SAAHTT Newsletter 2nd Edition goes live tomorrow. Here is a teaser!!

We launched our email newsletter two months back. The second edition will be posted tomorrow. Here is a teaser

SAAHTT Newsletter Edition 2 Teaser!

We hope you will enjoy reading this tomorrow. If you would like to receive our newsletter straight to your inbox, please subscribe on this blog. Your email will only be used for the purposes of receiving this email newsletter. If at any time you feel you you do not want to receive any more news, updates or newsletters from us you can immediately unsubscribe.

Gilbert Makore

Ashton Kutcher to UN: Twitter, Facebook can be Great Weapons in Fight Against Human Trafficking

By Pam BristowHuffington Post

I was fortunate enough to be present at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on November 4 for the launch of the UN Voluntary Trust Fund for Victims of Trafficking in Persons. To be managed by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the fund will provide humanitarian, legal, and financial aid to victims of human trafficking. The initiative is a central element of the new UN Global Plan of Action adopted by the UN General Assembly this past July.

Having worked on other UNODC projects, I can personally attest to how much weight this UN agency throws behind combating one of the great atrocities of our time. This meeting was no exception. Alongside UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon sat the meeting’s moderator — two time New York Times Pulitzer Prize winning author-journalist Nicholas Kristof — and actors Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher whose humanitarian work in the arena of human trafficking was being highlighted. The couple’s organization, DNA, is working to abolish modern-day slavery in the United States and abroad. The meeting took an interesting turn when the conversation shifted to Kutcher’s mastery of social networking and how he was channeling his online prowess to serve his nonprofit’s mission.

 

Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore

Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore

After sobering opening remarks by the Secretary-General on the current scope of the 32 billion dollar international human trafficking trade, Kristof introduced Kutcher, humorously pointing out Kutcher ‘s 6 million Twitter followers versus the UN’s 140,000. In response, Kutcher offered new insight to Kristof’s leading question “Why the internet?”

The actor-activist argued that, while having fueled the sex trade with its built-in anonymity, speed, and ease of access, the internet has also given law enforcement and activist groups a strong weapon with which to combat trafficking and offer aid to victims. Kutcher pointed out that part of what makes dismantling and exposing trafficking networks so challenging is the industry’s global nature. For example, in just one transaction, several countries will likely be involved. The “broker” will be in Country A, the victim may be abducted from Country B, the transaction will take place in Country C, and the final customer will return home to Country D with his new acquisition. Additionally 76 percent of these child trafficking transactions happen on the internet. The internet, Kutcher argues, is a global solution to a global problem, allowing us to fight and expose human trafficking across borders.

Victim demographics play a factor as well. The average American age for forced entry into the sex trade is 13. While this is a devastating statistic, it plays in favor of using the internet as a tool to reach at-risk adolescents, many of whom are runaways. According to Kutcher many of these kids are still updating their social networking pages once they have left home. Kutcher and Moore have seized this opportunity by creating partnerships with a coalition of tech companies including Microsoft, Google, Facebook, and Twitter with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to develop technological solutions to the problem of child sex slavery. Initiatives include the implementation of online predator deterrants as well as PhotoDNA and geo-location technology to help protect children and find and rescue victims.

Kutcher said his Twitter presence has also given him a platform to affect male attitudes about the sex trade. “I can use Twitter to implore men around the world to understand that buying sex isn’t cool… when they find out that the average age of entry to the business is 13 and that most of these girls are held against their own will, suddenly it becomes a lot less sexy.”

At the peak of the legal slave trade in 1780, an estimated 80,000 slaves from Africa were brought to the New World in one year. Almost 250 years later, the UN estimates that there are approximately 2.5 million slaves in captivity worldwide at any time. As Kutcher pointed out, “we agreed to abandon slavery 62 years ago (with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1948.) We are not asking for new laws. Let’s just enforce the ones we have.”

Those wishing to learn more or make a pledge to the UN Voluntary Trust Fund for Victims of Trafficking in Persons can visit the UNODC fund page.

SAAHTT Blog Turns 1 !

