Highlighting Great Women Making Strides Against Human Trafficking
Hey everyone. Usually, we spend our time here celebrating the vibrant beauty of African fashion and its promising hold on the global market. But today we are going to shift gears and tone for a moment. Why? Well, it’s March 1st, the beginning of International Women’s Month. This year’s theme is #ChoosetoChallenge, which aims to celebrate women who have dared to stand up and make a difference in the world. Today, we will use that spotlight to honor women fighting a battle we are close to—Human Trafficking.
Human Trafficking is an atrocious, disgusting subject, but also an ugly truth that needs strength to be addressed and fought. We love fashion, clearly, but one of the major contributors to human trafficking is the fashion industry, most notably, fast fashion, which uses forced labor. Worldwide, forced labor accounts for 81% of total human trafficking cases. Unfortunately, in Africa, it’s estimated that over 9 million people are currently enslaved, with nearly 40% of that number engaged in forced labor. Fast fashion is intended to get trendy clothes off the catwalk and into your closet as fast and cheaply as possible, but the cost of human life is unforgivable.
So, in honor of International Women’s Month and #ChoosetoChallenge, we want to celebrate several women who are fighting all forms of Human Trafficking around the world.
Former CEO of Ford Modeling Agency, Katie Ford, refocused her efforts to combat human trafficking in 2008. She founded Freedom for All, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to ending modern-day slavery. Her previous skills and connections in the international modeling world help her expand the organization across five countries while partnering with international organizations. One particular organization is founded in Ghana, named Challenging Heights, which focuses its efforts in rescuing children who are trafficked to work on Lake Volta in Ghana.
An Argentinian feminist and anti-human trafficking activist, Alika Kinan was, unfortunately, a victim of human trafficking. She was abducted at 18 and was rescued in a raid 20 years later in 2012. She became the first woman in Argentina to legally fight her traffickers and the state. To this day she is an adamant advocate for trafficked women. In 2017, the U.S. Department of State awarded Alika Kinan with the Trafficking in Persons Hero Award.
Reverend Sister Vanaja Jasphine is a member of the Congregation of the Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. She is known for rescuing enslaved women from poor and devastated communities in Cameroon. She even goes as far as helping to identify and entrap kidnappers. In 2017, she was recognized for her efforts in the Trafficking in Persons Report, and by Ivanka Trump.
Boom Mosby, the founder, and director of the HUG Project focuses on advocate for child victims of sexual abuse in Thailand. She has been a key figure in the advancement of a victim-centered approach in Thai anti-trafficking efforts. In 2012, Mosby founded the HUG Project under the Family Connection Foundation. HUG, standing for Hope, Understanding, and Grace, focuses on both preventing and recovering children from human trafficking cases. She has been recognized by the U.S. Department of State for her work.
In 2002, Katherin Chon co-founded the Polaris Project in her senior year at Brown University. The Polaris Project directly responds to human trafficking cases while simultaneously working to dismantle the system human trafficking operates in. Katherin Chon currently serves as the Senior Advisor in Trafficking in Persons at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Check out this article on Rhonelle Bruder. She has been recognized for her leadership in raising awareness on human trafficking: https://inamunai.com/pages/human-trafficking