Thursday, June 11, 2009

The World of Sex Trafficking – Modern Day Slavery

Many of us have been very lucky; we have been brought up in homes and societies where we have numerous opportunities. It’s often our choice how we take advantage of those opportunities. For example, in Barbados, education and healthcare are free, available to everyone at any echelon of society. I was able to gain a scholarship to come to US to pursue my MBA degree.

While many of us are lucky, many are not so lucky. There is no free education; there is no access to free healthcare and day to day survival is extremely difficult. These places are the hunting grounds of modern day slave traders who prey on the innocent. The US State Department’s “Trafficking in Persons” 2008 report estimated that at any given time around 12.3 million are in forced labor, bonded labor, forced child labor and sexual servitude. The most rampant of these is sex trafficking.

Children as young as 4 are forced to work in brothels catering to the sick cravings of the men who visit. According to, women and children from rural areas are often tricked into sexual exploitation. Many believe that they are going to the urban part of the country for domestic employment but then are often coerced into the sex trade. The reasons these horrendous incidents occur can usually be linked to poverty and lack of education. Many have no idea of the dangers and risks of the international sex trade.

In Cambodia human trafficking is big business and, according to a recent article in the Phnom Penh Post, the economic crisis is fuelling trafficking as jobs dry up at home. The US State Department reports that women and children account for the greatest percentage of those exploited through the sex trade.

This is what our supplier Hagar Designs, works hard at preventing. The company promotes social development and economic empowerment for those most at risk for human trafficking. It is a proud advocate of the social enterprise model, teaching women and children skills they can use to be economically self-sufficient. This is very important because even those who manage to escape their captors find themselves back in the slave trade as a means of survival.

All our products from Hagar Designs are made by women who are striving for a better life for themselves and their families, one that is free of physical, emotional and sexual abuse. When we say your purchase makes a difference in the lives of others, we truly mean it.


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