The Southern African Anti Human Trafficking Trust (SAAHTT) blog is now a year old and we are pretty excited by achievements and results we have been able to attain as an organisation, in no small part, due to the blog. It all started on 22 October 2009 with this post and 12 months later we have managed to post a total of 60 posts on the blog ranging from videos, presentations, articles, news-clips and wide ranging analyses. That represents 5 blog posts per month or a post every week. Over 90% of those 60 posts is original content that we have created on human trafficking, thereby creating an important information repository on human trafficking with a focus on southern Africa. What is more exciting more than any other statistic is the fact that the blog has drawn over 5000 views since we started and the Facebook page has now grown to over 1100 active modern day abolitionists who believe in combatting human trafficking. We are confident that the blog has not just been an end itself. But has allowed SAAHTT to educate and empower. Indeed we have received hundreds of comments and incoming links on the blog articles on facebook, twitter and the blog itself.

The post that began it all

The post that began it all

We realise though that this is not the end of the journey but represents the start of much more work to come. We are pretty excited as we go into the second year and promise to make this blog more relevant and better informing. We hope it will continue to inspire people to take action and take a stand against human trafficking. So, here’s to another exciting 12 months!!! Stay engaged.

Gilbert Makore

 

Teaser: SAAHTT’s new e-Newsletter

The Southern African Anti Human Trafficking Trust (SAAHTT) is committed to developing various strategies to combat modern day slavery in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region. This commitment is borne from the realisation that there is very limited knowledge and capacity to address human trafficking despite the increasing evidence pointing to the increase in incidences of trafficking. To this end we aim to increase awareness on the occurrence of human trafficking within the region through harnessing various media platforms including blogs, new social media tools and indeed traditional methods of raising awareness like encouraging word of mouth and developing visibility materials. We are therefore super excited to state that we will be launching a e-newsletter that will include projects by SAAHTT, anti human trafficking news from around SADC and any other relevant human trafficking  information. The newsletter will be sent out to subscribers every 2 months and we will be incorporating changes and new features in subsequent editions, taking into account feedback from you. The newsletter will be in HTML and or plain text and will allow you to share its contents on facebook, twitter and other platforms. Please subscribe to this blog in-order for us to put you on the mailing list.   You can subscribe by clicking the tab on the right pane of the blog-‘subscribe by e-mail’ or you could also send a blank e-mail to saahtt@gmail.com . We will not publicise your private e-mail and you will still have the option to unsubscribe at any moment you feel you want out. Here is a teaser:

SAAHTT e-newsletter

SAAHTT e-newsletter

SAAHTT in 140 characters

Shakespeare once said ‘brevity is the soul of wit’. Thomas Jefferson concured and stated that ‘the most valuable of all talents is that of never using two words when one will do’ And with twitter becoming a real communications mainstay in our lives, we figure that its really important to be able to describe what SAAHTT does in 14o character.

twitter

twitter

SAAHTT ‘partners with civil society, communities and government to combat modern day slavery in southern Africa through research, awareness raising and capacity building’

-thats 141 chracters without spaces and 162 characters with spaces. Now, what to do with those 42 characters??? Just having a little fun 🙂

Hey, are you on LinkedIn??

If the answer to that is NO, then you need to be on LinkedIn because its the modern day equivalent of a curriculum viate or resume and so much more. You can find and or post a job on LinkedIn, you can follow or link to influential people within your industry or domain, you can also start or join disucssions on various topics and can choose to collaborate on different projects with people in your network. Its like facebook, but only more directed towards your career and work. For more on LinkedIn, go here.

If the answer to that question is YES, then you need to join the End Slavery Now Group on LinkedIn. The group already has 35 members from diverse backgrounds all united by the common need to abolish modern day slavery in the world. Interesting discussions on the issue of human trafficking take place within this group. End Slavery Now is a US based organisation that is committed to fighting human trafficking using all the resources possible.

End Slavery Now LinkedIn Group

End Slavery Now LinkedIn Group

By Gilbert Makore

Get more human trafficking news: set up a google alert!

Google is really a great web tool. Not just in terms of search but they have had great innovations coming through gmail. If you want to have the latest information on a certain topic you just go to google alerts and type in the search item you want, for example, ‘human trafficking in southern africa’; thereafter you set whether you want a comprehensive/news/blog/video/groups alert for your search time. You then finally set the your prefered frequency in terms of receiving the updates, for example, once a day/ once a week/ as it happens (saahtt’s prefered choice) and its done. You can have up to 1000  different alerts per email address. Just another way to keep you up to date on all things human trafficking without having to enter a google search query or scouring through websites for information! If you did not understand this explanation there is a step by step guide here.