Monthly Archives

July 2016

I am a new employee at 3 Generations. One of my responsibilities is to work with my 3G colleagues to find relevant news stories about the topics that we at 3G are passionate about and want to share with our followers through social media channels. One of those topics is sex trafficking.

Last night, shortly after human trafficking survivor Ima Matul finished speaking, an associate editor at reason.com posted a piece entitled ‘Sex Trafficking Survivor’ at Democratic Convention Not Actually Victim of Sex Trafficking. I found it because as I was searching for stories about trafficking this morning, this popped up as the second story listed under a google news search for “trafficking”.

Labor trafficking and sex trafficking are forms of modern day slavery. Under U.S. law, both forms of trafficking are currently qualified as human trafficking under the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA). Last night, a brave survivor of human trafficking spoke at the DNC about her experience being trafficked and abused.

Unfortunately, the DNCC representative who published the list of speakers in a press release yesterday listed Ima Matul as a ‘Sex Trafficking Survivor & Advocate’. However, ‘sex trafficking’ was never mentioned in Ima’s speech or in Senator Klobuchar’s introduction of Ima.

Yes, it was a mistake by the DNCC representative who published the press release, but the title of this article by reason.com is very misleading to readers and never mentions that Ima was repeatedly physically abused and warned by her trafficker that she would be beaten and raped if she told police. And sadly, the 125 comments the blog has already gathered since being published 16 hours ago include many comments criticizing or doubting Ima’s personal story of being trafficked. And, if you were to do a quick search on a search engine right now about news articles covering Ima Matul’s speech, who would find that the headlines in the Huffington Post, ABC News, LA Times, and other major news organizations use the words ‘Human Trafficking’ and not ‘Sex Trafficking’.

Labor trafficking and sex trafficking are both horrific human rights violations. Ima’s message is vitally important and this article from reason.com is political manipulation and an egregious disservice to the fight against human trafficking.
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Ima Matul is Chair of the National Survivor Network and was recently appointed by President Obama as a member of the United States Advisory Council on Human Trafficking. You can find out more about the work that Ima is doing by following her on twitter @ImaHope4Freedom

 

Click here to read the full article from reason.com

 

Blog written by Kelly Thoma, Production Manager at 3 Generations

Today, we wanted to share an opinion piece written by one of our Advisory Board members, Rabbi Lee Bycel. Lee recently went to Amsterdam and Berlin to interview Syrian refugees about their journeys and to learn more about the the fears Lee and others have about these refugees.

We are grateful for Lee’s support of 3 Generations and hope you will read the full article as we think this piece is an important one to share. For the full article, click here.

Here is an excerpt from the article:
“In these dark times it is courageous people in their thirties like Duezen, Chantal and Mazen, and many others, that shine a bright light and seek to build bridges of understanding and reconciliation. The Syrian refugee crisis is the great moral challenge of our time; it may very well define who and what we are as a nation. Now is the time to grant asylum to more refugees and to do proper vetting so that we can protect our safety. Now is the time for the Jewish community to host Syrian refugees in their communities. Now is the time to open our arms and embrace the refugee. It will take courage. However, the risk in not acting is that of losing the soul and character of our people – and that is a risk we cannot assume.”

Lee is the rabbi of the Congregation Beth Shalom in Napa, California. He is also an adjunct professor at the University of San Francisco, currently leading courses including ‘Holocaust and Genocide’ and ‘Contemporary Political Prophets’. In addition to serving our our Advisory Board, Lee is a member of the United States Holocaust Memorial Council.

By Lindsay Gebhart, Director of Development

In June Facebook once again changed their algorithm, but to most people the difference was subtle. To the many nonprofits who have “pages” on the site, it was not.

To sum up what Facebook changed, they decided that there wasn’t enough original content on the site i.e. “I went to the grocery store today, and they were out of strawberries!” and in their place were pics of memes, shares of silly twitter statuses, etc. Facebook was created so people who know each other could communicate, and they wanted to return to that original purpose.

Here are their stated changes and their purpose:

1) Posts from friends and family will get top priority on users’ News Feeds.
2) After those posts Facebook prioritizes posts that “inform” and posts that “entertain.”
3) Then they prioritize posts with “authentic communication.”

