“Human trafficking occurs in cities all across the United States. According to the International Labor Organization (ILO), developed economies including North America, the European Union, Australia, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Iceland, Norway and Switzerland account for 1.5 million human trafficking victims, or 7 percent of victims worldwide.”
“Domestic traffickers often target international victims using pre-existing personal connections abroad.”
“Victims of human trafficking often interact with bystanders who are aware or become suspicious of the exploitation.”
“Greater public awareness is necessary to incentivize and encourage bystanders to report suspected cases, and increased resources are critical to more effectively detecting, investigating, and prosecuting both sex and labor trafficking. It’s not a far-off problem of undeveloped countries, but one that must be dealt with in our own backyard.”
For more information on specific cases read Meghan Hampsey’s Human Rights First article here.
1st September 2017 – Fighting Human Trafficking: Beulah London and Freeset
Freeset is a Fair Trade sustainable fashion business located in the Sonagacchi district of Kolkata, India, which is the dark heart of the country’s infamous sex trade.
In an area populated by around 10,000 sex workers, most of whom were forced into prostitution against their will because of human trafficking or poverty, Freeset’s goal is to provide a viable alternative for women who wish to leave the sex trade and build independent lives.
Here at Beulah, we want to highlight the important work that Freeset does, how it helps to empower women, and how it provides sex workers with what is often their first real chance to develop the skills that they need to leave the sex industry.
The Freeset Story
Freeset was founded in 2001 by Kerry and Annie Hilton, who emigrated to India from New Zealand in 1999 with the intention of living and working with disadvantaged and poor communities.
After inadvertently signing up for an apartment that soon proved to be located in the centre of the city’s largest red light district, Kerry and Annie realised that their new neighbourhood was home to thousands of women who had been forced into the sex industry by human trafficking and poverty.
Many of the sex workers in the area had been kidnapped or sold into the sex trade at a young age. Others were left with no alternative but to enter the industry if they were to feed themselves and their families.
The Hiltons quickly realised that to support and empower the women that live and work in the Sonagacchi sex district, and provide a choice for women who wanted to leave the industry, there had to be viable alternative employment opportunities available.
However, many of the women working in the Kolkata sex trade had no workplace skills or qualifications that would enable them to seek alternative employment-which meant that provision of both training and meaningful employment opportunities would be necessary to make a difference.
After a significant amount of research, trial and error to determine what type of self – sustainable business model would be able to provide both training and employment opportunities for women Freeset settled upon the production of jute bags for retail export as their product of choice. As the company grew, Freeset later expanded their range to include organic, sustainable fashion cotton T-shirts.
Beginning with twenty women who reached the difficult decision to expand their horizons and trust the fate of their future incomes to a pair of Western strangers, Freeset’s very first employees started work. They began learning the skills necessary to sew retail-quality bags for export.
Progress was slow during the company’s early days, with the daily output per employee averaging less than two bags. But, through a combination of patience, training and encouragement, as well as the implementation of strict quality control measures, Freeset has since grown to a production capability of around 1,000 bags per day. Today, almost 200 women who began their working lives in Kolkata’s sex trade are now well on their way to independence and financial freedom thanks to Freeset.
How Freeset Empowers Women
By gaining training and employment opportunities via Freeset, women from the Kolkata sex trade are given the chance to break the cycle of poverty and exploitation that led them into the sex trade in the first place.
Freeset’s workers are paid at around double the average going rate for the work that they do, and are also supported by a full health insurance and pension package to ensure that Freesets employees can build a viable future for themselves.
The women are employed full-time, and this vital income enables Freeset’s workers to gain not only their own independence from the sex trade, but also to offer opportunities and financial support to their families too.
Additionally, a charitable organisation called The Freeset Trust operates alongside the business itself, providing holistic support to disadvantaged women and their families by means of offering literacy classes, child care services, and vital life skills training in areas such as budgeting and debt management.
