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Posts Tagged ‘humanitarian efforts’

As I was sitting in typical Southern California traffic I was listening to the news and the story was that was being covered made me spit out my latte out of laughter.  It was in regards to the grades the nations can give other nations regarding humanitarian acts.  Apparently, the US got a “needs an improvement” or essentially a D in needing to improve our humanitarian efforts in the department of prisoner treatment (they did not elaborate, but I assume it is GITMO they are referring to). 

Now, this is where the funny comes in to this. . . our grading peer were the likes of Libya, Iran and Venezuela. 

Getting a grade from the likes of those countries that kill, rape, mutilate the female gender, on their own citizens, including children, would be the equivalent of Ted Bundy coming to me and telling me that I need to get my house in order.

The US does have some bad apples in the military prison system, heck we have bad apples in the public prison system and even society.  But getting “schooled’ by the likes of the Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Hugo Chavez, and Wacky Qaddafi is not only laughable, but outrageous that it was even taken seriously.

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I have  a good friend that has humanitarian as part of her DNA.  She is a child psychologist that focuses on PTSD in children and young adults.  She has led teams to Shir Lanka 6 weeks post the devastating tsunami and then did follow-up six months later.  She has traveled the world working with oppressed and traumatized people.  Recently she headed off to South East Asia to work with orphanages and safe havens for those that are fighting to stay off the radar of human trafficking and sold into sex and other forms of slavery.   This developed a passion that she is taking on and doing something about.

Currently she is trying to raise around 40k to build a safe haven for those that have their mark on them to be sold into the sex industry of South East Asia.  This is a place where these kids will live, grow up and be educated and protected from those, mostly family members, from being auctioned off for pennies on the dollar to be prostituted out at young as the age of five. 

Unfortunately, it does not just stop in the remote parts of the world.  It is here in the US in a very serious way.  There is a big question of the millions of  illegals that are in the this nation, how many are here against their will with death threats to themselves and their families if they do not comply with those that they fell into the hand of for trafficking and slavery.  There have been several sting operations that have been successful in my county alone within “massage” parlors and drug houses that is clear evidence that this is happening here on our soil.  

It just does not stop there with the US and the world having some responsibility in this issue.  Companies that take their business overseas  or across the border for a higher profit are not holding up their end of the deal on ensuring a realistic work environment that ensures safety and humane working conditions. They are not holding up their end of the deal to ensure that children are not being born into indentured families and having to work in insane work environments as early as the age of five or seven years of age.  

Free 2 Work is an organization that is slowly setting up a resource for consumers to be able to make informed decisions on the products they are chosing to buy and be able to boycott the ones that are not holding up their end of the deal of ensuring safety and humane treatment of the people who make or are a part of the manufacturing of that product.  It is graded from A-F on the US standards of manufacturing.  Obviously we can’t hold other countries to our standards, we can’t even do that without killing the profits of a company (that why is we send a vast majority overseas or across the border to be manufactured).  However, this website seems to be realistic in the fact that an A to a C- rating are companies that we can still do business with.  Those lower than that, need to get their act together and stop looking away from crimes on humanity. 

They have developed an application for your smart phone where you can scan an item and get a rating, that can help with making informed choices and not being part of enabling companies being able to profit and get away with bad horrifing business practices. 

This is something we all should think about;  it is our fiduciary responsibility as consumers to think about it. If you knew for a fact that the shirt or sneakers you are wearing were made by a child that was 5 years old or anyone of any age for that matter,  working 16-18 hours a day, never seeing the light of day, beaten, on machinery that exposes to radiation and/or no safety guards in place where there are daily amputees and serious injuries would you really want to support a company’s profits and wear that? 

Learning about this has changed our household and how we look at products before we buy them.  I wanted to get a Leap Frog toy for my child, and I will not now that I know they have a D- rating.  I love Carter’s children’s clothing, especially their jammies, but they get an F because they will not respond or communicate their business practices (which means they don’t feel they have a responsibility to be transparent to the consumer providing them their profits).  

 Free 2 Work is a good starting point on trying to make a difference in how consumers of the world hold companies accountable to just being humane. 

 http://free2work.org/home

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