of legal tools and advocacy methods;
• the ability to analyze and organize against gender oppression and other harmful ideologies and belief systems (such as caste);
• documenting and measuring achievements and thinking critically about outcomes;
• demanding equality and self-determination in an organization’s relationships with its funding agencies.
Fight Slavery Now! is a nascent grassroots organization currently engaged in multi-level public education programs. We have begun an outreach effort to ally ourselves with other organizations that share our goals. As individuals, we believe that consumer awareness has proven itself to be a powerful weapon in creating positive change through exercising the power of the purse. The next level of involvement is helping to craft legislative initiatives that further our aims, for example extending labor protections to farm workers and domestic workers. We would like to see economic pressure brought to bear on publications promoting and profiting from human trafficking through their advertising of sexual services. At a higher level of influencing government policy, we wish to shed light on how our government’s current policy of immigration and visa allocation actually encourage and facilitate human trafficking in many instances. There is no shortage of avenues for action. All that is required is a willingness to ACT! The first step is to become informed, and that of course is the primary purpose of this website. We sincerely welcome your comments, suggestions, and criticisms.