Beulah London and Freeset
Beulah London is proud to work with Freeset, providing a retail platform for the company’s hand-made jute bags, produced by local Kolkata women as part of Freeset’s mission to provide training and employment opportunities for women who wish to leave the sex trade.
Our “Bag For Love” range of sustainable fashion bags are produced by Freeset in partnership with Beulah London. Each bag is made by Freeset’s employees in Kolkata, providing a vital stream of income for the business and helping to ensure their ability to continue to employ disadvantaged women.
Freeset’s range of bags-including, of course, our own offerings-have been awarded Fair Trade Guaranteed status by the World Fair Trade Organization, in recognition of Freeset’s commitment to providing fair wages and a healthy, nurturing working environment for their team.
How Can You Support Freeset?
If you want to help end human trafficking and support Freeset’s business and charitable trust in their goal to empower women, you can find out more here.
Image credits: Freeset http://freesetglobal.com/
18th October 2017 – Anti-Slavery Demonstration At Beulah Sloane Street
Today at our Sloane Street pop up, shoppers have been confronted with the realities of modern day slavery today, launching a protest to highlight the horrors of slavery, both in London, the UK and around the world.
According to the charity, YouCanFreeUs, over 15,000 people are estimated to be trapped in slavery in the UK, while there are thought to be a staggering 300 brothels within the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea alone, with 75% of women being held against their will. Beulah, which was set up with the express purpose to help raise funds and provide
employment for women who have been trafficked, drew crowds to their boutique on London’s famous Sloane Street as live models appeared in their store window with the message ‘She’s Not For Sale’.
Staff reinforced the message by taking to the street to educate shoppers that slavery is not just a problem for the developing world, but is all around us, even in London’s wealthiest neighbourhoods.
The demonstration, which will be repeated tomorrow, is being staged to raise awareness for Anti-Slavery Day (Wednesday 18 October), which was set up by an Act of Parliament. Beulah co-founder, Natasha Rufus Isaacs said, ‘Seven years ago my co-founder, Lavinia, and I went on a trip that changed our lives and opened our eyes to modern slavery that is
occurring all over the world. Living in an aftercare home in India with women who had been rescued from the sex trade, we heard first-hand accounts of the realities of this atrocity.
‘What gave us hope was seeing the complete restoration and transformation that could happen when you provided these women with employment and a chance to build a life free from abuse.’
17th October 2017 – Modern Day Slavery Is Closer Than You Think
There is a misconception that slavery was abolished by William Wilberforce in the 19th Century. The reality today is there are more slaves than ever before in history.
An estimated 45.8 million people are held in modern slavery around the world.* It is the fastest growing International crime, second only to drug dealing. (Drugs you can sell once, a human can be sold time and time again.) It is also the second highest source of illegal income worldwide with profits of $150 billion per year.
In Britain alone there is an estimated 13,000 victims – from domestic servants working without pay, the young man washing your car within a gang of other enslaved men, the woman painting your nails or someone moving here for a better life being forced into prostitution.
In the Evening Standard’s exposé last month about slavery on our streets, it was noted that Londoner’s should be ‘reasonably sure there is a brothel with trafficked women within two or three miles of where they live’. That’s a walk of under an hour – probably less than your daily journey to work.
As a business in the UK, our main objectives to fight this modern day atrocity are outlined below:
1. Employing survivors of trafficking
Beulah’s ready-to-wear collection is made in London, and a proportion of the silks for each season’s collection are hand screen printed by a charity called Women’s Interlink Foundation, based in Kolkata, in association with Key To Freedom. These women have been rehabilitated and reintegrated into society and provided with a sustainable livelihood.
Additionally our canvas bags, otherwise known as our ‘Bag for Love’ are made by the women at Freeset, a fair trade business based in Kolkata, India. They are dedicated to helping trafficked women and vulnerable women who have ended up in the sex trade. They work to provide them with a steady income, a bank account and the chance to build a new life free from abuse.