These are all great in concept, but they basically mean that:

1) “Pages” don’t show up nearly as easily.
2) Only “Page” content with “authentic communication” tends to appear on News Feeds.

What is authentic communication? We quickly noticed one thing it is NOT: A link to an outside website.

Facebook pages serve a lot of purposes for nonprofits. They educate about issues the nonprofit is working to solve; they galvanize people to sign petitions or call their elected officials. They also serve as a way to fundraise, though generally in a small way.

One of the best ways for us to raise money is through matching funds, and we have been fortunate that Global Giving has offered us matching funds three times in the last six months. They have been an incredible boon to our small organization, but the only way to get the funds is if money is donated by an individual then matched by Global Giving.

We have posted links about this amazing opportunity and gotten very little response. We were confused and then we noticed that these posts were not even appearing on our own Timelines, then we looked at the page and saw the post reach: The first day 113 people were reached. The second, 43. 43 out of 2,150 likes!

Granted, Facebook doesn’t exist to raise money for nonprofits. But when you take away a huge tool for small nonprofits to communicate with our constituents our hands become very tied.

That said, if you want to donate to our Global Giving matching campaign go here

The longer the refugee crisis in Europe continues the more vile stories seem to emerge about the horrific crimes happening concurrently. Here are the responses of our staff to today’s news that refugees who cannot afford to pay smugglers are being sold for their organs:

Lindsay

Is this real?

That is the first thing I think when I read a headline like, “Refugees who cannot pay people-smugglers ‘being sold for organs.’” My mind starts to do backbends. This seems like a plot of a Hollywood horror movie, some sort of modern “Hostel” nightmare. Who would do such a thing? What sort of person could kill others for a profit? After I think that, I realize, “Lots of people could, and lots of people have.”

History shows that people kill one another for all sorts of reasons, and money can easily be a primary motivation. This is what we have: 65 million refugees, an unprecedented number, surrounded by people ready and willing to take advantage of those numbers and their inherent anonymity. With those numbers of course you could kill and get away with it. Of course someone has found a way to make money off of it. Of course, like many other real-life horror stories, many will simply be unable to believe it. But we must believe these stories, because ignoring them or denying them takes us one step closer to even larger human tragedies, like genocide.

Kelly

This is extremely depressing and seems like the plot of a horror film rather than the grotesque reality that it sadly is. I realize that organ trafficking has been going on for a long time, but to target and then murder migrants who are at an extremely vulnerable moment in their lives makes me sick.

Hamp

This is a disgusting example of the kinds of atrocities refugees and trafficking victims could potentially face on a daily basis. I had heard of “organ harvesting” before, but to read these articles and contextualize it within a European perspective is completely unthinkable. Clearly though, organ harvesting is a real and systematic operation affecting large numbers of people. It is one of the many horrors facing victims of human trafficking; it is also one of the many sub-crises within the ongoing and overarching refugee crisis.

Jane

Criminals are adept at profiting from other people’s tragedies and as more are displaced the more successful and evolved the criminal element becomes.  First we learned of smuggling people out of conflict zones (arguably that was only to help them), then we learned of organized human trafficking networks including sex trafficking of children and today we heard of organ harvesting.

But wasn’t it always thus? The use of humans as cargo is hardly a new problem. Slavery has existed for thousands of years along with prostitution and sexual exploitation of the vulnerable and the young. Sexual violence during the Holocaust and in the refugee crisis after World War II was widespread, albeit little discussed and taboo for many years after.

So why does today’s revelation shock us so? Why does the idea of killing a person for their organs strike us as fundamentally worse than someone being sent to an inevitable death on an unseaworthy boat?

For some of us it might because the desecration of an intact body violates religious edicts and beliefs.

I guess for me it is the idea that at their absolutely most vulnerable moment, robbed of hope, they had their bodies taken apart.  When we are no longer whole we have lost our true selves. Aren’t we all more than the sum of our parts?

Article published July 5th, 2016 in the The Independent: Refugees who cannot pay people smugglers ‘being sold for organs’

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