Bring Back Our Girls: Human Trafficking Must End

@FLOTUS/Michelle Obama
@FLOTUS/Michelle Obama

It is critically important that social workers remain at the forefront of preventing the abuse and exploitation of children and adults. The exploitation of humans both nationally and internationally must be brought to an end immediately. Recently, approximately 230 Nigerian girls were abducted from school by a militant group in hopes of selling the children as a form of human trafficking.

According to the Guardian,

After Nigerian protestors marched on parliament in the capital Abuja calling for action on April 30, people in cities around the world have followed suit and organised their own marches.

A social media campaign under the hashtag #Bringbackourgirls started trending in Nigeria two weeks ago and has now been tweeted more than one million times. It was first used on April 23 at the opening ceremony for a UNESCO event honouring the Nigerian city of Port Harcourt as the 2014 World Book Capital City. A Nigerian lawyer in Abuja, Ibrahim M. Abdullahi, tweeted the call in a speech by Dr. Oby Ezekwesili, Vice President of the World Bank for Africa to “Bring Back the Girls!”  Read Full Article

Across our nation, it is estimated that since 1999, approximately 800,000 have been reported as missing. Children in our very own system are being preyed upon by sex traffickers. The Congressional Research Institute for Social Work and Policy (CRISP) will continue to work in partnership with governmental organizations and agencies and Congress to protect children and families in the United States and on a global basis.We must continue to monitor and support legislation introduced by Rep. Karen Bass (CA-37) – H.R. 1732 Strengthening the Child Welfare Response to Human Trafficking Act, and Rep. Joyce Beatty (OH-3) – H.R. 3905

We must continue to monitor and support legislation introduced by Rep. Karen Bass (CA-37) – H.R. 1732Strengthening the Child Welfare Response to Human Trafficking Act,  and Rep. Joyce Beatty (OH-3) – H.R. 3905Improving the Response to Missing Children and Victims of Child Sex Trafficking Bill. In addition, let’s continue to linking up with fellow social workers around the world to combat human trafficking through various Departments of Social Services,CNN’s Freedom Project, and organizations such as Half the SkySave the Children, and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Social workers are fighters for social justice. Let’s continue to ring the alarm and end human trafficking.

Refugee Aid: A Global Effort

As social workers, we are dedicated to helping those in need of becoming empowered to emancipate themselves from their situation, disposition, or oppression.  There are as many forms of social justice callings as there are forms of clients, collectives, and societies. As a macro-based social worker, the calling to facilitate global change for refugees has a particularly strong gravitational pull. There are 45.2 million displaced individuals in the world, in dire need of the most basic human needs. The majority of these collectives receive no attention in our national media circuit and are often left desperate and without hope.

refugeOne of the few situations gaining media attention is in Uganda, where South Sudanese refugees are debating never going back to their homes because of how harsh the current living conditions are.  Ethiopia is also getting many South Sudanese refugees (roughly 93,000) that are finding a small sense of peace in the Gambella Regional State.  All of these refugees are in immediate need of help and support from the international agencies and governing bodies.

The most prominent refugee situation that has captured global attention has been the Central African Republic crisis.  Masses of people are in need of basic resources to survive.  Roughly 70,000 have been contained in airport grounds in substandard conditions. Disease and lack of food run rampant as these people struggle to escape the violence and oppression in their homeland. Despite UN efforts to deploy thousands of troops and police, the basic needs of these refugees still are not being met.

These individuals deserve to begin the healing process and gain a sense of security. When we hear about these events, we may cringe with a hopeless feeling of being unavailable to create tangible change for these people. Thankfully, there are ways to get meaningfully involved to help stabilize refugees’ situations and environments.

One can contribute to the Immigrant Solidarity Network, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, and the United Nations High Council for Refugees (UNHRC). One can also donate their time through volunteerism and activism through these organizations, as well as going onto the UN Volunteers website and seeing what agency can most utilize your skill sets. Societal change, especially for international situations, requires a global effort and social workers can be leaders in implementing that change.

Photo Courtesy of the Guardian

Being Bad With Purpose: Joseph Morgan on Positive Women

This week, I came across a charity called Positive Women which is being championed by a British Actor named Joseph Morgan who plays “Klaus” on the hit CW series The Originals. Originally, Joseph Morgan was slated to play four episodes in the CW’s The Vampire Diaries with the possibility of earning more episodes or a recurring role. Now, he is living the American Dream with a new hit spin-off series of his own, but his charitable work started long before he became the infamous Niklaus Mikaelson the most feared vampire-werewolf hybrid on the planet.

Until this past week, I had never watched an episode of Vampire Diaries or The Originals. My mind needed to decompress from the 24 hour news cycle, so I retreated into the world of Netflix and Vampire Diaries just happened to be the series I decided to overdose on. The evil villain “Klaus” was so well-played that I wonder if the actor who played him mirrored psychopathic tendencies in his on life which led me to a video by Joseph Morgan on Positive Women.

According to the Positive Women website, Kathryn Llewellyn explains why it was important for her to help create this charity:

main-logoI’ve lived and worked in many countries across Africa and so I often get asked, why Swaziland. Swaziland is a country just next to South Africa, has a population of 1million and a country that most of the world has never heard about. It also has some of the most appalling statics that I want to share with you now:

  • Swaziland has the highest HIV prevalence in the world.
  • One of the lowest life expectancies in the world.
  • The last absolute monarch left in sub Saharan Africa.
  • 80% of the population live in extreme poverty.
  • 25% of Swazi children are orphaned.

These are statistics that just shouldn’t exist. When I talk about Swaziland, I often get the response, “well Kathryn its just a million people” and I always reply “yes exactly, it’s just a million people”. It’s a country that we can actually have an impact in and make a change that will inspire the world, by showing that change is possible.  Read More

A couple of weeks ago, I was in Washington, DC at the Center for American Progress for the release of their 2013 Poverty Report. While there, I also attended other events which attempted to rally support to prevent cuts to the food stamp program. At times, its easy to feel war weary and powerless to make any measurable changes that will impact the suffering vulnerable populations endure on daily basis. However, inspiration can strike when you least expect it, and the power of our words can make a difference in influencing others towards civic engagement. An interview Joseph Morgan did with Huff Post Live talking about Positive Women reminded me of that.

For more on Joseph Morgan, you can see him Tuesdays on the CW at 8 PM Eastern and 7 PM Central, and you can also view his interview on Positive Women below:

Exit mobile version