2. Raising public awareness
Public understanding and awareness of the realities of human trafficking are key in helping to fight it. The more people are aware of what is happening in their communities and neighbourhoods the more likely it is the police and authorities will be alerted and slaves rescued. To learn more click here
How To Identify Victims:
● Is the victim in possession of a passport, identification or travel documents? Are these documents in possession of someone else?
● Does the victim act as if they were instructed or coached by someone else? Do they allow others to speak for them when spoken to directly?
● Was the victim recruited for one purpose and forced to engage in some other job? Was their transport paid for by facilitators, whom they must pay back through providing services?
● Does the victim receive little or no payment for their work? Is someone else in control of their earnings?
● Was the victim forced to perform sexual acts?
● Does the victim have freedom of movement?
● Has the victim or family been threatened with harm if the victim attempts to escape?
● Is the victim under the impression they are bonded by debt, or in a situation of dependence?
● Has the victim been harmed or deprived of food, water, sleep, medical care or other life necessities?
● Can the victim freely contact friends or family? Do they have limited social interaction or contact with people outside their immediate environment?
3. Using Business as a force for good
Our aim at Beulah is to help survivors in any way we can, and we have made sure that 10% of profits from sales of all products in our collection are donated to The Beulah Trust, with dedicated products for the UN Blue Heart Campaign.
‘7 years ago we went on a trip that changed our lives and opened our eyes to modern slavery. Living in an aftercare home in India with women who had been rescued from the sex trade, we heard first hand accounts of the realities of this atrocity. What gave us hope was seeing the complete restoration and transformation that could happen when you provided these women with employment and a chance to build a life free from abuse. And so Beulah was born, with a vision to use fashion as a vehicle to impact change and business as a force for good’ – Lavinia Brennan co-founder of Beulah London
Join us in fighting slavery today.
With love, N & L x
*according to the Global Slavery Index Report 2016
11th January 2017 – Human Trafficking Awareness Day
In honour of Human Trafficking Awareness Day, 11th January, receive a complimentary grey ‘Bag for Love’ with every purchase over £300.
Our iconic Beulah print takes shape in this canvas tote bag. Made by Freeset, a charity in Kolkata, India, dedicated to helping trafficked women and women who are regarded as high risk of ending up in the sex trade, by providing them with a steady income and a chance to build a new life free from abuse.
20TH OCTOBER 2016 – ANTI-SLAVERY DAY & BEULAH ‘BLESS IT FORWARD” SILK TIES
Anti-Slavery Day & Modern Slavery
In 1833 the House of Commons passed the historic legislation to end the British slave trade and abolish it for good. It is 2016 and slavery is no longer confined to the past, sadly it is very much a reality of modern day Britain. Human trafficking is the second largest form of illegal income, with the global trade in people estimated to cost around £113 billion, and the UK is buying into it. Statistics in 2015 confirmed 3,266 cases of modern day slavery, with 982 of those enslaved being children. Distressingly the reality is believed to be far worse, with numbers estimated to be as high as 13,000 people enslaved in the UK.
In 2010, Anti-Slavery day was introduced by former MP Antony Steen CBE, and created by the Private Members Bill to to raise awareness of modern day slavery and to motivate the government, businesses and individuals to eliminate it. In 2015 another step was taken when the Modern Slavery Bill was created to bring justice to the victims of modern day slavery and ensure traffickers and slave owners were punished for their actions.
On Tuesday in honour of Anti-Slavery Day, we launched our “Bless It Forward” silk ties. Made in collaboration with The Women’s Interlink Foundation and Key to Freedom, each silk tie tells the story of one woman’s journey to freedom. Each tie has been hand block printed and embroidered by a vulnerable woman who has been freed from trafficking and abuse. By providing her with employment she is able to create an alternative sustainable livelihood for herself.
One tie provides employment for one woman, for one day.
The concept is simple; with every silk tie purchased, you will receive another one free, so that you can “Bless It Forward” by giving it to someone you love and want to bless.
