Monday, August 9, 2010

The Body Shop's Petition to Stop Sex Trafficking

As a few of you who have been following me for the past year know, last winter there was a "Favorite Holiday Vlogger" contest on The Body Shop's website. Through your love and support in votes, I actually had the privilege of winning the contest. Even now, thinking back on it, I can't believe it happened but I am so grateful because it gave me the ability to bring light to a very dark situation that The Body Shop is working to combat.

I first heard that The Body Shop was working to raise awareness and garner support for the fight against sex trafficking through their Twitter which really moved me to the point of actually telling others about it 1-on-1 in my personal life and in a few e-mails to those who have sent me messages. Did you know that there are nearly 1.2 million children and young people forced into sex trafficking each year? That number astounds me. I can't even wrap my head around a physical number of people that large. It really breaks my heart that something so personal like sexuality could be manipulated into a cruel game of money and control, both mentally and physically.

This is why I decided to make this blog post. They have asked me to let you know that they are making a petition to the US government to give children greater protection against trafficking. It's easy to sign ECPAT and The Body Shop's petition here but hopefully with enough signatures, it can make a bigger difference in the world than us just typing our names in behind the safety of a computer.




I already signed it and it literally requires no login, no making any accounts, nothing to track back or spam you. All you need is your name and city and 5 seconds of your time. 

I also looked into what else we can do to help (without any request or e-mail suggesting it) and found that 100% of the proceeds from their Soft Hands Kind Heart hand cream will go to EPCAT, the Body Shop's global partner charity, to continue their important work. 



Also, $2 of each sale from the Stop Sex Trafficking Bag for Life (that is, 100% of the net proceeds) goes to the Somaly Mam Foundation.

http://www.somaly.org/ states that their mission is "[t]o give victims and survivors a voice in their lives, liberate victims, end slavery, and empower survivors as they create and sustain lives of dignity."


I know this sounds like just another post but I promise you, that's not what this is and not how I feel about it. It actually hits pretty close to home because just a couple years ago, part of a huge sex trafficking ring was shut down at several locations in the city I'm living in. This ring shuffled girls and women aged in their mid-teens to 20's from China to San Francisco, my city, New York, and a couple other cities in the US while only keeping them in each location for 3-4 weeks at a time in "Asian Massage" parlors where they were unpaid, cramped together, and watched on surveillance cameras. I was shocked because I live in a nicer suburban area that has a lot of pride in its education and safety.

The trickier thing is that legally, there are a lot of problems with defining sex trafficking since some people may have been led to it somewhat knowingly, or some coerced to leave their families for promises of money and freedom, or some not knowing what they are getting into altogether. Most are completely ashamed and would rather lie than dishonor their families back home. The blurry lines make it tougher to prosecute the ringleaders who would, of course, claim that everything was known beforehand and done willingly. I don't know about you, but this fires me up to no end.

I don't expect everyone to read through what I just wrote but if you did, I appreciate it. In a world where women and young people can be treated like they are sacks of potatoes to be used up and thrown away, I think it's our obligation as women with voices to speak for those who can't speak for themselves. Please add your name to the petition and lets pray that the government listens.




33 comments:

  1. Thanks for making this post. I read through all of it and even though I was aware of this problem, I'm really shocked at the very high number of children being forced into sex trafficking. I've signed the petition! Thanks for making everyone aware. : )

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  2. This is something I've always been interested in helping out on. I've signed my name and I'm planning to show this to my youth pastor. Hopefully we can come up with some ideas to support these young women being forced into having sex. Thanks for letting me know!

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  3. This was a great post! I think that it's really touching that you take the time to post on issues like this that really are important yet seem to be so overlooked or considered controversial.

    Like The Little Dust Princess, I've been aware of this problem but wasn't aware of just how far the extent went and how many children are involved. It's so heartbreaking to even think about. Like you said, women and children don't deserve to be treated like objects and exploited for money -- I'm going to sign the petition right now.

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  4. This is why you are loved by so many people Jen! Its cause of your compassion for others!

    It really does break my heart to hear such outlandish but true stories like this.

    Thank you for posting this and making their voices heard =)

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  5. I read through the entire post and signed the petition.
    Good post!

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  6. I never knew that the number was so high. Living in the bay are I've heard lots of stories of these massage parlors and sex trafficing. I've had a few discussions with some of my friends and I was shocked to learn that a number of my friends didn't believe me. Like you said, not many would think that things like this would be happening in their own backyard.

    You're amazing Jen. You're beautiful in every single way possible. You're such a sweet and compassionate person. Not many would take the time and effort to spread the word the way you do.

    I hope that this petition will go far and that the women and children involved in these situations won't have to suffer anymore. I've signed the petition and hope many others will as well.

    FYI... I did read through the whole post. I actually got sucked in and was really moved by your words.


    <3s Serena.

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  7. Signed!

    It's interesting how I was passing by The Body Shop just a few days ago and read their petition. I'm glad you did this post, because the cause is very worthwhile yet rarely spoken about.. I studied sex trafficking earlier this year in a Women's Bodies psychology class and it's such a serious problem that stems from the objectification of women's bodies in conjunction with capitalist greed. :(

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  8. Signed :) Bless your heart <3

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  9. It breaks my heart when young girls are forced into sex trafficking and feels that there is no way to return home because some poverty countries such as Thailand, China and some other Asian countries their parents rely on their child to be the bread winner to put food on the table.

