Media and Fair Trade Reduce Poverty and Combat Human Trafficking
Fr. Shay Cullen
8 November 2015
Advocacy and awareness building among the public is essential to combat human trafficking. We can help save the victims but without stronger legislation and enforcement everywhere the traffickers will triumph.
To achieve these primary goals, public support and backing is also necessary. To get this we need continuous education and awareness building so the public is aware of the suffering and hardship and violence brought about by human trafficking.
They need to realize that the buying and selling of people especially children and young girls and boys into modern slavery are heinous crimes and they ought to demand an end to it. The legislators and enforcers will hopefully be persuaded to act against it.
Some think human trafficking is just illegal recruiting for underpaid labor when in fact it is a form of systematic, criminally organized slavery and a continuing crime with serious violations of human rights and an affront to the dignity of the person.
Without the influence of social media and mainline radio, television and print media we cannot defeat this form of modern slavery. We must also change the attitude of the well–off people who see the poor as inferior and blame-worthy because of alleged self-inflicted poverty rather than the result of grave social and economic inequality and social injustice. These factors create deprivation, lack of opportunity and access to education and well-paid skilled jobs.
Economic development, fair trade and education of the poor rural population is the most important action needed to bring about village prosperity and stop the flow of young people into the arms of the human traffickers and then into the brothels or other forms of exploitative work and unpaid child labor.
This is essential strategy to preventing human trafficking of village youth who are enslaved in the fishing, agriculture and the sex industry.
Preda Foundation has supported the dignity of the exploited and abused victims of human rights violations and human trafficking for the past 25 years providing best practice therapeutic homes and preventive education to local officials, teachers, parents and students at all levels. Visual aids, video stories and puppet shows are important communication tools used.
Preventing human trafficking through development fair trade is another successful intervention
Several hundred farming families derive economic benefit and increased prosperity from the Preda fair trade project. This is a way to prevent the human trafficking of the young people from the rural impoverished villages to the sex industry and other forms of slavery or under-paid jobs.
By paying fair prices and profit sharing bonuses for mango fruits sold, the remotest Aeta villages prosper. They are paid as much as 200% higher than local traders offer for their Pico mangos. In Mindanao, the Preda Farmers Association members receive fair prices and bonus payments for their mangoes and other fruits, which are processed into dried fruits and purees and exported.
This provides modest earnings and gives sustainability to the other projects of the Preda Foundation. The work of helping the victims of human trafficking and abuse and how Fair tTade helps prevent and heal the victims has been made into a documentary by Dritte Welt Partner (DWP) of Ravensburg,Germany.
Preda has been promoting the dignity of persons and defending the human rights of the poorest of the poor internationally through the media and lecture tours and the international theatre presentation by the Preda youth theatre group. This group has toured in Australia, Japan, and Canada and in six European countries for the past 15 years.
60 Minutes Australia presented a report on trafficker Peter Scully and interviewed and broadcast an “Extra” interview with the Preda founder. Last September 2015, the German television station RTL broadcast a 14-minute report on the human rights work of Preda to an audience of 5 million. A report on the work was made by Irish Mission Office and broadcast in October 2015.
Kate Blewett a famous film maker is making a documentary on the Preda work assisted by Hazal Thompson combating human trafficking and healing the victims. Preda is publishing articles and blogging on these issues in newspapers and magazines and on-line and Facebook.
A new documentary about the work of the Preda Foundation’s therapeutic home for girls was broadcast on BBC 3 last 19 October. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b06kjyxq
This is the story of the healing and recovery of the victims of human trafficking and how they start a new life. The program is part of a series “On Being a Woman, Stacey Dooley Investigates.”
These reports and documentaries spread awareness of the human suffering and the empowerment of the children and young girls. They are sensitive documentaries showing the positive happy changes in the lives of the children rescued from traffickers and sexual abusers.
The documentary shows how they are experiencing a new life through a therapeutic community life that gives them a sense of family and belonging, where they have respect, understanding affirmation, care, and protection and healing through the Preda family life and therapy.
The reports also show that legal action is taken by Preda Foundation staff to bring the perpetrators to justice and how this has an empowering effect on personality and self-awareness of the children.
The television reports and documentaries show the determination of the Preda team to challenge and oppose the human trafficking, crimes against children, the ills of society and the errors of government that allow sex tourism and traffickers to exploit enslave and abuse children and women.
When one sees that these children 6 years old to sixteen have been so abused by human traffickers, rapists, pedophiles and even their own relatives at such an early age, it’s amazing that they can recover at all. Their courage and resilience is truly amazing.
This unique insight into the lives of these children helps us understand the damage and hurt they have suffered. Yet we learn that despite sexual abuse with help like this in a holistic community they overcome the effects in their lives.
The program shows the vibrant happy community life at the Preda children home that the girls enjoy. It portrays the therapy, counseling, support, family reunions, and eventual reintegration with their families or relatives. The program gives hope and inspiration to many a viewer when they will see way the girls become outspoken advocates of children’s rights.
It’s a powerful motivation for all who wish to overcome this evil and crimes against children. Survivors will find this uplifting and empowering. Watching these wounded hurt children making a strong recovery, going to school and having fun and recreation is a joy especially knowing about what abuse they endured because of rampant sex tourism and cyber-sex that is eroding moral and family values.
They are seen living a normal life in a very special home. Links to the documentaries and video reports on the work of Preda are available on