Thank you to everyone who took part on Tuesday. Due to popular demand our ties have now sold out but are available for pre-order HERE. To help support the campaign and be a part of the story please remember to tag @beulahlondon and hashtag #BlessItForward, #KeyToFreedom, #AntiSlaveryDay & #LoveBeulah.
1st August 2016 – Britain will lead the fight against modern day slavery says Theresa May
Britain will lead the fight against modern slavery, Theresa May has said, vowing to make it her mission to help rid the world of the “barbaric evil”.Writing in The Sunday Telegraph, the prime minister called it “the great human rights issue of our time”.
She said a new UK cabinet taskforce would tackle the “sickening and inhuman crimes” while £33m from the aid budget would fund initiatives overseas.
Read the full article in the Sunday Telegraph here x
8th July 2016 – Uncondemed, the story of Triumph & Hope
Beulah London is built upon the foundation of providing support and promoting justice for women across the world. The founders of the business, Nats and Lav, both passionately believe in telling the stories of those who have overcome adversity and terrible ordeals in order to help others who are still fighting for freedom and justice.
In a recent documentary film called ‘Uncondemned’, Michele Mitchell and Nick Louvel tell the world changing story of a group of young international lawyers and activists who worked with women in Rwanda to make rape recognised as an international war crime. All the Rwandan women involved help to make history by testifying in trials to win justice where there had been none before and ensuring rape was considered as an international war crime.
All the women can be seen proudly posing in their treasured Shibani Scarves from Beulah, a symbol of freedom and justice. From left to right: Witness NN, Witness OO, Witness JJ and Godelieve Mukasarasi.
These four women each tell their own incredible story, but together they were the linchpin of the 1997 Akayesu case, one of the first cases that brought to prominence the case of rape being seen as an international war crime. NN and OO currently live in Kigali, Rwanda, and JJ and Godelieve live in Taba, the same small town where Jean-Paul Akayesu was mayor and presided over the genocide and thousands of rapes during the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.
Their bravery and courage to stand up and testify in the trial meant that they changed history for women in war zones all over the world. They haven’t stopped there however and since working with Michele they hope that their story will inspire and offer courage to others in vulnerable positions.
All four women involved as well as Michele Mitchell continue to work tirelessly to provide support and inspiration for other women around the world that are currently still suffering and Beulah are proud to be able to be a part of their story, and we think they all look beautiful in their scarves.
For more information on the film and the trials that took place visit: http://www.theuncondemned.com/#the-film you can also follow news from the documentary on twitter at @theuncondemned or follow Michele Mitchell @michelefilmat11
If you want to be a part of Beulah’s Shibani Scarf story it’s available to buy here: https://www.beulahlondon.com/shop/accessories/scarves/shibani-scarf.
Beulah in partnership with the United Nation’s ‘Blue Heart’ Campaign, will donate 10% of profits from sales of this scarf to the Blue Heart Campaign which helps to raise awareness of the problem of human trafficking and inspires those with decision-making power to effect change.
6th June 2016 – What does Modern Day Slavery look like?
“More than 45 million people are living in modern slavery, with Asia accounting for two thirds of the victims, a new report says.”
“Modern forms of slavery can include debt bondage (where a person is forced to work for free to pay off a debt), child slavery, forced marriage, domestic servitude and forced labour, where victims are made to work through violence and intimidation.”
The BBC has explored five examples of modern slavery. These include:
1) The Seafood Industry in which “human rights groups say thousands of people are trafficked and forced to work on fishing boats, where they can be kept for years without ever seeing the shore. Victims say those who are caught trying to escape can be killed and thrown overboard”
2) Slavery is also common within Cannabis Factories and Nail bars with figures suggesting that there could be between “10,000 and 13,000 victims of slavery in the UK, trafficked from countries including Albania, Nigeria, Vietnam and Romania.”