    There was one point that I saw clips and interview on dateline where they interview some young girls of how they are forced into sex trafficking and feel helpless that they can't return home because of their family situation.

    I signed the petition and hope that this helps in some ways.

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  10. Signed ...

    It's so sad to see those kids being forced to sex slavery/trafficking. They deserve so much better, to be a normal kid, educated and have a good future ahead of them. Why would our fellow human willing to accept this sex trade? I mean, the brains behind all these organizations and the people who enjoyed out of this! Don't they think about their own family & kids? This is so selfish. Hope that one day people will wake up, there won't be any supplies if there are no more demands!

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  11. its really sad to think that there are people out there that are forced into sex trafficking. i already made a purchase and bought the lotion just because i thought it smelled good :)

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  12. I didn't know the Body Shop was doing this petition...I signed the petition. Will check out the Body Shop in Canada as well and see if they are doing anything similar to this or selling the products.

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  13. Thank you for posting this. I think it's really important that more people become aware of this issue. It makes my stomach turn just thinking of all the people who are affected by sex trafficking every day - the victims of course, but also their friends and family.

    I had no idea that The Body Shop was so active in trying to spread awareness and fight this problem. I'm glad there is a way to do something, even if it seems small.

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  14. Just signed it. :) Thanks for spreading awareness of such a heart breaking issue.

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  15. That was very moving and I did sign it. I thought what you wrote was on the dot about how complicated it could be. But thank you for keeping people aware of a situation like this!

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  16. Amen to this post! Just signed! this is a HUGE issue all around the world where it doesnt get much media coverage and its really sad that most people are not aware of this issue and most part of the world woman are not regarded as equal being as the men. :( Its nice to hear that one big compnay like the Body shop is doing something about it and shedding a shot light on this sad issue.

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  17. You are such an amazing person Jen. Your heart is open for every people out there. I read the through all of the post and think this is amazing. I signed and thank for letting us know about this issue.

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  18. this is really weird!!! I'm not talking about your post being weird but the fact that I was up late last watching a 3 hr special on sex trafficking. I haven't checked your blog in a long while and to my surprise you brought this to everyone's attention. God, i was tearing up watching all these little girls getting forced to have sex for money that they can't even keep and even worse brainwashed. I really don't understand why they don't do anything about craigslist erotic service section. I first heard about that when last year a girl who posted up a sex ad on craigslist and went to a hotel in boston and got murdered by the guy that took her offer on craiglist. So they could only get craigslist to change under services erotic to adult. They should have been removed completely! Now these pimps are harder to catch because they control everything through online sites like craigslist and everyday these assholes are making alot of money off of the girl. I say track all these assholes IP address and lock them all up!!! Sex trafficking is a multi billion dollar industry. 1 girl alone makes up to 1 grand a night! And it all goes to those bastards that took them away from their innocence, their family, and friends... San Francisco has the most human trafficking brothels. They can be so close to us and we wouldn't know a thing about it because they make their girls live in basements and it's so dirty even for animals it isn't livable. Sorry if i wrote so much but this is something I would like to see a change on too! Thank you Jen! You are awesome!!

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  19. I actually learned about this in my Social Injustice class freshamn year in college and it really opened my eyes to issues aren't really well-known or exposed to the rest of the world. It's really great that The Body Shop is doing something like this. Signed and thanks for the post!

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  20. i got a chance to sign the petition this weekend when i stocked up on their back to school sale. yay for making a difference!

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  21. Thanks for the post, Jen! If you (and others) are interested in this issue of sex trafficking, one non-profit (of many) directly working to address this is called Zoe Children's Homes. http://zoechildren.org/ They rescue kids that are either trapped in the sex trade or kids that are at high risk of being trafficked. These kids are often orphans or don't have a viable family, so Zoe takes them into this home in Thailand where the kids are fed, cared for, and restored. It's a really great non-profit that's doing some amazing things in Thailand and Myanmar. Another more well known non-profit that's conducting rescue operations is the International Justice Mission. www.ijm.org

    Again, great post, Jen!

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  22. I've read the whole post :]
    Thank you for giving me the opportunity to make a difference to stop sex trafficking. It's kinda ironic because I just learned last week about the sex trade in different countries.

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  23. you have a really good heart :)

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  24. hey I went to the body shop yesterday to pick up some makeup remover and I saw the petition and signed it too! I agree, this is totally for a fantastic cause and I sincerely hope that one day there will be no more sex trafficking.

    ps. I got an emjoi optimini from hautelook too after reading your review on it months ago and I love it! I'm going to be doing a little mini review too on my blog soon. Thanks so much for the recommendation~

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  25. Thanks for spreading the word!! I wasn't aware the numbers were so high... it's really horrifying. ;_;

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  26. i'm so glad that you shared this on your blog jen, i just signed and so did my boyfriend :]

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  27. thanks for this post :) i signed it.

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  28. I am astounded by this post. Thank you so much for creating awareness for this problem. I've signed the petition!

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  29. I remember reading a stat about how the number of modern day slaves outnumber slaves back when slavery was legal. It really made me sad. Since we don't even see it going on, we can just imagine how badly these people are treated.

    I remember reading a story about a man who went down to Haiti to buy a slave for a few hundred dollars. They were just selling children on the streets. Really tragic.

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  30. You know what? Good for you Jen! It's great you're spreading the word. I'm def going to sign. I think the Body Shop is really good for shedding some light and focus on this issue!

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  31. I just found this post and wanted to thank you for leading me to the petition.

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