Furthermore, about “3,000 children from Vietnam alone” are thought to be working in cannabis farms and nail bars in Britain.
3) Sexual Slavery is the most common form of human trafficking today. The International Labour Organization estimates that there are 4.5 million victims of forced sexual exploitation. Shandra Woworuntu, now an activist against human trafficking was once forced into sexual slavery after being tricked into believing she was going to be working in hospitality.
4) Reports have shown that “many children across Europe, Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East are forced to beg on the streets by criminals.” Forced begging is often overlooked as a form of modern day slavery. However, one victim told researchers: “Though I am begging I am not paid a single amount. I have to deposit all to them. I am deprived of food and good sleep. I am not paid my wages only working as a bonded labour.”
5) Finally, a lot of modern slavery isn’t visible in public, taking place behind closed doors in homes and on private farms. Just last week, “three men from the same family in the UK were jailed for forcing a man to do heavy labour for next to no money.”
“Michael Hughes, 46, was forced to work for the family for more than 20 years, doing building work and road laying. He said he was made to live in a 1.2m (4ft) wide garden shed with no heating or running water for two years.”
This shows that slavery is happening today in all different forms.
To read the full article click here
5TH APRIL 2016 – MODERN SLAVERY: IGNORANCE IS NO LONGER AN EXCUSE
Changes to the Modern Slavery Act 2015, brought in to force companies to eradicate all traces of forced labour – not only from their own business but every supplier they buy from – are set to have a massive, unprecedented impact on small companies.
The new legislation was designed to make big business thoroughly audit their supply chains and has been introduced after terrifying discoveries of modern slavery, as close to home as Yorkshire. It is estimated that between 21 million and 39 million people worldwide are victims of modern slavery.
The changes state that from 1 April this year every business with a turnover of more than £36m must prove that it has taken steps to stamp out slave and child labour from its supply chain. But it has become clear that this threshold will not protect small companies that fail to voluntarily comply with the rules.
The trickle-down effect of the Act will be felt this year, as bigger businesses begin to ask searching questions of suppliers right down the chain. Companies that cannot prove they are slavery-free will lose business. Those that tackle the issue head on will mop up these contracts quickly.
“Ultimately, big companies will not deal with firms of any size that they don’t feel safe with,” Chris Ross tells me. He is the founder of J&K Ross, a supplier of safety equipment and protective clothing, and has begun voluntarily auditing his supply chain to make sure his business is fully compliant.
“It is not an easy thing to prove, especially when you’re manufacturing products on the other side of the world,” he says. “We’ve gone to 27 of our suppliers and asked them if they are producing a new statement under the Act. Just four are over the turnover threshold but we’re not letting the others wriggle out of it…
To read more go online
9th March 2016 – The Truth about Modern Slavery in the UK
It was a daring and audacious rescue mission. Upon its success rested the freedom, perhaps even the lives, of up to 45 men locked into a back-breaking life of slavery and forced to live in the most appallingly squalid conditions.
An unlikely squad of former policemen and soldiers working for the charity Hope For Justice – whose mission is to end human trafficking – had uncovered their plight.
And after weeks of detective work and meticulous planning, they were determined to free them.
The team had been tipped off about a suspected trafficking ring centred on the bed-making firm Kozee Sleep in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire.
In a highly secret mission, they put the factory under surveillance and made tentative contact with some of the Hungarian workers.
After much coaxing, they identified a house in Bradford, where the men were being held captive.
And in a clandestine operation in the early hours, an undercover worker for the charity who was leading the operation gave the order to move in.
The men were just some of scores of vulnerable Hungarian immigrants who have been lured to this country with the promise of well-paid work. But in reality this is a shameful tale of people trafficking and slavery.
Some had their passports stolen by unscrupulous masters and were forced to slog for up to 16 hours a day for just £10 a week… all to make beds sold in High Street stores including John Lewis and Next.
Mohammed Rafiq (pictured), 60, the owner of Kozee Sleep, became the first company boss to be convicted of human trafficking and running a sweat shop in the UK
Eight men were able to flee their hellish existence that night, with the charity’s help – but it was tricky.
The men were told to leave the house and meet the charity’s undercover team at an agreed spot, from where they would be taken to safety.
But the first rendezvous point was abandoned because the men were terrified that the traffickers were on to them and would hunt them down.
The petrified men were eventually picked up in a supermarket car park, hiding in the darkness, behind recycling bins and bushes.
The police, who were kept fully informed by the charity and were able to prepare a prosecution, would later learn that the men had been trafficked to Britain by slavemasters who were getting rich by selling their labour for £3-an-hour to a local furniture maker, while paying the workers a pittance, with a few extras thrown in such as cigarettes and basic food.
And they were housed in appalling conditions. At one address, scores of men were found to be crammed into one squalid three-bedroom house.
After a major police operation, Mohammed Rafiq, the 60-year-old owner of Kozee Sleep, last month became the first company boss to be convicted of human trafficking and running a sweat shop in the UK.
This pillar of the local business community had been harbouring a shameful secret – an army of slave labour. He was sentenced to two years and three months in jail.
It seemed unimaginable to me that slavery could be alive and well in Britain almost 200 years after it was abolished. But during my investigation, I heard some remarkable stories from victims.
One of the Hungarians – ‘Daniel’ (not his real name) – told me how he was lured from the poverty of his homeland by the promise of a well-paid factory job but instead was held captive in Britain with veiled threats that his family would be harmed if he left…
From Mail Online
To read more go online
20th Jan 2016 – Human trafficking in Hong Kong: hidden in plain sight
Hong Kong has had a lengthy – and mostly honorable – involvement with human trafficking issues. The Letters Patent and Royal Instructions, the British charter that created the original Hong Kong government in 1843, specified that Chinese customary practices were to be protected in the new colony wherever possible with the stated exception of slavery and torture.
Human trafficking was commonplace from the mid-19th century onwards. The regional epicentre for this trade, which extended from Southeast Asia to Peru, was Macau. Smaller and more vulnerable to influence from its massive neighbour than Hong Kong, and burdened – much like today – with a weak administration and a more corrupt legal system, Macau saw many thousands of poverty-stricken Chinese trapped, tricked and exported into conditions of virtual slavery.
From Post Magazine
To read more go online : click
19th Jan 2016 – The Yazidi women who escaped the clutches of ISIS
More than 5,000 Yazidi women were captured and enslaved by ISIS forces when the militant Islamist terrorists attacked the city of Sinjar, northern Iraq in August 2014.
The women, some just teenagers, were forced to watch ISIS militants murder their families before they were sold into sexual slavery.
While many remain in the evil clutches of ISIS, some have managed to escape to relay horrific tales of abuse, rape, slavery and brutal torture.
In some cases, the young women returned home carrying the unborn children of their captors.
Seivan Salim, an Iraqi female photographer, tracked down some of the women who managed to escape.
She has portrayed them wearing the traditional white Yazidi wedding dress – a symbol for purity.
Each woman tells her story in her own words.
From the Daily mail Online, read more: Click here
17th January 2016 – Obama signs agreement to end import of goods from slave labour
President Barack Obama signed a bill on Wednesday barring the import of goods produced by forced labor from entering the United States, throwing the weight of the U.S. market into the fight against global slavery.
Shipments derived from slavery, from fish to electronics and cocoa, will be kept out of the country under the new law that closes a legal loophole that allowed import of goods derived from forced labor if U.S. demand exceeded domestic production, officials said.
The measure closing the loophole from the Tariff Act of 1930 was included in a wider trade enforcement bill, which Obama signed into law at the White House in Washington.
“The mere deterrent effect of closing this loophole is a great step forward,” Gil Kerlikowske, commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, told reporters on a conference call. “We’re going to make sure that is heavily noted throughout the world.”
The new law could keep at bay billions of dollars worth of goods produced by forced labor, said Annick Febrey, senior associate at the advocacy group Human Rights First.
“It’s a really big deal,” she said. “While we as a country have said that we are against slavery, we’ve had this little-known rule in the Tariff Act.”
The International Labour Organization estimates that 20.9 million people are victims of forced labor globally.
The illegal industry is estimated to generate $150 billion in profits per year, the agency has said.
Implementation of earlier U.S. anti-slavery measures faltered due to a need to determine if demand exceeded domestic production, Febrey said.
Enforcement of the new law should benefit from data from the U.S. Department of Labor, which has been listing goods, classified by nation, that are likely made by forced labor, officials said…
From Raw Story
To read more go online
22nd October 2015 – Beulah Scarf for Love for Anti-Slavery Day
Cressida Bonas, Katherine Jenkins, Princess Eugine, Donna Air, Livia Firth, Millie Mackintosh, Kirsty Gallacher, Louise Roe and others all joined together to raise awareness for Anti-Slavery Day. Anti-Slavery Day provides an opportunity to draw attention to the subject and to pressurise governmental, local authorities, public institutions, private and public companies to address the scale and scope of human trafficking. Beulah has collaborated with the United Nations’ Blue Heart Campaign. For the sale of each Blue Heart scarf, 10% of profits is donated to the charity.
Lady Natasha Rufus Isaacs, founder of Beulah London says ‘Beulah London is a global luxury womanswear brand based on British design, heritage and the empowerment of women. We are not just a brand, but a movement inspiring change, working with dignity and purpose to drive social change and using business as a force for good.’
31ST JULY 2015 – HOW CAN WE MAKE FASHION TRAFFIC FREE? SEWING INTO THE LEGACY
“Anti-slavery powers come into
force in England and Wales”
Today, Immigration Minister Barbara Roche announced Britain is leading the way in the crackdown on human trafficking into Europe.
“Traffickers in the UK currently face a much higher penalty than in many other EU countries, and officials would like similar sentences adopted Europe-wide. Mrs Roche said: The trade in people, men, women and children, is one that nets organised gangs billion of pounds a year.’ She condemned the trafficking as having no respect for human dignity and costing people their lives.  Home Office figures estimate there could be between 10,000 and 13,000 people who remain trapped in modern day slavery in the UK.
“Human trafficking is the second largest source of illegal income,”  It is estimated over 35.8 million people are currently enslaved worldwide in forced labour, sexual exploitation, domestic servitude, and organ harvesting.
The BBC has today reported: Britain’s “Modern Slavery Act has increased the maximum custodial sentence for offenders from 14 years to life. It also gives courts powers to impose orders to restrict the activities of suspected traffickers.”
Beulah is proud to support Britain’s decision to intentionally fight trafficking and exploitation throughout Europe.
The state of trafficking is world is overwhelming, and often unbelievable. The reality is that women, children and men all over the world are being sold into industries they didn’t sign up for. Making informed choices about where we shop; from our coffee to our clothes is part of the solution to this global problem.
As consumers we have a powerful voice. We can urge companies to take accountability for their suppliers and manufactures. By supporting transparency in the business of fashion we can make sure fashion is traffic free. At Beulah, we want to make a difference in the lives of women who have been trafficked and protect those who are vulnerable.
Each Beulah piece sows into the legacy of women who wake up tomorrow with the freedom to choose a sustainable alternative livelihood, which is safe and fulfilling. The support that our partner Freeset offers women goes beyond employment, empowering them with education, financial advice and support for their children.
We know that “the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” Thank you for making a stand with Beulah in fighting against trafficking. We will always keep this cause at the heart of what we do. Together, we can make a difference. Xxx
15th Jan 2016 – Nepalese women trafficked to Syria and forced to work as maids
While millions are fleeing the brutal conflict in Syria, hundreds of Nepalese women are being trafficked to the war-torn country and forced to work as domestic maids. The women, who are duped into travelling to Damascus, often arrive in the country with no idea they are being sent to a war zone.
“I didn’t know anything about Syria. I didn’t realise there was war going on … The agent told me it was like America,” said Gyanu Reshmi Magar, 25, who was promised a job in Dubai but found herself forced into domestic service in the Syrian capital.
Magar, who was trafficked to Syria through India and then Oman and Dubai, begged to be sent back to Nepal only to be told, “We bought you for $6,000 [£4,000]. You can’t go home unless you pay back that money.”
The trade in women from Nepal to Syria is thriving, according to a Nepalese diplomat. “There’s a heavy flow of women to Damascus. Last year we estimated there were about 300 Nepalese women in Syria and since then the number has increased … It’s a big, big number, maybe five to six hundred,” he said….
Article from TheGuardian.com
To read more, go online
15th October 2015 -Women Freed From Human Trafficking
In support of Anti-Slavery Day on the 18th October, this weekend, this is an update on the charity element of Beulah. The Beulah Trust is at the very heart of our ethos in attempting to stop modern slavery in the form of human trafficking.
The Beulah Trust was founded in 2013 with the aim of supporting projects and initiatives that create sustainable livelihoods for victims of trafficking. Our Heart Canvas Bags ‘For Love’ are made by fairtrade business, Freeset, which offers employment to women trapped in the sex trade in Sonagacchi, the largest, most infamous sex district in Kolkata.
Freeset is dedicated to helping trafficked women and women who are regarded as at a high risk of ending up in the sex trade, by providing them with a steady income, a bank account and a chance to build a new life free from abuse. For fourteen years Freeset has been going and now employs 217 women who are in part, kept in employment due to the Beulah Trust and the business brought to them by our canvas bags.
These are some of the stories of the women who were victims of human trafficking at Freeset.
My mother’s life as a sex worker was very hard, but she did it for us (my brother and I). There were customers in our room all the time which was hard. Because of this, it was difficult to study when I was young. I had to stay outside and play in the street.
When I got older it got even worse because many customers wanted me. That’s when I thought, If I could just grow up and get married I could get away from this, but my mother didn’t have enough money to give me away in marriage. I couldn’t study because of the room situation so I thought it would be good if I could find a job, then I could have enough money for my own marriage.
At first I didn’t know, there was a factory at the Freeset building. I just played outside because of customers in our room. I saw Kerry, a staff member, coming and going until one day I asked him, if I could have a job and he said, “Of course, come with me.”
Freeset solved a lot of my problems. First I was able to get married and I didn’t need to stay in my room all day because I was away at work which was great. I got a salary, which meant that slowly I could save and I was able to get a bank account. I used my own money to get married. I was able to help my mother, so she didn’t need to have so many customers all the time.
I make bags, but I’m not very good at making the finished bag. I sew the sides and I also supervise tea breaks. Occasionally I go out to visit the brothels. I try to explain to girls that standing in line is not the only option, that they can work and be paid regular wages. They say, “But what can we do?” I tell them about the time I also stood on the line and about my journey to freedom with Freeset.
Now my life is good, sometimes I remember I was in the line, but now I’m not and I like that. Every day I come to work with my head held high – with no shame. I’ve given up the line, I have freedom and peace. I can talk with everyone and tell them that my life is healthy. If normal ladies come to visit my area, I can sit down and eat with them which I enjoy. I have found great freedom being able to mix with anyone.
I want to give God thanks. Jesus has taken me far from my old life. God has given me good things – health, peace, a good husband, good family. There’s no more fighting or arguments and my husband doesn’t drink anymore, he only eats! (giggles).
My husband died 10 years ago. I was trying to provide for my children. I worked for an NGO for 7 years without being paid. A friend said, “Freeset is starting and it is different”, so I went to work there. At that time I didn’t have anything. I didn’t have power, a meter or a fan.
* All names have been changed.
[quote] Freedom should never be a luxury [/quote]
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